Ever wonder what’s the best material to wear for hot sunny days or those chilly nights? Here’s a breakdown of some common fabrics that can help determine what you’ll be wearing tomorrow!
Cotton: Versatile? Yes. Will it keep you dry? No.
Ah, cotton. The friendliest of the materials. It’s soft, breathable–and absorbent. For some reason people have been mislead to believe that cotton “wicks” away moisture. “Absorbing” moisture is not at all the same as “wick away” moisture. Cotton doesn’t wick away anything. It simply absorbs. Drench a cotton shirt in water or your morning coffee and it’ll be soaking wet for quite a while. Ask any fitness guru, outdoor explorer, or any expert who has to stay dry all day and they’ll tell you that cotton is the enemy. Cotton is great for a lot of clothing, just not when you are trying to stay dry.
Polyester: Keeping you dry.
If you want to stay dry, Polyester is where it’s at. Unlike cotton, it actually wicks away moisture. Polyester has low absorbency which allows moisture to evaporate quickly. That’s why most athletic clothing is made with it. Remember, this mostly applies to clothing that has been woven. A polyester shirt will keep you cool and dry, but a faux leather jacket that’s made of polyester will not.
Silk: The silly trickster.
Silk is luxurious, soft, and can be tricky to deal with. The tightness of the weave can vary how light or heavy it is, but one thing for sure is that it becomes particularly bothersome if you start to sweat in it. Our advice? Don’t wear it when it’s hot and humid outside or to the job interview of your life. There is nothing comfortable about clothing clinging to your skin. Also, since the material has a natural shimmer, wet spots are really obvious and stains are nearly impossible to remove. Save silk for special occasions, where there’s adequate air conditioning, or at least wear it with an undershirt.
Denim: All year round.
Denim is everywhere and can be made into anything from jeans to cell phone cases. You can find anything made of the stuff. Denim is great all year round, but it’s cotton based so it can stay wet for quite a while. If you want something a little lighter, look for a blend of materials. Otherwise, your best bet is to feel the heaviness and thickness of the denim to determine how hot or cool you’ll be in that garment.
Leather: It’s used for protection as well as style.
Remember, leather wasn’t always a fashion statement, but simply a rugged material that could take a beating. It’s used by anyone from cowboys, motorcycle groups, and city fashionistas and made into things like shoes, car seats, and exercise equipment. Leather is durable and heavy, but it can be made as stiff or as flexible as you need it to be. It’ll definitely keep you warm, so don’t try to play it off cool in the summer when you’re sweating a storm under your leather jacket.
Rayon/Viscose: Lightweight and breezy.
These materials are perfect for the warmer months because they’re so light. They may not wick away moisture like polyester, but they aren’t as absorbent as cotton. The only issue to really look out for is how the material acts when you wash them. They can usually hold their own in the washer just fine, but it’s the dryer that may affect the size of your garment. We suggest to wash it like you normally would, but hang them up to air dry instead.