Are T Shirts the Best Choice for Summer?

buffalo-river-oakly-originalsTemperatures are starting to heat up and it’s finally feeling like summer–which means a lot of people will be pulling out specialized summer gear for outdoor activities to keep cool. Are those special microfibers and wicking fabrics really worth it or can you get by with a regular cotton t-shirt?

The answer is it depends on your body.

If you sweat a lot when it’s hot outside and find you’re dripping sweat after just a few minutes, it probably doesn’t matter what you wear. Your body is going to soak through a cotton t-shirt and a tech shirt with wicking equally fast.  You won’t get as much benefit from the special technology as some other people, especially if it’s particularly humid outside. On the other side of the spectrum, if you don’t sweat much, polyester can keep your body heat in and wicking your non-existent sweat away isn’t going to keep you cooler. But if you’re in the happy middle ground, it depends on your preferences.

Cotton absorbs water really readily but also holds onto it longer than other types of fibers, like wool or synthetics. This can act to your advantage and keep you cool with a wet t-shirt or make you feel like you’re drowning in a sticky shirt. If it’s really humid outside, we recommend going with a tech shirt that will wick away your sweat. But if it’s dryer outside, a cotton shirt is just fine.

One benefit of synthetic material shirts is they often provide sun protection that cotton t-shirts don’t. If you’re outside under direct sunlight, it’s wise to slather on sunscreen all over your body if you’re wearing a regular cotton t-shirt. If sunscreen makes you hot because it traps in your body heat, it might be better for you to wear a wicking shirt instead.

All in all, it really depends on your personal preferences as well as your body’s responses to hot weather. If you’re unsure what’s best for you, we can help you figure out how to stay comfortable in hot weather with the right clothing.

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