By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Most of us are stuck at home with the ongoing pandemic situation. While we’re all doing our best to stay safe and ‘flatten the curve’, why not take some of your time to go through your wardrobe and do some rearrangement. While there are plenty of tips and suggestions on how to go at this, one of my best recommendations is to organise your wardrobe by season. By season, I mean the various climates that we all have to brave through each year in this country; hot and humid, cold and wet, and everything in between. Your outfits have to not only look good, but be comfortable, functional and practical as well. Wearing a sweater in the middle of a heatwave isn’t the smartest thing to do, no matter how good you would look in it. By having your wardrobe organised according to climate, you’ll always have a comfortable outfit, ready for any climate your day would be. Since we are in the warmer months of the year already, the outfits you would need ready are ones that are light, breathable and don’t leave your clothes clinging on to your skin, damp with sweat. Which is why we have compiled some of the best fabrics you should have in your collection when trying to beat the heat.
Natural vs synthetic
In the barest of sense, clothes are woven fibres that create material. Back in the day, the only source of fibres used for manufacturing clothing was natural. However, with the sophistication of technology, synthetic materials are a huge part of the textile industry and are very widely used. Needless to say, synthetic is never the best choice because of how harmful they are to the environment when manufacturing and even when discarded. Also, because synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester and acrylic trap in heat and have little-to-no ability to absorb sweat, they’ll leave you very uncomfortable under the mid-day sun when you wear them. It’s best to save those clothes for times where it’s a lot cooler.
Not only is cotton breathable and lightweight, but it’s also low cost and very easy to find. Cotton fabrics are perfect for hot, humid weather. It absorbs moisture, and helps cool the body as the sweat evaporates. However, there are some drawbacks. Mainly the fact that wearing light colours could reveal all the sweat your cotton outfit has absorbed, so stick to darker colours and patterns. There is also shrinkage and the fact that ironing might not help a lot to keep wrinkles away. Many clothes come with a mix of cotton and polyester, to reduce such drawbacks, which is why you should always check the blend of materials. There will usually be a label on your clothes that show how much of the two materials are used.
If you don’t want to go through all that, I highly recommend you have a collection of linen clothing instead. They’re a cool and breathable type of fabric, and it wicks out any sweat from your body, evaporating to help you cool down. Besides, linen is one of the classiest materials of casual-wear there is, and a good linen outfit can easily be worn almost anywhere. It won’t stick on your body like cotton does though, and although wrinkles are a thing, some people like some lines on their linen. Chambray Denim is not the most comfortable material when it’s hot outside, so chambray comes to the rescue. Think of this fabric as a type of lighter denim. You get a similar look, without the heavy fabric making you sweat.
Yes, you read it right. Bamboo is quickly becoming a popular source of clothing. Because of how fast it grows, bamboo is easy to source and unlike cotton, doesn’t need a lot of care and chemicals to grow. The process of turning bamboo fibre into material is still not the most eco-friendly of all processes, but it is still a great source of natural material for clothing that breathes, is lightweight and cool to the skin. It’s also why there’s a whole movement towards socks made out of this material as well. With all of us taking care to avoid catching or spreading the infection, why not take the extra time to prepare for when you can go out and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Organise your outfits and prepare for warm and humid days with these materials and I’m sure you’ll have a comfortably glamourous time. You could also try them at home as work-fromhome clothes.