5 Fabrics To Avoid This Summer If You Want To Stay Cool In The Heat

If you can read this through the sweat dripping from your brow, you're already doing better than us. It seems like so many places across the globe have been experiencing more and more unprecedented heat recently.


But as we all try new ways to keep cool, one of the quickest and easiest ways is to dress for the weather. That means checking what exactly our clothes are made from. Let's be honest, we've all fallen into that trap before, haven't we? Thinking that because something's sleeveless, it will keep us cool, or that shorts are short so they have to be breathable, right? Well, we're sorry to say ... wrong! Exactly what material your clothes are made out of can have a big impact on how hot you'll feel as the sun beats down. So, grab your fan and take a look at some of the clothing you need to avoid so you're not in for the "Cruel Summer" Taylor Swift's been warning us about.

Steer clear of polyester

Sorry, guys. We know polyester is so readily available these days at such a low price, but it's terrible in the summer. The synthetic fabric isn't breathable, so instead of letting a nice breeze flow through your clothing, instead, it actually traps all that heat and any moisture from sweat against your skin. Essentially, think of polyester clothing as a body pressure cooker. Even worse? Polyester can actually trap odors too, so any smells you might omit in your sweat will end up lingering with you all day. That also means you'll end up having to wash your polyester garments more frequently in the summer, or even throw them away after one use, both of which are terrible for the environment.


Instead, swap out your polyester for something more natural, like cotton. There is a range of different cottons you can choose from too, as the fabric is super versatile. Amongst some of the best lightweight versions of cotton for those hot days? Cotton batiste, cotton pique, or pointelle cotton. All of these will keep you much cooler on those scorching days.

Say no to nylon

Nylon is another bad choice for those hot and sweaty days, as it's a fabric that doesn't absorb liquids very well. Because of that, any sweating you do as the mercury rises will stay on your body, which will leave you feeling wet and clammy — not ideal when you're already overheating. Nylon is usually found in things like pantyhose and stockings, so it's a great idea to avoid these in the heat. There are also health risks with wearing clothes that will keep you feeling sweaty for long periods of time. Among some of the biggest dangers according to Insider? The risk of developing a skin condition or skin irritation, clogged pores, and even the potential for developing a fungal infection. Nylon can also be very stiff, so it's more likely just to sit over your body in a similar way to netting, rather than moving naturally to let air flow.


What you'll want to try instead is something in silk. A flowy, light silk garment has the ability to adjust itself to your body temperature to keep you nice and cool in the heat. A silk slip skirt is one of this summer's hottest trends, too!

Stay far away from wool

There's a reason it seems like so many things designed to wear for the winter are made of wool. Because wool isn't very good at conducting heat, the heat that your body gives off becomes trapped within the woolen fibers, keeping you warm.While this is handy during the colder months, wearing anything with wool when the weather heats up is going to leave you an overheated mess. 


A better alternative to wool in the summer is viscose. Viscose is so good in the heat because it's made from very thin fibers that encourage air circulation, making it a very breathable fabric. Not only that, but it's absorbent too (in a good way!) We also love viscose because it's a good washable fabric, which means you can toss it in the wash after a hot, sticky day and know it will still come out looking fresh.

Step away from the Lycra

Though Lycra is a godsend in the activewear world because of the way it clings to the body (so there are no awkward top-rolling down moments during yoga), it's just not great for summer. You'd be forgiven for thinking it is though, seeing as we all tend to get so hot in the gym without an issue. But, although the fabric does have some breathability for sporty clothing, the reason it's so bad for the summer is that it's just so clingy. There's no way for the skin to dry off when sweating. That means sweat will get trapped between your body and the fabric, and you'll start to feel pretty clammy and overheated very quickly. 


Instead of Lycra, try linen. Linen seems to be the go-to fabric when it comes to summer clothing, and that's because it's just so breathable. Linen has more structure than a lot of other materials, so it's not going to be clinging to your body in the way Lycra does. Instead, especially if you go for something a little baggier or oversized, air will be able to circulate inside your clothes, keeping you super cool.

Ditch the denim

Though we can't lie, we do still love a bit of denim in the summer, it's not one to turn to on the hottest of days. While denim shorts are a summer staple, the material (particularly when it's not blended with anything else) will only end up making you hotter. And, in extreme cases, it could even cause health issues. "Denims are ideal for winters and countries that have cold climates. In hot weather they trap heat, leading to several skin related complications including irritation, allergic rashes, contact dermatitis and fungal infections like ringworm," RML Hospital's Dr. Kabir Sardana explained to The Times of India.


For a less risky alternative, chambray is the way to go. Chambray can look very similar to denim, so you're still getting that aesthetic, but it's much more breathable. It's made from lightweight cotton, so you'll get all the cotton benefits as well as the breathability of something like linen. That makes it the ideal option to throw on while you complete your summer to-do list.

Now go forth and be cool!