What to Wear on a Hot Day: Ultimate Guide to Staying Cool and Stylish in 2023

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what to wear on a hot day

1. Lightweight and Breathable Fabrics for Hot Days

When it comes to staying cool on hot days, the type of fabric you choose can make a big difference. Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics that allow air to circulate and moisture to evaporate quickly. Here are some fabrics that are perfect for hot weather:


Cotton is a natural fabric that is known for its breathability and ability to absorb moisture. It allows air to flow through and keeps you cool by wicking away sweat from your body. Look for garments made from lightweight cotton such as cotton voile or cotton lawn.


Linen is another excellent choice for hot weather as it is highly breathable and absorbs moisture well. It has a loose weave that allows air to circulate freely, keeping you cool and comfortable. Linen also dries quickly, making it ideal for those sweaty summer days.


Rayon is a synthetic fabric made from cellulose fibers derived from wood pulp. It has similar properties to natural fibers like cotton and linen, making it lightweight, breathable, and comfortable in hot weather. Rayon garments often have a silky feel and drape nicely on the body.

2. Colors and Patterns to Keep You Cooler on a Hot Day

The colors and patterns of your clothing can also affect how cool you feel on a hot day. Lighter colors tend to reflect heat while darker colors absorb heat, so choosing lighter shades can help keep you cooler. Here are some tips:

Pastel Colors:

Pastel colors like light blue, pale pink, mint green, or lavender are great choices for hot days as they reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it. These soft hues not only look refreshing but also help to keep you cool by reducing heat absorption.


White is the ultimate color for staying cool in hot weather. It reflects sunlight and prevents heat from being absorbed, keeping you comfortable throughout the day. A white shirt or dress can make a noticeable difference in how cool you feel.

Light-colored Prints:

If you prefer patterns, opt for light-colored prints that have a lot of white or pastel shades mixed in. Floral prints or geometric patterns with lighter backgrounds can add some visual interest to your outfit while still helping to keep you cooler.

3. Choosing Between Loose-Fitting or Tight-Fitting Clothing for Hot Days

When it comes to choosing between loose-fitting or tight-fitting clothing on hot days, there are pros and cons to consider for each option.

Loose-Fitting Clothing:

  • Pros:
    • Better airflow: Loose-fitting clothes allow air to circulate freely around your body, which helps with sweat evaporation and keeps you cooler.
    • Less restrictive: Loose clothing gives you more freedom of movement, making it ideal for outdoor activities or when you want to stay comfortable all day long.
    • Avoids clinginess: Loose garments don’t stick to your skin, preventing that uncomfortable feeling of fabric sticking due to sweat.
  • Cons:
    • Lack of structure: Loose-fitting clothes may lack structure and shape, which might not be suitable for certain occasions where a more polished appearance is desired.
    • Bulkiness: Some loose garments can add bulk to your silhouette, which may not be flattering if you prefer a more streamlined look.

Tight-Fitting Clothing:

  • Pros:
    • Less fabric contact: Tight-fitting clothes have less fabric in contact with your skin, allowing for better sweat evaporation and cooling.
    • Enhanced mobility: Tight-fitting athletic wear can provide compression and support during physical activities while still allowing for a full range of motion.
    • Sleek appearance: Well-fitted clothing can create a polished and put-together look, which may be preferred in certain professional or formal settings.
  • Cons:
    • Potential discomfort: Tight clothing can feel restrictive and uncomfortable, especially when it’s hot outside and you’re sweating.
    • Heat retention: In some cases, tight-fitting fabrics may trap heat against your skin, leading to increased discomfort in hot weather.

4. Recommended Footwear for Staying Comfortable in Hot Weather

Choosing the Right Shoes

When it comes to staying comfortable in hot weather, selecting the right footwear is crucial. Opt for shoes that allow your feet to breathe and prevent excessive sweating. Look for sandals or open-toe shoes made from breathable materials such as leather or canvas. These materials promote air circulation and help keep your feet cool. Additionally, consider choosing shoes with moisture-wicking properties to prevent discomfort caused by sweat.

Protecting Your Feet from the Heat

In hot weather, it’s important to protect your feet from the scorching ground. Avoid walking barefoot on hot surfaces like pavement or sand, as they can cause burns or blisters. Instead, opt for shoes with thick soles that provide insulation against heat transfer. Furthermore, wearing socks made of moisture-wicking fabrics can help absorb sweat and reduce friction between your feet and shoes.

5. Staying Cool and Protected from the Sun’s Harmful Rays

Wearing Sun-Protective Clothing

To stay cool while protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, choose clothing with built-in sun protection. Look for garments labeled with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which indicates their ability to block UV radiation. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants made of tightly woven fabrics offer excellent sun protection without sacrificing breathability.

Using Sunscreen Effectively

In addition to wearing sun-protective clothing, applying sunscreen is essential for safeguarding your skin from UV damage. Select a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher and apply it generously on all exposed areas of skin before heading outdoors. Remember to reapply every two hours or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.

6. Accessories to Stay Cool on a Hot Day

Wide-Brimmed Hats

A wide-brimmed hat is a stylish and practical accessory for staying cool in hot weather. It provides shade for your face, neck, and shoulders, reducing the risk of sunburn and heat-related illnesses. Opt for hats made of breathable materials like straw or cotton to allow air circulation.


Protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare is crucial for both comfort and eye health. Choose sunglasses with 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays. Look for styles that wrap around your face to provide additional coverage and reduce peripheral glare.

Other Cooling Accessories:

  • Portable handheld fans or misting fans
  • Neck cooling towels or bandanas
  • Umbrellas or parasols for shade
  • Cooling gel inserts for hats or clothing

7. Alternatives to Traditional Short-Sleeved Shirts and Shorts for Hot Weather

Breathable Button-Up Shirts

Instead of traditional short-sleeved shirts, consider opting for lightweight button-up shirts made from breathable fabrics like linen or cotton. These shirts allow better airflow and can be worn with rolled-up sleeves for added ventilation.

Breezy Dresses and Skirts

For a feminine alternative to shorts, breezy dresses and skirts are excellent choices. Look for flowy designs made from lightweight materials such as chiffon or cotton blends. These garments allow air circulation while keeping you comfortable in hot weather.

Other Alternatives:

  • Cropped pants or capris
  • Linen trousers or culottes
  • Maxi skirts or dresses
  • Lightweight jumpsuits or rompers

8. Clothing Materials and Styles to Avoid on Scorching Days

Avoid Synthetic Fabrics

Synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon tend to trap heat and moisture, making them uncomfortable choices for hot weather. Instead, opt for natural fibers like cotton or linen, which are breathable and allow air circulation.

Avoid Tight-Fitting Clothes

Wearing tight-fitting clothes can restrict airflow and trap heat against your body, leading to discomfort and excessive sweating. Choose loose-fitting garments that allow for better ventilation and freedom of movement.

Other Styles to Avoid:

  • Dark-colored clothing that absorbs heat
  • Heavy fabrics like wool or velvet
  • Turtlenecks or high-necked tops
  • Skin-tight jeans or leggings

9. Cultural Considerations and Dress Codes for Hot Days in Different Regions or Countries

Research Local Customs and Traditions

When visiting different regions or countries with hot climates, it’s important to respect local customs and dress codes. Research the cultural norms beforehand to ensure you dress appropriately while staying cool. For example, some cultures may require women to cover their shoulders or wear long skirts, while others may have more relaxed dress codes.

Adapting Your Wardrobe with Lightweight Options

To adhere to cultural dress codes while staying comfortable in hot weather, incorporate lightweight options into your wardrobe. Look for modest clothing made from breathable materials that align with local customs. Long-sleeved shirts made of lightweight cotton can provide coverage without sacrificing comfort.

10. Striking a Balance between Staying Cool and Maintaining a Professional Appearance at Work on a Hot Day

Opt for Breathable Fabrics

When dressing professionally in hot weather, choose clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. These materials allow air circulation and help regulate body temperature, keeping you cool while maintaining a polished look.

Consider Lighter Colors

Light-colored clothing reflects sunlight, helping to keep you cooler than dark-colored garments that absorb heat. Opt for lighter shades such as pastels or neutrals when selecting professional attire for hot days.

Tips for Maintaining Professionalism:

  • Choose lightweight blouses or shirts with short sleeves or three-quarter length sleeves
  • Pair tailored shorts with a blouse or blazer for a more casual yet professional look
  • Wear breathable dress pants or skirts made of lightweight fabrics
  • Opt for open-toe shoes that are still appropriate for your workplace

In conclusion, when it comes to dressing for a hot day, it is important to prioritize comfort and breathability. Opt for lightweight and loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton or linen. Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Stay cool and stylish by choosing light colors and avoiding heavy layers.

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