Beat the heat: Five tips to stay cool and stylish this summer


Staying cool in the summer and dressing modestly can be a challenge for BYU students because of their aim to adhere to the Honor Code and other religious practices. 

As temperatures rise and summer approaches, it’s time to swap out warm winter clothes for cool summer clothes, or maybe even go shopping.

Below are five tips to enjoy soaking up the summer sun without all the sweat.

Tip 1: Wear loose clothing

It’s no secret that when a person gets hot, they sweat. The main function of sweat “is to control body temperature,” according to Better Health.

The most efficient way this can be done is through air blowing against the skin, causing sweat to evaporate faster which cools down the body.

This means that the looser clothes fit, the cooler a person will feel. 

A classic oversized T-shirt will do the job just fine, but sometimes that can be a little boring. Try looking for loose T-shirts with a little extra detail, a ruffled sleeve or fun pattern can add a lot to an outfit.

When choosing pants, look for wide leg, loose fitting or baggy style pants.

Men and women summer fashion. Loose clothing can help the body control its temperature. (Dara Layton)

Tip 2: Look for light colors

During the summer months, it’s best to stay away from darker colors such as black.

It is a scientific fact that dark colors absorb more solar energy than light colors do. That solar energy is then converted into heat. The darker clothes are, the hotter they can get. 

Summer colors are summer colors for a reason. Look for white and pastel colors to stay cool.

A variety of pastel colors. Light colors reflect sunlight better than darker colors. (

Tip 3: Choose the right fabric

Different fabrics are made for different temperatures. Thick fabrics such as wool, fleece and thick cotton are made for cooler weather, not the hot summer months.

Choose fabrics that are lightweight, breathable, moisture wicking and quick drying. Linen is extremely breathable, making it a good option for those humid summer months. 

Linen is also “a comfortable material for summer because of its high moisture absorptivity,” Jintu Fan, professor of fiber science at Cornell University, explained.

Cotton can be a good option as well, as long as it is thin. Cotton is soft, lightweight and breathable, making it a comfortable option to preventing overheating.

Another good fabric choice is bamboo, which may surprise some people. Bamboo is a highly breathable and moisture wicking fabric, making it a great option for summer.

Men and women summer fashion. Choosing the right fabric can help you stay cool under the hot summer sun. (Dara Layton)

Tip 4: Keep your hair up

For those with long hair, another way to beat the heat is to put it up. Examples of easy, out of the way hairstyles include braids, ponytails, messy buns and claw clips.

This allows more airflow to reach the back of the neck, helping to keep body temperature down.

Summer hairstyle options for women. Getting your hair out of the way allows for more airflow to the back of the neck. (Dara Layton)

Tip 5: Wear sandals

Last but not least, wear open-toe shoes.

“Feet are at the end of our limbs and don’t have much muscle (which produces heat) which means that they cool down much more than other regions of the body,” Jim Cotter, professor of sports and science at the University of Otago, said.

Keeping those toes out in the open can help the body stay cool.

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