Illustration by Ren Rader
Texas, and much of the southern U.S., doesn’t have the luxury of experiencing all four seasons within a calendar year. When it feels like summer for eight months of the year, the heat becomes inescapable and suffocating — while staying in the cool A.C. and out of the sun is ideal for pushing through the hotter months, it isn’t always possible when you have classes, club meetings and study groups all over campus to attend. Dressing for the heat can be tricky, but here are some ways to keep yourself from passing out as you take your 5 p.m. walk from Mabee to the library.
Wear loose-fitting clothing.
Clothes that slightly hang off of your body are great for helping keep cool when the heat feels inescapable. However, avoid wearing anything too oversized, as all the extra fabric will trap you in warmth and do more harm than good.
Dress yourself in cotton and linen.
Both cotton and linen are lightweight, breathable fabrics with the ability to make the summer heat far more tolerable. Rayon is ideal for dry heat, but it doesn’t absorb sweat. Blended fabrics like the ones used in athletic wear are great for wicking sweat and helping you stay comfortable in generally humid climates. Avoid polyester and vinyl clothing, which aren’t breathable and will make the heat intolerable.
Avoid tight-fitting denim.
Sure, it’s difficult to avoid wearing denim shorts. But mix it up by wearing athletic or cotton-blend shorts — both of which fend off moisture and make long walks far more bearable. If you’re looking for less sun exposure, lightweight and loose-fitting pants are always stylish and go-tos for the heat.
Stick to the classic white t-shirt.
As a general tip, avoid wearing dark colors since they attract heat and will make it harder for you to stay cool under the sun. A white T-shirt is easy to style with anything and doesn’t leave you feeling like you “wasted an outfit” when you throw a jacket or sweatshirt over it in a cold Chapman classroom. The men’s clothing section at most retailers will have packs of white T-shirts, making it easy to stock up on the essentials.
Most importantly, stay hydrated.
There’s nothing quite like expecting to be refreshed and instead taking a sip of warm, slightly funky-tasting water from your plastic water bottle. Insulated, stainless steel bottles are great for summer months because they work to maintain the temperatures of both warm and cool liquids. Join the trendy Hydroflask family! Or if you don’t feel like spending upwards of $40 on a water bottle, big-box stores like Target carry water bottles of similar style for anywhere between $8 to $20. Being hydrated doesn’t have to break the bank.