Keeping Cool In Summer

It’s safe to say this summer has been a bit of a washout so far in the UK. It’s September and we’re meant to have plenty of sunshine, clear blue skies and nice warm weather. Instead we’ve had rain, rain, rain. Some of you lucky people will probably be off on holiday over the next few weeks and no doubt you’re looking forward to some real sunshine. But this does mean you’ll have to give your holiday wardrobe some consideration.

If you’re anything like me you’ll have avoided buying anything too summery so far this year, basically because you don’t need to! But if you’re going somewhere warm like Spain or the south of France, you need to dress appropriately. Choose the wrong colours and fabrics and you’ll spend your holiday feeling like a sweaty mess instead of enjoying the warmth.

To begin, make sure you’ve got plenty of light-coloured clothes. While white reflects light, black absorbs it so it’s not difficult to work out which colour is going to be better in the sun. White camisoles and blouses are light and airy and look great with a pair of denim shorts and your favourite sandals for a cool, laid-back look that’s ideal for daytime when you’re away.

Although black or really deep colours are fine for going out in the evening when the air gets a bit cooler, avoid them when the sun is at its hottest – usually from around lunchtime until mid-afternoon.

The fabrics you wear are also important if you want to stay nice and cool. Obviously avoid anything too heavy and although a pair of denim shorts are a staple holiday item that go with pretty much anything, you don’t want anything heavier than this.

Basically, natural fabrics are cooler than man-made materials and usually mean you will sweat less. Cotton is perfect, so stock up on some nice cool cotton camisoles and blouses that can be teamed with shorts, Capri pants or skirts for both day and night. You can even throw them over your bikini if you need a bit of a cover-up when you’re by the pool.

Linen is another good choice and yes, it is a pain to iron, but it’s nice and cool and is far better than jeans if you want to wear a pair of trousers. Fabrics like nylon, polyester and acrylic should be avoided if possible, as these are synthetic and retain heat – the last thing you need.

Think about the accessories you take with you as well. Obviously a straw hat is a great way to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your head, while the woven material lets plenty of air in. Go for sandals or fabric espadrilles as these will be much cooler than a chunky pair of leather shoes or trainers, while you should try and find a cotton or straw bag. These will be much nicer to carry around than the big leather handbag you usually lug to and from world every day.

It’s a good idea to take a few cardigans or a hoodie with you in case it gets colder when you’re out during the evening, but on the whole just remember – the lighter the better!

  • Image reference – attribution licence

This post was contributed by Sue Geen, a freelance writer specialising in fashion such as maxi dresses and blouses.