Get ready for higher temperatures, longer days and lots of sunshine because summer is just around the corner. The coming season gives you so many reasons to get out of the house, take a vacation and look great while doing so. Outdoor activities like cookouts, pool parties, beach weekends and other festive events will require cute outfits on call in your wardrobe. Avoid dreaded sweat stains and general uncomfortableness at warm weather and outdoor events by choosing fabrics that stand the test of temperature. While sweat-wicking activewear is a gift from above, it’s definitely not for every occasion. Here are seven lightweight fabrics that will keep you cool and looking chic as temperatures rise in the coming months.
1) Linen: Quite possibly the holy grail of practical warm weather fabrics, linen is versatile, breathable and will keep you cool even in the highest of temperatures. This fabric is made of all-natural fibers and breathes easily, allowing more air to pass through and making you feel cooler. Linen is also great because it dries super fast, which won’t leave you with fashion faux pas like sweat stains.
How to Wear It: Linen looks great as a part of any casual or relaxed look. Pair linen pants with leather loafers or sandals and linen tops with cotton fabrics or neutral colors.
2) Blended Fabrics: Chances are you already have some pieces in your closet that are made out of blended fabrics. Blended fabrics are made of multiple synthetic fibers that keep you cool and dry. They’re similar to some athletic gear, so you know it’s legitimate. Blends dry quickly like linen, so you never have to worry about feeling damp or sweaty while wearing these fabrics. Unlike linen, however, blended fabrics are usually wrinkle-resistant and hold their shape well so you don’t have to worry about bringing out the ironing board.
How to Wear It: Synthetics are great because they are so versatile! These fabrics can be made into many different colors or styles, leaving room for your creativity and personal style. Consider pairing a blended fabric dress with strappy sandals and bold sunglasses for a light and airy summer look.
3) Cotton: When you think about summer outfits, cotton clothing probably comes to mind. Cotton has been worn by many during warm weather seasons as a way to keep cool on hot, sunny days. Cotton is another natural fiber that, when woven, leaves room for air to pass through and keeps you from feeling too hot. It’s great to pack or wear in arid, dry heat as well as humid climates because it absorbs moisture.
How to Wear It: Cotton can be dressed up or down depending on how you choose to style it. Choose from cute dresses, flowy tops, crisp pants or even a classic t-shirt made of cotton to rock your summer look.
4) Polyester: Polyester and poly blends are a great alternative to cotton or linen. They require little to no care and rarely wrinkle. Also, some good news for those of you who are prone to spills: Polyester is a highly stain-resistant fabric! This fabric is also durable and great for casual settings and movement.
How to Wear It: Polyester is commonly made into flowy summer dresses. Consider accessorizing a polyester dress of any length with strappy heels or sandals, statement earrings and a fun summer bag.
5) Jersey: Welcome to the land of complete comfort. Jersey is the perfect fabric to take you everywhere in style. Wear jersey fabrics in the form of casual tees, jumpsuits, dresses and more for the perfect travel outfit or athleisure look. Jersey fabrics and blends are flexible, stretchy and lightweight, making them great for warmer weather. Make sure you have this fabric in your closet to cover your bases for the perfect “jeans and a t-shirt” look this summer.
How to Wear It: Jersey fabrics can help you create a great effortless look. Take a jersey t-shirt and pair it with cute sneakers and cropped jeans while running errands or, for an elevated look, tuck your t-shirt into a high-waisted skirt and add booties or sandals for a nicer daytime outfit that will keep you cool all day.
6) Silk and Satin: Both of these fabrics add shine and glossiness to any summer outfit. While silk is not commonly worn in the summer, it can keep you feeling cool and fresh, especially if your silk clothing is loose-fitting and flowy. Satin, on the other hand, is able to adjust to your personal body temperature and keep you cool. Both silk and satin can help you to stay cool while still looking stylish.
How to Wear It: Pair a silk or satin skirt with another breathable and cooling fabric, like cotton. You can also add a silk or satin scarf to your look as a headband to keep your hairline from heating up under other heavy fabrics.
7) Chambray: Known as a fantastic alternative to thicker denim fabrics, chambray is a versatile and very useful addition to any warm weather closet. Chambray is woven tightly, similar to cotton, and is therefore breathable and absorbent just like cotton fabrics. Chambray is commonly found in stores and online and is generally cost-effective. Chambray pieces range from dresses and skirts to wide-leg pants and collared button-down shirts and just about everything in between.
How to Wear It: Wear chambray of any kind with your favorite complementary colors! This fabric is usually found in lighter hues which makes it the perfect pair for white, light neutrals and pastels.
Keep It Light: Keep these fabrics in mind when shopping for your warm weather clothing. The good news is that many of these different fabrics work well together, so it’s easy to mix and match with different pieces. Keep in mind that lighter is better in terms of fabric weight and, when in doubt, go for a classic and natural fabric like cotton or linen.