April 23, 2014

Cool Fabric Looks

When someone remarks that you’re “looking hot”, it should be a compliment, but in the midst of a Florida summer, if it’s a reference to your rising body temperature or melting makeup, you might need some help keeping your cool by choosing your fabrics carefully.
 
Although there are some amazing high-tech, manmade fabrics for sports and active wear, in general, natural fibers are much more effective at keeping you cool in high temperatures. 



Cotton is the most widely used natural fiber: Its versatility makes it as perfect for T-shirts and knits as it is for crisp, woven shirts. It also takes dye extremely well, so vibrant colors can be achieved as well as bright whites. 

Linen – Nothing looks and feels better in high heat and humidity than this fabulous fabric. Unfortunately, the price you pay for those good looks is that it creases—a lot. Heavier-weight linens (used in jackets and suits) tend to crease less than lighter weights, but if the only creases you find acceptable are the vertical ones on a pair of pants, it’s probably not for you.



Seersucker – This wonderful cotton fabric has been woven in such a way as to produce a wrinkled texture and appearance with distinctive stripes or checks. The uneven texture causes the fabric to be held slightly away from the skin when worn, allowing good heat dissipation and air circulation. An added benefit is that seersucker doesn’t require pressing. Registering high on looks and low on maintenance, that’s what I call the best of both worlds!
 
“Hanalei” cotton shirt from Anthropologie; Linen blazer, and blue cotton/hemp dress from Eileen Fisher; Seersucker skirt from J. Crew; “Marisa” seersucker dress from Lilly Pulitzer.
 
Cheryl Lampard
Style Matters International
(239 298 6560)