Discover more about the best colours for hot days here.
The best colour to wear on hot days
What is the best colour to wear on a hot day? You may think you already know the answer to this, but read our latest blog article to find out what the experts say on the subject–we bet their findings will surprise you.
Which colours will keep you coolest?
Every fashion-conscious woman knows that, when summer comes, it’s time to reach into your wardrobe for your favourite pieces in white and other light colours to make sure you don’t get overheated as things start to warm up.
The reason we do this is that we have learned from an early age that white clothing has the property of reflecting light and dissipating heat, so you stay cooler and more comfortable in hot weather. On the other hand, black-coloured clothes will absorb more light and, as a result, they will retain heat and make you feel hotter.
So logically your go-to wardrobe during the summer months will be clothes in white and other lighter shades that will keep you feeling fresher for longer. But will they?
Debunking some colour myths: the answer is black and white
So far, the “white keeps you cool” theory all makes sense. But we have been wondering, given this basic science, why many people in hot climates wear so much black, rather than going for white? After all, white clothes would seem to be a much more practical and comfortable choice. If you’ve ever holidayed in the Mediterranean, for example, you regularly see older, traditionally-dressed ladies dressed all in black. Surely they must be sweltering, especially during the blisteringly hot summer months that are typical in this part of the world.
With this in mind, it was interesting to read an article called “Why do Bedouins wear black robes in hot deserts?” by Amiram Shkolnik and his colleagues published in the journal “Nature” back in 1980. As part of this study, four scientists conducted an experiment in the Negev desert to test how different coloured clothing affected the body temperature of the wearer, including whether black or white robes were more effective at keeping people cool.
By measuring the heat levels of material when exposed to the sun, the team proved that black robes do indeed absorb more heat than white. However, what was really interesting was that these scientists also measured the temperature that was actually generated by the robe and transmitted onto the wearer’s skin. And these results were surprising. It turns out that in terms of regulating heat, there was no difference at all between the black robe and the white one. The wearer’s body temperature was identical, no matter what colour their clothing was.
So the scientific evidence suggests that whatever colour clothing you choose to wear on a summer’s day, the end result will be just the same in terms of how cool you will stay when wearing it. So you are free to take your pick!
Taking your lead from Mother Nature
But whatever the science says, on a beautiful warm day, it somehow just seems so much nicer to follow the up-beat fashion lead of Mother Nature. With dazzling blue skies and gorgeous golden sunshine, maybe we just feel more inspired to wear something lighter and brighter to spread the cheery vibe all around us.
And of course with some many beautiful new summer pieces available at this time of year, it’s hard to resist splashing out on a splash of colour.
For a casual look, separates are so versatile. We love easy-breezy blouses in natural fabrics that are a great way to protect your skin from the sun while keeping you comfortable in the heat. They are also really hard-working pieces and can be combined with shorts, skirts and trousers for a whole variety of different warm-weather looks.
But our all-time favourite hot-weather look has to be the summer dress for the ultimate in feminine elegance. And there are currently so many beautiful styles and prints to choose from, including this season’s must-have florals in a glorious array of different colour combinations. Dress up a shift dress with strappy sandals and a small clutch for the evening, or go for laid-back chic during the day with flats and a roomy tote for stashing your beach wear and a towel.
The principles of dressing for hot weather
But of course when it comes to keeping your cool, colour isn’t the only factor when dressing for glorious summer days. Your whole outfit needs to see you through the day in comfort and style and for this, the fabric and cut of your clothing will play major roles too.
- Fabrics: during long, hot days your go-to choices are lightweight, breathable materials such as cotton and linen. With their natural fibres they will encourage more airflow around your body and promote a more efficient cooling effect.
- Cut: the other essential to bear in mind when putting together your summer wardrobe is the best shapes to wear in hot weather. This is not the time for tight-fitting clothing, which can feel restrictive and uncomfortable as the mercury rises. Instead opt for lightly-tailored pieces that skim rather than hug your curves, or better still channel your inner flower child and go for relaxed-fitting, flowing shapes for maximum comfort.
So when you are updating your wardrobe for summer, there are so many options to choose from. Be pretty in pink, go bold with bright primary colours or opt for classic white to breeze through the hot weather in style.