Heat.Humidity.Blazing temperatures.Summer is a tough time in classic menswear.
What matters when it’s hot, and what doesn’t. The things you should think about when you buy hot-weather clothing.
This should really go without saying. You want cloth that is physically light.The less ounces/grams of textile piled up on your skin, the less work you’re doing and the easier it is for air to circulate.Wool is the only cloth that you can almost always get a weight for in specific ounces.
This is just as important as light weight, if not more so!You need air circulating over your body to stay cool. Fabric that doesn’t breathe well will trap both sweat and hot air near your skin, leading to rapid overheating.
Most men spend less time thinking about sun protection than they should. Even dark-skinned men will feel the heat more in the sun, regardless of whether their skin can burn or not, and lighter-skinned men can find themselves in a lot of pain if they’re not careful.
The trouble with most summer outfits is that they’re products of necessity, not style. You throw on shorts and a T-shirt so that you don’t overheat, not because they look good.Looking stylish in the summer is as much about small, deliberate gestures as it is anything else. Khakis and a white shirt are comfortable, but you look like a low-level IT staffer.
Part II: Good Hot Weather Fabrics
Linen is one of the joys of summer menswear. It’s light, breathable, and has a unique texture that makes it stand out in an ensemble.Some men dislike it because it wrinkles too easily, but the lightly-wrinkled texture is part of the charm of linen, and higher-quality linens are woven tightly enough that the wrinkling is minimal.
We don’t usually think of wool as a hot-weather fabric. Most of its properties make it ideal in the winter, and typical wool suitings are both thick and heavy.There are, however, a few kinds of “tropical-weight” wools meant for summer wear. The more common kind are essentially the same worsted or flannel wool of a conventional suiting, but made with very thin, light threads to reduce weight.
Most men probably rely on cotton for the bulk of their summer wardrobe. It’s light and breathable and substantially cheaper than wool or linen, so there’s some sense to that choice.The trouble with cotton is that its performance can vary widely depending on construction.