Weathering With Clothes
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
While it is said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, it’s also true that you are what you wear. Your choice of clothes is one of the best ways you can showcase who you are and what kind of a person people can expect when approaching you.
However, that’s not the only use that our clothes have. Choosing the right clothes will not only allow you to make use of them longer, but you would get some added comforts to your daily use as well. If you’re out and about looking for some wardrobe replacements to rock-out on while outside in 2021, here are some tips to help you get the best value and utility from your fashion.
All about that comfort
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an outfit based on utility is their comfort. In a country like Sri Lanka where the tropical humidity and heat can be troublesome for even the best of us, thermal comfort is something we have to give some extra attention to.
Since humans are the only species that wears clothes, you should probably know why we do so. It’s mainly because we don’t have a nice, soft layer of fur like other mammals do. What little body-hair we have, doesn’t do much to protect us from the elements.
An important thing that fur does is protect out body heat from escaping during cold weather. Between the layer of fur, air is trapped and forms into an air pocket between the outside and our skin. This is why we get goose bumps when we are cold. It is a natural reaction among mammals. Our body tries to create an air pocket between the outside world and our skin, to trap our body heat by making the hair on our skin stand on edge.
As you might have noticed, the key here is air circulation. When the amount of air circulating over your skin is lower, you feel warmer. The more air that circulates, the easier it is to release heat from the body.
Hot and cold
Because the type of clothing you wear affects how well the air can circulate over your skin, the right piece of clothing can heavily impact your thermal comfort while wearing them.
In colder climates, wear clothing that traps air between your body and the outside such as jackets or sweaters. Having more layers means there are more pockets of air, meaning that less amounts of heat escape our bodies, keeping us toasty and warm even while out in the cold.
The exact opposite implies when braving through warm, tropical weather. The more air circulates over our skin, the easier it is for sweat to evaporate and release out body heat. When in warm weather, choose lightweight, thin clothing that allow air circulation to keep yourself cooler.
It seems colour has a slight but noticeable effect as well. Wear brighter colours in warmer weather and opt for darker colours when it’s cooler. Darker colours absorb more heat, with black being the colour that absorbs the most. White is the exact opposite, reflecting all wavelengths of visible light and absorbing nothing, meaning it absorbs the least amount of heat. The darker the colour, the more heat it will absorb.
We’re only scratching the surface when it comes to choosing the best, most utilitarian outfit for the occasion and weather. However, the two rules mentioned above can easily help you get started in finding that new outfit that is not only gorgeous, but also easy to wear during those upcoming warm, humid months.