10 Of The Best & Worst Fabrics To Wear In Summer
Summer is the time to take off those floppy overcoats and jackets, lose those extra clothing layers and be full-on beach ready! So how do we strike a fair balance between style and comfort?
You have to be picky regarding fabrics, as your choice will determine not just the overall style and beauty of your dress, but also the comfort and longevity as well.
To transform your look this season, here’s a list of the top 5 best and worst fabrics for you.
Best fabrics for summer
Cotton is one of the most obvious wardrobe choices for summer. This natural, breathable, super lightweight fabric provides maximum comfort in the heat. Cotton fabrics are perfect for casual outings due to their availability and versatility, as well.
However, if you’re going to break a sweat on hot and humid days, cotton may not be the best choice, since it absorbs moisture and leaves obvious sweat patches in awkward places.
Linen is another go-to fabric choice during summer. It is made out of the flax plant stalks. Just like cotton, linen boasts exceptional moisture absorption abilities with excellent breathability. Linen garments are also significantly less water-intensive compared to cotton.
Overall, linen is great, and can be a somewhat better alternative to cotton. With fewer impacts on the environment, linen garments fit perfectly as your everyday summer wear as they allow more airflow.
Viscose, also known as rayon, is human-made synthetic fabric, blended with natural elements like wood pulp, cotton etc. For summer outings and parties, viscose fabric is an excellent choice for a vibrant, luxurious look, sourced in an inexpensive way! Viscose can easily be an alternative to silk, with all the useful elements of cotton and linen. This fabric drapes beautifully and dyes into bright-vibrant colours easily.
One of the few problems of viscose fabric is that it always needs to be dry washed or hand washed with cold water, since the material gets weaker when wet. Despite this setback, viscose is an amazing fabric option in summer for garments with gorgeous vivid colours.
Chambray is a cotton plain-weave fabric and a better summer wardrobe alternative to denim for comfort and flexibility. Typically blue in colour, chambray is a more lightweight and breathable twin of denim, that will keep you fresh and chic even in humid weather.
Since chambray is made from 100% cotton, it’s a perfect choice for corporate wear, work wear, or even trendy-casual wear. More and more designers these days are in awe of this soft, comfortable yet durable fabric, making use of it as a fashionable denim alternative summer staple.
Seersucker is another fabric option, perfect for rocking in summer. Made from cotton or a cotton blend, seersucker’s pinstripes and wrinkled texture go with a variety of clothing, from casual outfits to formal outfits like suits, ties, odd jackets and more.
While it is comfortable and stylish, the longevity of seersucker is what makes it a must-have for summer.
Worst fabrics for summer
This human-made fabric is a fully synthetic material, treated with thousands of toxic chemicals during production. Since nylon is specifically designed to repel water, this fabric is anything but breathable.
Because of its high water resistance, nylon tends to trap the moisture, sweat and odours inside clothes, creating an unhealthy environment for bacterial skin diseases and allergies during summer. Yuck. For a summer wardrobe, nylon fabric is a big no no!
Polyester is another wardrobe nightmare in summer. While it can be considered a standard fabric when it comes to affordability, durability, and wrinkle-resistance, it’s definitely not for regular summer wear. Polyester’s water-resistance blocks out moisture and sweat.
Even though polyester is advertised as being “wrinkle-free,” it’s cheap, unnatural, and toxic chemicals are not ideal for constant human contact. On humid days, this fabric sticks against the skin, causing irritation and itches. This kind of irritation can lead to fabric allergies, also known as textile dermatitis.
If you really like polyester, leave it for summer workouts or swimwear; not for a regular outing.
Much like nylon, acrylic is a human-made fabric, not explicitly meant for humid weather. Acrylic fabrics are designed for colder seasons to provide warmth without being too heavy. In summer, however, acrylic continues to have an insulating effect, which is the last thing you want!
Acrylic is also one of the most toxic threads out there for your skin; especially against wet skin. This makes it a poor choice, even in the winter.
With a wide range of fabric types, vinyl has been a trendy fabric choice in the fashion industry. But vinyl is a sort of plastic that's a horrible fabric choice for humid weather because of its exposure to toxic chemical additives.
That being said, since vinyl is a durable and recyclable fabric, it’s an appropriate choice for shoes, bags and other fashion accessories.
Because of its unique and luxurious drape and the classic "velvety" smooth texture we all love, velvet finds a place in many wardrobes. But the reason it's best avoided during the summer is that the thickness of the fabric makes it far less breathable. So even though it's a must-have for autumn or winter parties, summer is not an appropriate time for velvet.