Summer has finally arrived in the UK, with many parts of the country recording temperatures in the late twenty degrees during a gloriously sunny June spell. While the heatwave has been a welcome change for many sunseekers after months of chilly, grey weather, not everyone copes so well in extremely high temperatures. Sales of fans, paddling pools and even air conditioning units spike when the weather heats up, but there are simpler (and more affordable!) ways to beat the heat.
Whether you’re planning a summer holiday to even warmer shores or simply want to be prepared for when Britain heats up again, we’ve got you covered. Here are four key things you need to know about dressing to stay cool in a heatwave.
Fabric comes first
The experts are generally in agreement when it comes to the best fabrics for high temperatures: organic cotton, linen, and anything natural and woven. These fabrics are highly breathable and comfortable to wear. Steer clear of synthetic fabrics like polyester - as well as being generally regarded as bad for the environment, they also trap heat in and are not breathable like their natural counterparts.
Luckily, you don’t have to go far to find a new summer dress or top that fits the fabric bill: at Hollyblocks, our clothes are made using soft organic cotton and natural non-toxic dyes.
In terms of fit, look for styles that hang slightly off your body and allow air to circulate. Think dresses, skirts, loose shorts and shirts, with optional long sleeves to keep the sun’s harsh rays off your skin.
If the heat is really extreme, GreenMatters recommends wearing cooling clothing, which is specifically designed to keep wearers cool by way of moisture-wicking properties, sun protection or clever technological features. However, for most of us it will be just as efficient - not to mention cheaper and better for the environment - to wear cool clothing in natural fabrics which we already own. Time to dig out that block print cotton dress!
Protect your neck (and head!)
If you travel to a hot country you’ll likely notice people wearing wet towels, ice packs and even fans around their necks. This is because your neck is one of the spots on the body that releases heat and regulates temperature. So if you’re really hot, pop a chilled towel or ice pack on the back of your neck and you may just cool down more quickly!
It also pays to cover your head, especially if the sun is out as well as the heat. Look for a wide-brimmed loose-fitting hat with vents, ideally in pale colour. A straw boater or floppy-brimmed cream number will work with almost any outfit.
Don’t go to the dark side
Bright colours and pastels can not only make you feel more cheerful, but they’re generally a more practical option than dark colours when the mercury rises. Dark hues absorb the sun’s rays, while light colours reflect the sun and can help to keep you cool.
As well as colour, experts recommend keeping the fabric of your clothing lightweight. Pale cotton is sounding better than ever!
Looking for a new pastel print to make your summer wardrobe pop? Take a look at our range of handcrafted block print dresses, tops, skirts and more here.
Sunglasses aren’t just a chic summer fashion statement - they’re crucial for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays which can lead to major diseases. They block out distracting sun rays, which can otherwise create problems when driving, as well as preventing dust and wind from irritating your eyes.
Quite simply, sunglasses are essential at any time of year, and especially during a heatwave! Just make sure when you’re selecting between on-trend frames that your new shades offer full protection against UVA and UVB.
Select your summer staples now
The reality of the warming world is that we will continue to need to adjust and adapt to hotter days and nights. By carefully investing in lightweight, breathable clothing now, you’ll be better prepared for the heatwaves to come - and you’ll look good while doing it!