The Top 5 Breathable Summer Fabrics You’ll Want in Your Closet

The Top 5 Breathable Summer Fabrics You’ll Want in Your Closet
Post by Trunk Club
June 17, 2019

Summer weather can be a gift and a curse. Well, mostly a gift, but it does come with a challenge. What do you wear to stay cool when the temps are so hot? And let’s say that “nothing” isn’t an option in this case. To help combat the summer sweats, we’ve selected five fabrics you’ll want to have in your closet to keep you from getting too toasty.


Linen

It’s more than flowy, white outfits on the beach.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Linen is a natural fabric lover’s dream. It’s created from the fibers of the flax plant and it’s 30 percent stronger than cotton. It also gets softer the more you wear and wash it, which makes linen an excellent long term investment.



HOW IT KEEPS YOU COOL:

When made of linen, blouses and dresses get an extra boost of airiness, and jackets and blazers become the lightest versions of themselves. But the linen-loving doesn’t stop there—it’s super easy to find pants, shorts, and jumpsuits in the same material for breathable head-to-toe looks.


THE LINEN LOOK:

Because it’s such a lightweight fabric, linen wrinkles easily, but we think that’s part of its charm. If you like a crisp start to your day, feel free to iron your items in the morning—but no need to stress about keeping them that way.


CARE TIP:

Linen holds up the best when you air dry it. You can still tumble dry if you need to, but remove the items while they’re still slightly damp.

Seersucker

Find your own swatch of southern charm.

THE LOOK:

Seersucker’s signature texture is created by a special weaving technique. Some of the strands are pulled tighter than the others, giving it that special puckered texture we all know. What that means for you is that you’ll never have to iron it.


WHY IT'S GREAT FOR SUMMER:

The puckering lifts much of the fabric up and away from your skin and allows air to flow through it. For the same reason, seersucker dries incredibly quickly, which is perfect if you battle with perspiration.


HOW TO WEAR IT:

We love flowy, multicolor seersucker dresses—they have summertime written all over them. It’s also commonly used for skirts, tops, and as details on accessories. If your office requires a jacket, seersucker is a lightweight option.


FABRIC FACT:

Seersucker originates from the Persian words for “milk” and “sugar.” Milk to represent the smooth textures, and sugar to represent the lifted bumps in the pattern.


Chambray

Everything you love about denim with better ventilation.

WHAT IS IT:

Chambray is often confused for denim, and it makes sense—they’re super similar. Both are made of cotton fibers and are often dyed shades of blue, but denim has a more complex weave and is made with twice the amount of strands. Translation: Chambray is softer and weighs less.


HOW TO WEAR IT:

Chambray is great on its own, but it’s also an excellent layering piece. This fabric is likely what you see when someone is wearing a “denim shirt” or “denim dress.”


WHERE TO WEAR IT:

Chambray is a breezy, summer look that’s perfect for casual-leaning occasions, but you can also dress it up to make it professional. Tuck a chambray shirt into a skirt or pair of wide-leg cropped pants for Casual Friday at work.


FABRIC FACT:

Chambray can be pronounced either “sham-bray” or “shaum-bray.” Pick whichever one feels right to you.

Cotton

It’s the fan favorite for a reason.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Cotton is one of those universal fabrics you can find anywhere—everything from blouses to pants to jumpsuits and undergarments can be made of cotton. Another great feature? Cotton is a totally natural fiber, so it’s perfect if you have sensitive skin.


WHY IT'S LIGHT:

Since it’s a natural fiber, cotton allows for air flow, keeping you cool and dry—two very important things to have in a summer fabric. Consider overheating and odor-stained clothing to be a problem of the past.


HOW TO WEAR IT:

Any way that feels right. We mentioned before that cotton is incredibly easy to find, so it’s no sweat to fit it into your wardrobe. That being said, we love a roomy blouse, wide-leg pants, or a jumpsuit with flowy features for summer.


CARE TIP:

Cotton is prone to shrinking, so wash your pieces in cold water and let them air dry. If you need to toss your clothes in the dryer, make sure to keep the heat on low.

Performance

What to wear while you’re working up a sweat.

WHAT IS IT:

Performance fabrics are usually made from polyester, nylon, or other synthetic fibers. But don’t go running when you hear the word “synthetic,” because these types of fabric are specially developed to be quick-drying. Some even have antimicrobial properties.


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, sports bra, or leggings, keeping you cool during your workout. In contrast, the natural fibers of cotton absorb sweat and take more time to dry.


HOW TO WEAR IT:

Performance fabrics make excellent workout clothes. When you see funky printed leggings or anything that boasts being fast-drying, you’re looking at performance fabrics. But they’re great outside the gym, too. Find hats, shorts, tops, and even dresses made from the same moisture-wicking materials.


CARE TIP: 

When washing performance fabrics, skip the fabric softeners or dryer sheets. The softening ingredients can clog your clothing and interfere with the fast-drying and odor-fighting properties.

As we head into summer months, now’s the perfect time to refresh our summer wardrobes with the best fabrics for the season. If you have any questions about shopping, fabrics, or any kind of styling advice, 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.