Okay, here’s where the Merchandiser in me comes out. But hey, I promise it’s for a good reason.
One of my roles as a Merchandiser is to think of some “big ideas” that our brand should stand for. As of late (based on what’s in the market), “performance” is one of the most thrown-around words. Now, when you think of performance, you probably think of active. But thanks to the athleisure movement a few years ago, performance features are now part of our every day lives!
When we’re looking at introducing new summer fabrics into our line, we ALWAYS make sure there’s some sort of performance feature that’s relevant to the season we’re designing into. Whether that’s stretch, moisture wicking, or breathable (three of our biggest performance features), we want to make sure we call things out on almost every garment we make.
Okay, Dana, get to the point…
I turn into a different person in the summer. I honestly HATE the heat. Especially when I’m basically having a heat stroke in the subway and cannot shed another layer without being arrested for indecent exposure. I just don’t do well when I’m hot (and that’s why Allie and I are such good friends: she feels the same way.)
Let’s talk about this situation: You’re browsing online and you see the cutest piece in the entire world and immediately buy. Without even looking at the content. Sure, I’m guilty of this. And I definitely have paid the price. So you better believe I’m now very conscious about what type of clothes I’m putting on my body when it’s going to be 80 degrees with a humidity level of 99%. And I highly encourage you to do the same!
Summer Fabrics: What you’re going to want to wear…
COTTON KNIT | Cotton knits are really a no-brainer. Although it’s more famously known for it’s comfort, cotton is also very breathable. Cotton typically allows for air to move freely throughout the fabric. This means your body will remain “cooler” than if you were wearing a more restricting fabric.
COTTON WOVEN | Let’s take chambray for example. Chambray is cotton, and it differs from a cotton knit because of the way the yarns are put together. Just like the cotton knit, a cotton woven will be one of the more breathable fabrics you’ll be able to wear. Chambray is also typically a finer yarn, so it’ll be even more breathable than if you were just using regular cotton yarns.
LINEN | Summer is made for linen. Linen is typically very light and is woven loosely compared to other fabrics/yarns. So whether you’re wearing a linen knit t-shirt or a linen dress, you’re guaranteed to be cooler. Linen is kinda sorta too good to be true: Linen gets wrinkled very easily and shrinks. A LOT. But I guess that’s a price most people are willing to pay!
COTTON AND LINEN BLENDS | Okay, so here’s where “performance” comes in. Synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon, rayon, etc.) are the fabrics that most performance lines and athleisure lines use. A lot of the time they have inherent features: like breathability – and also respond well to fabric finishes: like moisture wicking. Moisture wicking is a MUST HAVE property when it’s humid. It’s actually cool to think that the fabric you’re wearing will literally wick away the sweat that you’re body is producing. Right?!
And if you sweat a lot (like me), you should stay away from:
SYNTHETIC FABRICS | If polyester, nylon, or rayon aren’t blended with cotton or linen…stay away! I mean, come on – imagine wearing a polyester shirt on a ridiculously hot summer day? Ugh, just thinking about that freaks me out.
SILK | I think this one may be a given, but even though silk is a natural fiber, it definitely doesn’t behave well in the heat. Oh and it also retains odors. NO THANK YOU!
So there you have it. A little bit about what type of fabrics work best for the summer (and what absolutely doesn’t).
This particular dress is an extremely lightweight – almost gauzy – blend (viscose, polyester to be exact). And although it was nice and breezy in the beginning, I noticed the hotter it gets (aka the more I sweat), the more moisture it retained. Not cool. But here’s a great example of me sacrificing fabric for style. I think this dress is too freakin’ adorable. So I wore it around Salem and suffered for a bit to get these photos and have breakfast. I’ve also been so into button-front pieces, which is why I was so drawn to this one! I almost wish I would have found this dress sooner, I totally would have picked it up over this bardot dress.
And shocker…I’m wearing a hat.
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