Why do we wear light clothes in summer?

Written by cindi pearce
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Why do we wear light clothes in summer?
Wear white or light coloured clothing when it is hot (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Light-coloured clothing reflects light and dark-coloured clothing absorbs it. The more heat that is absorbed the hotter the clothing is and the hotter you are. Furthermore, light-coloured clothing looks softer and cooler.

Colour and Weave

Along with its colour, the weave of your clothing will determine how hot or cold you are. Clothing should be constructed so that the heat escapes from the body rather than trapped. Cotton and linen are the ideal conductors of heat, which is why summer clothing is usually made from these materials. A weave that is open allows the free circulation of air, making this clothing much cooler than something constructed of firm, close weaves. When air can’t escape, you will perspire and your clothing will get soaked with sweat.

Why do we wear light clothes in summer?
Heat escapes from linen. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Avoid Dark Colors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, light-coloured, lightweight and loosefitting clothing are the top choice for hot weather. Cotton is breathable material. Linen absorbs sweat and then quickly dries. When the heat index creeps up, choose cotton or linen fabric in light colours. If you opt for dark clothing, it will absorbs the heat of the sun and actually turn into heat. If you wear black, expect to get brutally hot because it’s the darkest colour of all.

Why do we wear light clothes in summer?
Expect to get hot if you wear black on a hot, sunny day. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Light Colors and Cooling

Light-coloured, lightweight and loosefitting clothes are the best for promoting the absorption of sweat. You stay cooler because more air passes over your body. Wearing a Iight-coloured hat will further limit sun exposure and keep you cooler.

Why do we wear light clothes in summer?
Stay cool in a light summer dress. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)


If you do this experiment you can see why light coloured clothing is preferable in the summer: Place a dark piece of cloth and a light piece of cloth on a piece of ice that is in bright sunlight. The dark piece of cloth will melt into the ice quicker than the white one. This shows that dark colours absorb more light and produce more heat. Light coloured clothing affords more protection from the sun. White clothes, in particular, produce a desired psychological effect because white is associated with coolness.

Why do we wear light clothes in summer?
Experiment with ice. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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