The Best Fabrics for Summer Will Help You Chill

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Finally (finally!!!) it's summer. Goodbye, wool and polyester. Hello, um, what?

When the weather starts heating up and wool, wool blends and tightly woven jersey become unbearable to think about, much less wear, you need new fabric options.

If you're considering a material, hold it in your hands and judge its heft and feel: If it's light and airy, swipe right.

Breathability matters even more. Natural fibers are best (we'll get to that in a sec). Loose weaves and fine threads also work well.

Color matters too; lighter hues reflect heat better than darker ones.

When it's time to pick a pattern, remember that loose shapes keep air circulating around your body better than tight clothes do. Think  floaty, flirty dresses , loose trousers , A-line silhouettes ...

Now, let's get down to the essentials: the best fabrics for summer!

1. Linen

Linen is THE summer fabric: light, comfortable, breathable and with some texture to make it interesting to the touch. It also dries very fast when wet or damp.

The only con is its tendency to wrinkle and crease. But some linens are now woven tightly enough to stay fairly crisp no matter what. Give your iron the summer off.

2. Cotton

While linen is Most Likely to Succeed, cotton is Most Popular. I would guess this is the fabric you use the most for your summer projects (or maybe for all your projects!). I know I do.

Poplin, voile, eyelet, Swiss dotted, madras: Cotton is available in so many different weights. Plus, it's affordable and comfy. It absorbs moisture very well and dries almost as fast as linen. But it's more durable than linen and can be machine-washed, no problem.

4. Rayon

Rayon is a man-made material, but it's produced from natural cellulose that has been chemically processed to create fibers. It absorbs humidity, so it's great for summer. The only negative is that it's not as durable as other materials, and needs to be be dry-cleaned.

5. Silk

Yup, silk. Tightly woven silk clothes retain heat and moisture, but the loosely woven kind is light and airy enough to wear even on a steamy August day. That said, silk is a fragile material and doesn't love when you sweat all over it. (Honestly, what does?) But keep your cool and you'll be fine.

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The Best Fabrics for Summer Will Help You Chill