A Summer Cheat Sheet for Staying Cool While Dressing Sharp
No more sweating through your work clothes.
It’s a hot one out there, gents.
Hotter than Georgia asphalt. Hotter than the hinges of Hades’ gates. Hotter than, to paraphrase the great Ghostface Killah, “Suzanne Somers in a Su-dan summer.”
And a truly savvy cat knows that, after quality deodorant, a carefully selected ensemble is his only line of defense against a miserable, sweaty, mumbling-like-a-psychopath existence.
Selecting said ensemble though, can be tricky: What works? What doesn’t? Your answers lie here, oh pedigreed chums, with our six essential tips on dressing cool — along with a few of our favorite pieces for your wardrobe-building pleasure.
Consider it your license to chill.
Stick to Natural Fibers
They may not boast the space-age gimcrackery proffered by performance fabrics, but natural fibers like lightweight cotton and linen are the most breathable. And while they do absorb moisture, they don’t retain odor once they’re dry. Synthetics do, often even after washing. Don’t stress a blend, though — a little stretch in the mix never hurt anything.
Check Your Weight
Regardless of the fabric, lighter weaves are what you’re looking for. Think a pair of chambray chinos vs. selvedge denim — which would you rather be outside in right now? Lighter the weight, the less moisture it holds, the faster it dries. Hooray science!
Check Your Fit, Too
Keeping things loose and breezy, with some air between your skin and the fabric, is the name of the game. So look for relaxed fits, embrace the summer drape and avoid anything overly tight or structured.
Keep an Eye on Quality
Cheap linen is scratchy and wrinkles like crazy. Cheap cottons are less soft and breathable. Cheap suits often feature high percentages of polyester and rayon, which trap heat and moisture. Long story short, a little extra spend goes a long way.
Don’t Fear Wool
Wearing wool in the summer heat sounds about as intuitive as an Antarctic speedo, but in truth today’s lightweight wools (merino, in particular) are soft, moisture wicking and available in lightweight, summer-worthy styles. This lesson applies to suiting as well: high-quality, lightweight suiting wool is great for warm weather, especially when blended with cotton, linen or silk.
Think Outside the Sartorial Box
When it comes to staying cool, the battle extends past your core outfit elements. Keep an eye out for breezy shoe options. Ditch the backpack or shoulder bag (the harbingers of sweaty back) in favor or a tote or brief. Throw a hat into the mix.
And don’t forget to wear sunscreen.