What are the best clothes, fabrics to wear to stay cool in the summer heat?

Heat-proof your wardrobe with these sweat-free fabrics

Summer is great and all, but it can be tough trying to project a certain look of polish, when the weather starts playing havoc with your sweat glands Photograph: Next

Summer is great and all, but it can be tough trying to project a certain look of polish, when the weather starts playing havoc with your sweat glands Photograph: Next

 

Summer is great and all, but it can be tough trying to project a certain look of polish, when the weather starts playing havoc with your sweat glands.

As temperatures soars, yours needn’t. The key to successful looking smart and stylish minus the sweat patches in the current heatwave is possible, and it doesn’t involve stripping off and exposing skin. Rather, it’s all about clever fabric choices that you can lean on when the mercury is rising. Breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton, linen and satin are great for keeping you cool, while still remaining heavy on style.

Don’t sweat the small (or big) stuff with our guide to the best fabrics for summer.

Chambray

If you don’t want to give up your denim habit in the heat of the summer, swap out the heavyweight non-stretchy fabric for a lighter alternative. Enter chambray, denim’s more breathable cousin for summer. A lightweight cloth woven with dark shades like indigo, there’s no need to pour yourself into your go-to skinny jeans. Your summer denim sweat days are done.

Chambray trousers, €45, Oasis
Chambray trousers, €45, Oasis

Cotton
Well known for its breathability, there’s a reason why so many summer styles are cotton based. One downside to the natural fabric is that it creases easily and is slightly on the casual side. To smarten it up opt for a cotton-polyester blend. The combination means you get a fabric that is both breathable and sweat-resistant.

Men’s cotton blazer, €425, Eleventy, Brown Thomas
Men’s cotton blazer, €425, Eleventy, Brown Thomas

Linen
The quintessential summer cloth, linen gets a bad rep thanks to notions of dishevelment and crinkling. But with new breeds of tighter-weave linens and linen-blends, you can now wear the loose, absorbent ethical fabric slightly less crumple-free.

Linen dress, €90, Monsoon
Linen dress, €90, Monsoon
Linen-mix dress, €84 Warehouse
Linen-mix dress, €84 Warehouse

Seersucker
Breathable, fashion and wrinkle-free, a sister fabric of cotton, the puckering effect of seersucker counterbalances the need for ironing while working as an effective heat circulator. It’s the go-to for shirts, blazers and shorts that balance laid-back, preppy and polish.  

Men’s seersucker swim shorts, €90, Ralph Lauren, Arnotts
Men’s seersucker swim shorts, €90, Ralph Lauren, Arnotts

Satin

Lightweight, dressy and adjusting to your body temperatures, the glossy weave of silk works for summer occasion-wear dressing. While it ticks the style boxes, it’s not the most absorbent or breathable fabric, darker hues will help so to avoid visible sweat stains on sticky-days. 

Satin skirt, €69, Arket
Satin skirt, €69, Arket

Jersey

Flexible, ultra-light and drapey, a stretch jersey fabric straddles elegance and comfort seamlessly making it the ideal for hot weather. Blended with cotton, it is lightweight but hardwearing working for breezy dresses, as well as cover-ups and jumpers for chiller evenings.

Jersey dress, €59, Cos
Jersey dress, €59, Cos
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