X

Enter to win a FREE
Magnetight Mask
from Dr. Brandt!

*By entering to win, you agree to receive future emails from Dr. Brandt.

The Best (And Worst) Fabrics To Wear When It's Really, Really Hot

Large Editorial Image


August 3, 2015

Unless you’ve scored yourself a job as a lifeguard, you probably can’t get away with wearing as little clothing as possible during the summer, no matter how hot, humid, and unbearably sticky it gets. Those of us whose bosses don’t consider sheer sarongs proper work attire know how uncomfortable it can be to sit all day in a stifling suit or skirt and blouse that seem to encourage sweat. This is exactly why stocking your closet with the best summer-friendly fabrics so essential. To help you dress smarter for what’s sure to be a sweltering August, we talked to fashion designer and fabric expert, Erica Waddell, on the best fabrics to wear when it’s really, really hot.

The Best Fabrics For Summer

“In general, natural fibers (even wool!) breathe better than synthetics (even advanced performancewear!) because natural fibers have to withstand fluctuations in weather for the survival of the creature it originates from,” Waddell says. “There is a close correlation between the fiber’s purpose and its breathability. Think about how a silk worm cocoon has to function compared to a lab-born petrochemical fabric like polyester. A lot of emphasis has been put on these synthetic materials to tout their moisture wicking, but in reality, they get their breathability from weave and absorption, not from the all-important air permeability.”

In laymens terms, that means fabrics like bamboo and lyocell are the most breathable and therefore the most ideal on scorching summer days. “These are natural rayons that come from plants. Since plants cannot move, the original state of these fibers had to keep the plant cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and guess what? They do the same to you!” Waddell explains.

Your next best choices? Linen, silk, cotton and hemp. “Look for lightweight knits or wovens,” in these fabrics Waddell says.

The Worst Fabrics For Summer

The least breathable fabrics include acrylic, nylon, vinyl, polyester, fleece and other acetates. When it’s really warm, avoid these all costs unless you enjoy sweating a lot.

Natural heavyweight knits and wovens along lightweight synthetic knits like nylon tricot and polyester jersey also aren’t ideal because air won’t easily pass through them.

Lastly, wool (really!), performance synthetics like spandex or athletic wear and rayons aren’t great options, but they are better than acrylics, nylons, polyester and fleece.

Additional Considerations

Waddell says it’s important to remember that easy, breezy summer wear is about more than just choosing the right fiber–weave, cut, and even color should be considered, too.

“A tight fitting garment is still going to be pretty hot compared to something flowing,” she says. “Color is also something to consider, since darker colors absorb heat rather than reflecting it. To minimize time with a hot iron, pick a knit or just pull your clothes out of the dryer as quickly as possible. A great tip is to take advantage of the summer sun to line dry your clothes. They will have fewer wrinkles, require less energy, and feel cooler to the touch when you hang them on the line. Fabrics like silk and bamboo as well as synthetics like elastane (spandex) dry almost as fast in fresh air as they do in a hot dryer.”

The Bottom Line

“Always choose a light knit like jersey that is 100% bamboo, tencel, lyocell, or silk. Lightweight knits like 100% cotton or wool jersey along with light to medium wovens like cotton, silk, or hemp are good. Always opt for 100% natural contents rather than blends, with the exception of linen if you hate to iron. Performance wear is good for specific activities, but stop being effective (or comfortable) after a couple of hours. If you must wear something lined (like a suit), opt for silk, rayon, or cupro lining instead of the more common nylon acetate. And of course, ditch tight synthetic leggings and nylon hosiery.”

For more beauty tips, check out 8 ways to make your makeup sweat-proof and 4 ways to stop back sweat.

 

Tags:

summer, tips

Shop lyocell

More lyocell | 3 of 9795 »

Short Lyocell Shorts by

H&M

Buy Now

Linfield Lyocell Tee by

Ganni

Buy Now

Lyocell Shorts by

H&M

Buy Now




  • Amazon Just Made This Insane Change To Its Amazon Prime Monthly Membership

    Amazon Just Made This Insane Change To Its Amazon Prime Monthly Membership

    today

  • Target Casually Just Dropped 2 NEW BRANDS This Morning

    Target Casually Just Dropped 2 NEW BRANDS This Morning

    Beauty

    1 day

  • Once And For All, These Are The Best Leggings To Work Out In (And They're Only $25!)

    Once And For All, These Are The Best Leggings To Work Out In (And They're Only $25!)

    Style

    1 day

  • FYI, This $9 Top Looks Good On Every Woman--Get One In Every Color ASAP

    FYI, This $9 Top Looks Good On Every Woman--Get One In Every Color ASAP

    Style

    1 day

  • Psst! Nordstrom Has <em>The Best</em> Fleece Lined Tights... And They're Only $15

    Psst! Nordstrom Has The Best Fleece Lined Tights... And They're Only $15

    Style

    1 day

  • Every Wine Lover Needs This $19 Accessory

    Every Wine Lover Needs This $19 Accessory

    Shop

    2 days

  • The One Piece Of Jewelry Every Cool Girl Wants For Valentine’s Day

    The One Piece Of Jewelry Every Cool Girl Wants For Valentine’s Day

    2 days

  • Weekend Project: Make Your Own DIY Face Mask

    Weekend Project: Make Your Own DIY Face Mask

    Shop

    2 days

  • Nordstrom's Bestselling $27 Tunic Is Back In Stock--Grab One Quick Before It Sells Out Again

    Nordstrom's Bestselling $27 Tunic Is Back In Stock--Grab One Quick Before It Sells Out Again

    Style

    2 days

  • These Genius Packing Cubes Are A Game-Changer

    These Genius Packing Cubes Are A Game-Changer

    Shop

    3 days

  • These Are The Best Sites That Give You Cash Or Store Credit For New And Lightly-Worn Clothes

    These Are The Best Sites That Give You Cash Or Store Credit For New And Lightly-Worn Clothes

    Style

    3 days

  • Target Just Added 11 New Products To Your Favorite Brand

    Target Just Added 11 New Products To Your Favorite Brand

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Shoppers Can't Stop Raving About This All-In-One Home Security System

    Shoppers Can't Stop Raving About This All-In-One Home Security System

    Shop

    3 days

  • The 5 Best Stress-Relieving Items That You NEED In Your Life--From Fidget Spinners To Stress Balls.

    The 5 Best Stress-Relieving Items That You NEED In Your Life--From Fidget Spinners To Stress Balls.

    3 days

  • Forever 21 Is Making This Big Change To Its Stores

    Forever 21 Is Making This Big Change To Its Stores

    Beauty

    3 days

  • These Are The Best Collaborations You <em>Need</em> To Know About Now

    LeSportsac Just Launched An Adorable Collab With Hershey's

    Shop

    3 days

  • Here's How To Wear Metallic Booties Like A Style Blogger

    Here's How To Wear Metallic Booties Like A Style Blogger

    Shop

    3 days

  • 8 Galentine's Day Gifts That Are Perfect For The Lady Love In Your Life

    8 Galentine's Day Gifts That Are Perfect For The Lady Love In Your Life

    Style

    4 days

  • The One Dress That Looks Good On Everyone, According To Fashion Experts

    The One Dress That Looks Good On Everyone, According To Fashion Experts

    Style

    4 days

  • Target Just Casually Launched An Exclusive Fragrance Line This Morning

    Target Just Casually Launched An Exclusive Fragrance Line This Morning

    Beauty

    4 days

  • We Just Found The Most Amazing Pair Of Fleece Leggings Ever... And They're Only $19!

    We Just Found The Most Amazing Pair Of Fleece Leggings Ever... And They're Only $19!

    Style

    4 days

  • Psst! These Gorgeous (Waterproof!) Suede SOREL Booties Are 50% Off Right Now

    Psst! These Gorgeous (Waterproof!) Suede SOREL Booties Are 50% Off Right Now

    Style

    4 days

  • boohoo Is Having An <em>Epic</em> Sweater Sale Right Now--Prices Start At Just $16 With Our Exclusive Promo Code

    boohoo Is Having An Epic Sweater Sale Right Now--Prices Start At Just $16 With Our Exclusive Promo Code

    Style

    4 days

  • Beauty Pick Of The Week: Why I'm Obsessed Over The Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette

    Beauty Pick Of The Week: Why I'm Obsessed Over The Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette

    Beauty

    4 days

  • This Is The Most-Searched Fashion Trend Of 2017 (It's Not What You Think!)

    This Is The Most-Searched Fashion Trend Of 2017 (It's Not What You Think!)

    4 days

  • How Does Amazon's No-Rush Shipping Rewards Work? Here's Everything You Need To Know!

    How Does Amazon's No-Rush Shipping Rewards Work? Here's Everything You Need To Know!

    Shop

    4 days

  • Where To Buy Those Tiny Sunglasses Everyone Will Be Wearing In 2018

    Where To Buy Those Tiny Sunglasses Everyone Will Be Wearing In 2018

    5 days

  • 4 Skincare Products People With Clear Skin Always Use

    4 Skincare Products People With Clear Skin Always Use

    Beauty

    5 days

  • These Apps Will Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions #WellnessWednesday

    These Apps Will Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions #WellnessWednesday

    5 days

  • These Are The Best Leggings Ever (& They're Not See-Through!)

    These Are The Best Leggings Ever (& They're Not See-Through!)

    Style

    5 days

  • Here's Your Complete Guide To Sulfate-Free Beauty Products

    Here's Your Complete Guide To Sulfate-Free Beauty Products

    Beauty

    5 days

  • This Is The Best Deodorant You Can Use, According To A Dermatologist

    This Is The Best Deodorant You Can Use, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    today

  • The One Thing You Should Never Do For Thinning Hair

    The One Thing You Should Never Do For Thinning Hair

    Beauty

    today

  • The Real Reason Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Got Divorced

    The Real Reason Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Got Divorced

    Celebrity

    2 days

  • The One Drugstore Product No One Should Be Using Anymore, According To A Dermatologist

    The One Drugstore Product No One Should Be Using Anymore, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    2 days

  • 5 Common Mistakes That Are Making Your Hair Thin, According To Experts

    5 Common Mistakes That Are Making Your Hair Thin, According To Experts

    Beauty

    2 days

  • 3 Cheap Products For Blackheads That Dermatologists Swear By

    3 Cheap Products For Blackheads That Dermatologists Swear By

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Um, How Bella Hadid Not Have A Wardrobe Malfunction In This See-Through Top?

    Um, How Bella Hadid Not Have A Wardrobe Malfunction In This See-Through Top?

    Celebrity

    3 days

  • 3 Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Dupes That Are Just As Great As The Original

    3 Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Dupes That Are Just As Great As The Original

    Beauty

    3 days

  • This Is The Worst Thing To Put On A Zit, According To A Dermatologist

    This Is The Worst Thing To Put On A Zit, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Scott Disick's New Girlfriend Is Trying Really Hard To Be Kourtney Kardashian

    Scott Disick's New Girlfriend Is Trying Really Hard To Be Kourtney Kardashian

    Celebrity

    3 days

  • 6 At-Home Remedies For Sagging Skin Dermatologists Swear By

    6 At-Home Remedies For Sagging Skin Dermatologists Swear By

    Beauty

    3 days

  • 5 Cheap Under-Eye Products Dermatologists Swear By

    5 Cheap Under-Eye Products Dermatologists Swear By

    Beauty

    3 days

  • 5 Cheap Natural Skin-Firming Products Dermatologists Swear By

    5 Cheap Natural Skin-Firming Products Dermatologists Swear By

    Beauty

    3 days

  • 4 Bedtime Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Skin, According Dermatologists

    4 Bedtime Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Skin, According Dermatologists

    Beauty

    4 days

  • This Clue Finally Proves That Kylie Jenner Is Pregnant

    This Clue Finally Proves That Kylie Jenner Is Pregnant

    Celebrity

    4 days

  • Um, What Was Kendall Jenner Thinking When She Wore This Outfit?

    Um, What Was Kendall Jenner Thinking When She Wore This Outfit?

    Celebrity

    4 days

  • Scarlett Johansson’s Got A New Boyfriend… And You’ve Definitely Seen Him Before

    Scarlett Johansson’s Got A New Boyfriend… And You’ve Definitely Seen Him Before

    Celebrity

    4 days

  • The One Cheap Natural Product Dermatologists Swear By For Blackheads

    The One Cheap Natural Product Dermatologists Swear By For Blackheads

    Beauty

    4 days

  • 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Experts Swear By To Look 10 Years Younger

    5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Experts Swear By To Look 10 Years Younger

    Beauty

    4 days

  • 5 Cheap Natural Eye Creams Dermatologists Swear By For Under-Eye Bags

    5 Cheap Natural Eye Creams Dermatologists Swear By For Under-Eye Bags

    Beauty

    5 days

  • Um, Where Is Chrissy Teigen's Baby Bump?

    Um, Where Is Chrissy Teigen's Baby Bump?

    Celebrity

    5 days

  • Whoa! Are Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth MARRIED?!

    Whoa! Are Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth MARRIED?!

    Celebrity

    5 days