The 5 Most Breathable Summer Fabrics for Men

The 5 Most Breathable Summer Fabrics for Men
Post by Trunk Club
June 17, 2019

With great heat comes great sweat. Summertime plays host to some of our favorite events, and the last thing you want to worry about is sweating through your clothes. It’s a hard battle to fight given the temperatures summer has us up against, so wearing the right clothes to keep everything aired out is important. Below, we’re highlighting five summer fabrics to keep you cool everywhere from the office to the gym.

Cotton

The vanilla ice cream of fabrics. It’s reliable, a crowd-pleaser, and just what you need on a hot day.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

What’s great about cotton is how versatile it is. Just think about it—T-shirts, polos, socks, shorts, pretty much everything. Because it’s a natural fiber, cotton is incredibly comfortable and breathable.


HOW IT KEEPS YOU COOL:

Cotton doesn’t trap heat or odor like lots of synthetic fabrics do, which means less trips to the laundry room. And if you ask us, any time spent not doing laundry is time well spent.



HOW TO WEAR IT:

However you want! We mentioned how many items are available in cotton, so it’s very possible to go cotton-on-cotton-on-cotton for many of your casual summer outfits. It’s an easy fabric to come by, so you’ll have no trouble finding lots of options.


CARE TIP:

If you sweat through cotton T-shirts, feel free to throw them in the wash after each wear. But if your cotton shorts or chinos don’t look (or smell) dirty, we’re giving you the OK to wear them multiple times between washes.



Linen

There’s a reason you might be thinking of flowy, white outfits on the beach when you hear “linen.” That’s because it’s an excellent fabric for hot, sunny weather.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Just like cotton, linen is also entirely natural, created from the fibers of the flax plant. It’s 30 percent stronger than cotton, too, and gets softer the more you wear and wash it.


WHY IT'S EASY:

Don’t worry about keeping your linen items looking pressed, because this fabric is known for its wrinkled, “worn-in” look. After your first pass under the iron or steamer, just let it do its thing. 



WHERE TO WEAR IT:

Save linen for formal or special situations like vacation or outdoor summer events. Unless your office is considerably casual, the lived-in look may not be appropriate for professional settings.


CARE TIP:

Avoid tumble drying your linen completely. Remove your items from the dryer when they’re slightly damp, then air dry or iron them immediately to finish them off.


Seersucker

From suits to shorts to separates, seersucker is the move for a clean-cut summer look.

THE LOOK:

You probably recognize seersucker by its unique puckered texture. So put down the iron! That’s what it’s supposed to look like. Translation: fuss-free shirts, pants, and jackets for all your summer get-togethers.


HOW IT KEEPS YOU COOL:

The puckering happens because it’s woven in a way that bunches some of the fabric up and away from your skin. All that empty space between your skin and the material lets air flow through the fabric to make seersucker ultra-breathable and quick drying.


WHERE TO WEAR IT:

Seersucker is both light and durable, making it ideal for work shirts as well as pants. Also, consider seersucker for your summer suit fabric. You’ll be glad you did when those afternoon weddings and parties come around.


FABRIC FACT:

Legend has it, the man who introduced the first seersucker suit swam in the ocean wearing it, hung it up to dry, and wore it to a banquet later that night.


Chambray 

(Pronounced “sham-bray’ or “shaum-bray,” depending on how fancy you are.) It’s commonly confused with denim.

WHAT IS IT:

Denim’s breezy cousin. While the two are similar, denim is denser and sturdier, making chambray the lighter, more airy version. So when you see a “denim shirt”, in reality, you’re likely seeing chambray.


WHY IT'S GREAT FOR SUMMER:

First and foremost, it’s a cotton weave (our first summer fabric on the list), and we love cotton for summer. Second, its woven using half the amount of strands as denim, which makes it thinner and less coarse.


HOW TO WEAR IT:

Button-down chambray shirts are great for layering as well as wearing on their own—both short-sleeves and long-sleeves are breathable enough for summer. Chambray is also fair game for jackets and pants when you’re looking to keep things light.


STYLE TIP:

Still hesitant about going denim-on-denim? A chambray shirt with jeans is a way to ease into it.

Performance

It’s time to retire your old college tees for some intentional athletic gear.

WHAT IS IT:

Performance fabrics are usually made from polyester, nylon, or other synthetic fibers. They’re specially developed to resist moisture, be quick-drying, and some even have antimicrobial properties. That’s a pretty hardworking fabric.


HOW IT KEEPS YOU DRY:

The material wicks moisture and sweat away from your body where it can evaporate on the surface of your shirt, shorts, or pants, keeping you cool during your workout.


HOW TO WEAR IT:

At the gym, of course, but performance fabrics also make good undershirts and layering tees. Some brands even make polos and work shirts from the same materials. 


FABRIC FACT:

For workouts, choose a performance fabric over a cotton tee. Although cotton is great for everyday wear, it’s super absorbent, so sweat takes longer to dry.


If there’s any nugget of wisdom we want you to take away, it’s to look at the tags on clothing when you shop. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen breathe really well, but don’t be scared of synthetics because those serve a purpose, too. If you have any questions about shopping or filling out your summer closet, a stylist would love to chat with you.

At Trunk Club, our stylists help people build their best wardrobes by discovering what fits their body, their budget, and their personal style.