Summer survival tips: fabrics 101

If patience is a virtue it seems that those who waited for full-on Summer days have been greatly rewarded. The sun is finally out in all its fiery glory and social media is flooding with pictures of car thermometers and comments about how unfair life is to those who have to work during Summer months. Granted, hot sunny days should be spent at the pool/beach in nothing but swim shorts and with a Mai Tai on your hand; however, few are the ones who can perpetuate this lifestyle for 3 ou 4 months in a row...

Meaning, you'll have to get back to work under the suffocating heat. Unless you work from home or in an extremely laid back corporate environment, chances are you'll have to dress the part even if that doesn't mean going overly formal. As your reliable shorts, t-shirts and short sleeve shirts are usually out of the equation, the narrow range of remaining options will require you to up your fabric game. Without further ado, here are the top Summer fabric alternatives you should be aiming for:


Probably the most versatile of all fabrics, cotton is a natural fiber known for its breathability and moisture absorption abilities. As it can be found in endless variations of weights and weaves, go for a lightweight version such as:

  • Poplin
    Poplin is one of the best bets to keep you cool when wearing a shirt. It's lightweight, wrinkly and breathable and has a distinct Summer feel to it.
    • Seersucker
      One of the most easily recognisable and renowned Summer alternatives, seersucker features a wrinkled effect caused by differentiated shrinkage of the fibers that comprise it. 
      • Madras
        Madras was originally worn in India and features a trademark checked patterned like no other. It can come in different weights and weaves so make sure you choose one suited for the climate you live in.



        Linen is likely the top of mind when it comes to warm weather fabrics and righfully so. Again, like cotton, it is breathable and absorbs moisture and can also be found in a variety of weights. One of its most charming traits is the way it wrinkles with wear, almost giving it life - it is also the reason why most mean wrongly avoid it. 


        While it's mostly associated with Winter and heavy layers, wool can actually be extremely comfortable during Summer if you choose the right weave and weight. Fresco and tropical wools are your best options here.

        Of course, fabric choice can only do so much for you, but it's definitely a huge factor when it comes to comfort. Other tips include going for light colored fabrics which better reflect sunlight and opting for looser fitting garments.