I am a proud Texas boy…
So I’m no stranger to the heat.
My whole life I’ve endured 6 month summers and 2 week winters! No seriously, that’s the Houston weather pattern.
However, what I have found challenging over the years is how to remain cool and stylish. Menswear is, many times, predicated on blazers, neckwear, leather shoes, etc. And that stuff is HOT.
Usually, I want to throw on a t-shirt & shorts and call it a day.
But how can you dress up without heating up?
Understanding lightweight fabrics are the best way to maintain your style and stay cool.
Below is a list of fabrics that you will need this summer…and if you’re from a climate like Houston, you’re going to need these fabrics for this spring, summer, and part of fall!
Types Of Fabrics To Wear In The Heat
Linen is commonly agreed upon as the coolest of fabrics. It’s made from a flax plant, has high durability, and absorbs colors well.
You can find an array of colors in linen suits from conservative to bright. A linen blazer is a great way to spice up the summer wardrobe.
Linen does, however, have to drawbacks. It’s really stiff! This can be problematic for wrinkling. The fibers repel heat so when an iron hits it, wrinkles put up a fight.
When wearing linen, wrinkles show FAST and…they stay all day. Some people are turned off by this but to me, it provides a lasting level of character.
Summer is about being free and comfortable so wrinkles from wearing linen show character.
Bonus tip: Roll up the sleeves of your linen blazer to dress it down even more.
Below is a list of items that I particularly like in linen
- Unlined blazers
- Pocket squares
This is the everyday fabric. It seems as if everything we wear is made of cotton because it’s cheap to produce, functional, and versatile. However, for hot weather – what you need to pay attention to is its construction.
Is the cotton that you’re wearing woven or knitted? For the summer months, you want to stay away from knitted cotton as the construction isn’t as elastic and fibers are tighter (aka less breathable & much hotter!). Woven cotton is breathable.
Hot weather stylish items to buy in woven cotton:
- Pique polo
- Oxford shirts
Types Of Breathable Cotton Weaves
Chambray is a unique type of cotton. The benefit of chambray is that it’s constructed with a higher thread count which means more comfort (think of your bed sheets!)
Chambray looks similar to denim. This is advantageous because you get the denim look without all the sweat underneath.
Poplin is tightly woven but much thinner. It has a little texture and hardly any shine which makes it a fantastic option for professional attire.
One thing to note: broadcloth shirts can be slightly transparent and prone to wrinkling.
This type of cotton is distinctly known for its raised and puckered appearance. This look is created in the finishing of the fabric after it’s woven. This allows great air flow and is comfortable in the summer.
While seersucker fabrics can come in any color or pattern, blue striped seersucker is most popular.
Wool & Synthetics
Wool is traditionally known to be a winter fabric and for good reason. Wool insulates very well. It’s literally animal hair that is made to shield sheep from the elements.
Worsted wool, however, is a type of wool that is weaved with a medium weight yarn to allow for better airflow. As stated earlier, wool is waterproof so it doesn’t stick to you when you sweat. How cool is that (pun intended)? Worsted wool is seen mainly in
The most commonly seen synthetics in clothing are:
They are different from the others fabrics because they aren’t naturally found, they’re man-made. They are formed through a process called polymerization, rather than being grown or found naturally like cotton, wool, and linen.
The benefits of synthetics are that they are easy to blend together. So you will see common blends like cotton with other synthetic fabrics such as rayon, nylon, polyester, and spandex. These blends are great for detracting moisture. This is why you usually find athletic wear constructed with synthetic blends of fabric.
Note: Synthetic blends in suits mean lower quality, but they will be cooler.
Other benefits are they are easy to clean, wick away sweat, and fast drying. In other words – heat resistant and pulls sweat away from your body!
At the end of the day, summer style is about looking great while remaining as comfortable as possible. When shopping and planning your warm weather outfits, make sure you take the time to check the fabric!
3 Hot Weather Style Tips
#1 Wear Breathable Outfits
How do you do that?
By buying clothing that falls into any of the materials listed above. This will allow air to flow freely through your clothing and evaporate the sweat rather than sticking to the fibers.
You can find breathable outfits if any range of clothing, not limited solely to dress clothes (although that is a wide trend we’re seeing now). Synthetics and blends like spandex, polyester, and nylon were originally designed for workout clothes but have since migrated over into the lifestyle (athleisure) and professional clothing brands as well.
I think as style and fitness begin to merge into a “lifestyle” we will start seeing more trends in clothing that bring the two closer together.
#2 Have (At Least) One Hot Weather Suit
It may be a summer wedding or traveling on a business trip to give a presentation in a hot city.
But sooner or later I am willing to bet money that you will run into an instance where you have to dress professionally in extreme heat. Some of you may have to do this daily.
Being a style blogger in Texas requires me to pay close attention to fabrics during the summertime.
Owning at least one hot weather suit allows you the ability to know that you can look professional when needed and not turn into a human sponge of perspiration (Sorry to paint that picture in your head).
#3 Utilize Light Colors
This is HUGE.
It’s simple science.
Dark colors generate more thermal energy in extreme heat (aka absorbs heat). Light colors reflect a lot of heat away from your body.
Utilizing light colors in combination with breathable fabrics ensures beating the heat and staying stylish.
If the colors are dark, make sure they’re also a moisture wicking fabric as discussed above.
I’m curious. What other tips do you have for staying stylish in the heat? Let me know in the comments!