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  • Alicia McCaslin

Dressing for the Heat?

Katie: I am going to an outdoor wedding in the south in the middle of July. It’s going to be hot! Is there a fabric or color choice I should look for in a dress to keep me cool but also to mask any sweating?

Alicia: This type of event calls for light weight fabrics that breathe. Our bodies are naturally designed to cool us down with creating moisture (sweat) but if the moisture cannot evaporate or be absorbed, we’re left to feeling hot and bothered. Certain fabrics allow for airflow and others will not only trap air but repel moisture. Polyester, being a synthetic fiber, is something to avoid. “Synthetic fibers tend to be water-repellent; they allow sweat to build up, reducing evaporation, and causing discomfort and irritation.” ~ from WiseGeek.

Cotton, linen and rayon are going to be my suggestions. Rayon is made from a natural cellulose (plant) and has all of the properties for high humidity areas…absorbs water, allows for airflow, and is comfortable to wear. One drawback is that is is more fragile and can wear quickly in the laundry. There is a form of rayon called high-wet modulus (HWM) that is sturdier in fiber strength and may be machine washed. Another piece of advice is to take a page from your science book and wear light colored clothing that will reflect heat. Pastels or light colored florals would be a great option. Lastly, keep it loose. Anything on your body is going feel warm…elastic waist, self-belt, narrow openings. Look for something loose fitting that allows for maximum airflow.

Oh, one more thing…bring a handheld fan (and not the battery operated kind!). The bride may choose to offer these but how chic to pull a fan out of your clutch and create a little breeze if the air is nothing but still. It’s a southern thing!

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