Summers are merciless and ruthless. There has been no technological advancement in devising a way to beat the heat, completely. We have to work our way out using sun block creams, umbrellas and – clothes by diligently using the right fabrics and colours.
In our previous series we talked about getting our wardrobe summer ready colour wise- taking the series forward here is how you can work your wardrobe fabric wise. It is important to choice our summer fabrics intelligently for they can make our break our day. Thanks to the fashion world, the summer fabric options are not only limited to cotton or linen. There is an array of textile blends, man-made fabrics that can make summers bearable in a jiffy.
Read on to know what fabrics to grab while you ready your wardrobe and also know how you can style them:
Cotton is one of the oldest known fabric, which is believed to be have first spun by the Indus Valley Civilization in 4,000 BC and encountered a jump start in the production of cotton fabric post Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793. What makes cotton a natural go-to option in beating the heat is its breathable quality owing to the porous fibres. The fibres are hollow in the centre which leads to quick absorption and release of perspiration- letting the fabric keep the body cool. Cotton also happens to be one of the most versatile fabric- it accepts all kinds of dye, can be blended with almost any other fabric. Cotton varieties and weaves include flannel, gauze, gingham, muslin, sailcloth, sateen, terry cloth and velveteen.
The fashion souk has always had a soft corner for the fabric and there is no dearth of ways of styling cotton.
Benefit: Fabric is embedded with airy loops allowing proper air circulation and makes the heat bearable. The magic moisture absorption properties protects from the unbearable heat. Cotton is durable and easy to wash.
Styling: Men can adorn crisp cotton shirts in summery peaches teamed with cool and comfortable cotton trousers for a formal look. Other options include, cotton kurtas, tees, and cotton joggers. Women have endless options when it comes to cotton- cotton office shirts with cotton trousers or skirts, cotton salwar suits with phulkari, chikan kari and other embroidery pattern, cotton jumpsuits and the list is endless.
A natural fabric, linen is derived from the flax plant. Linen is expensive than cotton, as flax plants need much care and attention during its growth and the fibres extracted lack elasticity making it difficult to weave. Linen is thought to be oldest used fabric to be ever used. Traces of linen have been found in Swiss lake dwellings as early as 8,000 BC, but the earliest documented use of the fabric wasn’t found until ancient Greece. The fabric was most popularly known to be used in wrapping mummies in ancient Egypt. Star qualities of linen include durability and breathability. It is stronger than cotton and is a better conductor of heat than its cotton counterpart. Linen is incredibly lightweight and easy to tend to.
Benefits: Linen is like an air conditioner of a fabric, it keeps the body cool and absorbs sweat. The fabric is prone to wrinkles but they can be straightened out by sprinkling water and smoothening using hands.
Styling: For men, solid pastel linen shirts are AM to PM wear and are apt from office to play hours. Linen trousers are also a viable fashionable option when it comes to making a style statement. Women can opt for linen palazzo pants, saarees , salwar suits, linen maxi skirts and tunics.
Khadi blossomed in India during the Swadeshi movement. The very Indian fabric that khadi is coarse and is equipped to keep you cool in this unbearable heat. When the heat becomes too much bear, you can always bank on khadi for relief. Also known as the ‘Mahatma Yarn’, khadi has taken the fashion world by storm! Khadi’s marriage with other fabrics like silk and cotton has made it a style go-to option.
Benefits: It is a completely Indian fabric it is more economical and has its own unique texture which perfectly channels raw and rustic feel.
Styling: Khadi kurtas and Nehru jackets are a must have for men in summers. Khadi can be fashioned as shirts, pyjamas and even trousers. Women can adorn khadi as sarees, salwar suits, and tunics. Boho printed khadi palazzo pants, maxi skirts and look cool as a cucumber.
Rayon is an extremely comfortable fabric to wear in summers. It is a man made fabric made out of wood pulp, cellulose, cotton and other natural synthetics. It has a glossy finish to it resembling silk but is very inexpensive as compared to it.
Benefits: Rayon magically evaporates moisture or sweat and remains dry making the wearer comfortable and sweat free. The fabric can flow according to body and yet not stick to it- that is another wow quality to it.
Styling: Men can sport a casual look with printed rayon shirts teaming it up with chinos or khaki. For a must stylized look, men can opt for rayon shirts with cargo pants and floaters. Women can wear floral printed rayon kurtis, tops, tunics or summer dresses teaming them up with denims and look cool as a breeze.
Chambray has an illusion of denim but feels softer and lighter. It is an uber cool fabric to flaunt on a sunny day. Its softness and lightweight makes it extremely comfortable to wear. Chambray is also known to absorb sweat leaving you dry and cool.
Benefits: Chambray is a woven textile that is lightweight, breathable and a long lasting fabric. One may notice that with every wash, chambray becomes even softer and will become your favourite soft and comfortable fabric this summer.
Styling: Men can wear a button down chambray shirt with denims or cotton trousers. Women can wear chambray skirts, pants or hot pants. Chambray summer dresses to look fabulous.
How about a fabric that is cool, doesn’t need ironing and looks rich at the same time? Seersucker is a puckered, lightweight and preppy fabric- it feels smooth and coarse at the same time.
Benefits: The fabric is circulation friendly and provides respite on sweaty days. The fabric doesn’t stick to body and feels very comfortable.
Styling: Seersucker blazers over chambray shirts is the perfect option for men in Summers while women can choose from seersucker dresses, skirts, solid tops, shorts and swimsuits.