It’s hot. Really hot.
Austinites feel the limitations this puts on clothing options, so we need to get a bit creative and re-evaluate some of our fashion norms in favor of comfort, dryness, and overall public safety 😉
Traditional summer fabrics offer some relief. Linens (wrinkle), cotton (shows sweat), even tropic wools and rayon leave you feeling sticky or heavy. Unfortunately, when it’s so hot that we’re sweating, fabrics tend to hold the moisture next to the skin and prevent the evaporation process that naturally cools the skin. Cotton, nylon and polyester are notorious for it.
Enter: Wick-away Fabrics. High technology brings us new weaves and fabric treatments that allow fabrics to breath better AND pull moisture away from the body so it can evaporate and cool the skin. You’ll also find a UV protectant in many garments. Perk!
Like many new inventions, the technology came about for military purposes, then moved on to “performance” (read athletes) needs. Now, applications are broadening and the Coco Chanel’s philosophy of daily functional fashion has met wick-away.
Here are wick-away clothes you can easily mix and match into your daily wardrobe without sacrificing style.
This is by far the most surprising yet practical use of wick-away fabrics I’ve come across. If you’re menopausal (night sweats!) or just want to conserve energy, DriNights.com has a selection of sleepwear and bedding that will bring you added comfort. Wick-away underwear. WOW.
Nike Tech Solid Golf Polo ($35-$90) is great casual wear that can pass for the office if you have a casual dress code. There’s a bit of stretch to them and they come in a variety of colors. For work, stick with neutrals and conservative hues; bright colors will attract unwanted attention and look out of place. Men can pair dry polos with khakis; women might like a denim or khaki skirt or white slacks and a smart scarf. View all apparel options at Nike Dri-Fit Clothing.
Our local GolfSmith is a goldmine of dry clothing options, like the Adidas ClimaCool shirts($40 on sale) for men and women. The women’s version has a plaid texture that adds a stylish twist.
Champion Double Dry Cotton Tee’s. $17 – $20These cotton-based fabrics are treated for the same effect as the polyester-based fabrics. The lady’s T-shirt is a V-neck, which is universally flattering, and comes in a variety of colors. The stitching looks sporty, so if you wear it to the office or dinner, I’d suggest a darker color and/or cardigan or other piece to dress up the look. The Double Dry men’s undershirt is a great gift idea for the corporate ladder climber.
Skorts & Shorts.
I love the Columbia Sportswear Skort ($31.96), a cotton and nylon blend, and the Maggie Lane Tech Skort ($20) polyester and spandex. They’re feminine and versatile so you don’t look like you just walked off the tennis court– but you COULD and still look appropriate for lunch at the grille. Men’s Quicksilver Dry Dock Amphibian shorts ($54) are practical weekend/errand options that look more polished than sweat shorts or basketball shorts.
If you spend more than 30 minutes walking or lounging in the sun, wear a hat. Ditch the baseball cap for something fresh (you may remember that suggestion from my previous posting The Vintage Gentleman Returns). Try something a bit more creative while still protecting your skin from damaging rays– liver spots and skin flakes AGE you!! Avoid dark colors like black, dark brown and navy, which absorb heat and make you hotter.
Activewear tends to come in solids rather than prints. If you find yourself in all solids, throw in something with visible texture or a pattern like a bold print handbag, jewelry, scarf or shoes.
I hope this gives you some ideas for looking and feeling cool this summer. Visit local golf & tennis shops, department stores, and activewear boutiques for other great ideas.
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