Shopping for a summer wardrobe can be tricky. Style choices are simple: it’s either short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts, normal-length long pants for men and shorter pants for women.
The trick is how to look chic while staying cool in the hot, sticky weather.
To achieve both style and cool effects, one essential is a summer fabric that uses the latest innovative technologies to keep the body temperature down.
Some basic fabrics that give wearers a cool feeling include linen, fabric made from the fibers of flax plants; the lightweight seersucker and various summer blends of fabrics with cotton, polyester, nylon, acrylic and spandex. Natural bamboo fibers, mohair and wool blends are also popular choices for cool and chic summer clothing.
On top of the traditional summer fabrics, clothing brands are developing innovative ways to help wearers keep cool.
Summer jacket by Rogatis (Rogatis)
Men’s suit brand Rogatis added an extra cooling effect to its lightweight summer suits. The suit is processed with a special ice effect called “Icis Processing,” according to the design team.
“Particles like Xylitol in the fabric help emit body heat fast and bounce the sunlight from the fabric’s surface,” said So Hyun-soo, chief designer of Rogatis. So explained that when tested in a lab with temperatures of 32-34 degrees Celsius and humidity of 30-40 percent ― a typical summer environment for an office space ― those wearing the suit reported body temperatures 1-1.3 degrees Celsius lower than those in standard suits.
The suit is lighter and uses less lining than a typical suit. “Usually a lot of lining is attached to maintain the suit’s structure, but the summer suits have half or even less of the inner lining,” So said.
Summer suit collection by Ermenegildo Zegna (Ermenegildo Zegna)
Italian menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna incorporated innovative fabric technologies to develop “cooling effect” fabrics. Blending 15-micron superfine wool, silk and cool linen creates a “crossover fabric” that is lightweight, breathable and soft.
Denim, an all-time favorite fabric, can be an annoying choice for summer clothes especially in humid weather. Perspiration sticks to the skin, generating discomfort.
Denim brand Jambangee released Coolmax Jeans, combining Invista’s Coolmax fabric and denim. Widely used in outdoor clothing, Coolmax fabric absorbs and evaporates sweat effectively. Blending it with denim keeps one’s body cool and dry.
“Coolmax fabric keeps a wearer dry by absorbing and spreading moisture out to enhance evaporative drying,” said Park Ji-hyun, designer at Jambangee. “Usually the more Coolmax fabrics are blended, the more expensive the denim gets.”
Anti-bug shorts made with permethrin-treated fabric by PAT (PAT)
Casual clothing brand PAT went further to not just keep the wearer cool, but also keep away annoying mosquitoes. Its anti-bug shorts made with Permethrin-treated fabric keep summer insects away. According to the design lab, the insect-repellent fabric helps to prevent contact with biting insects as it is tested to kill them within 20 minutes of making contact with the fabric surface. The permethrin-treated fabric is also acknowledged by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be safe for children and pregnant women to wear.
“The pants will be an ideal choice for those who enjoy summer outdoor activities. Simply wearing them will keep insects away,” said a member of the design team.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org