OK, so it’s really freakin’ hot and it’s only June. It’s not gonna cool off any time soon. You need hot weather clothing to cool off and keep Mr. Sun from cooking your skin – something you’ll regret later in life if you’re not careful.

So here’s the question: what’s the best hot weather clothing to wear when the shit gets hot?

The quick answer to that is to go with light fabrics that cover your skin. Yup, we know, when the sun is out, the guns come out. Yet as much as the world needs to see your massive biceps, they’re not conducive to cooling you off – to say nothing about heat stroke and other pleasantries that can be painful at best and lethal at worst.

You’re a guy and want the best Men’s Pants for Hot Weather? Ditch the Jeans and try Chinos. Looking for other clothes to wear in extremely hot weather? Pull up a chair and let’s chat about your wardrobe and how it helps or hurts when the sun is a-blazin’.

Hot Weather Clothing Tips

Wear Light Colors – Dark colors absorb heat. Light colors reflect it. You want the latter. Opt for white, tan or khaki-coloured clothes, be they shirts, shorts or pants.

Wear Loose and Light Fabrics – Avoid heavy clothes in hot weather. Go for light fabrics that breathe well instead. Nylon and polyester, both staples of activewear are good choices. We also like bamboo fabric because it’s light, breathes well and feels like poetry against your skin in the heat of summer.

The Abenaki Cross-Trainer is a bamboo work out shirt. Photo by Steve Hutchings

Cotton is OK – Sometimes – Many outdoor folks will tell you not to wear cotton in heat or at the gym because it’s a heavy fabric that absorbs moisture. Cotton dries slowly too. That can be dangerous on a wet or cold day, and even lead to hypothermia if you’re out in the bush

But here’s the thing about cotton…

On a hot day, that moisture can also help cool you off. For some people, it feels good in the heat of summer.

So, should you wear cotton on a hot day?

If you’re OK with damp fabric against your skin, temporarily, and it doesn’t chafe, you’re probably fine. Be sure to bring a change of clothes for later, however, because you don’t want to be wearing damp cotton at night or in a colder environment.

And please wash that shirt before you wear it again. Please, PLEASE…

Open Vents – Some summer clothes have vents. Slather on some sunscreen. Then, open them.

Wear UPF-Rated Clothing – All clothing protects you from the sun. But some does that better than others. Just like your sunscreen, clothes are rated for their UPF protection with ratings like UPF15, UPF30 and UPF50. Here’s a good read to learn more about which clothes offer the best sun protection. Three cheers for REI.

Cover Your Skin – Cover up in summer. Do that with long-sleeve, loose fitting clothes – especially if your skin is sensitive.

Wear a Hat – While you’re covering up, wear a hat. Caps are good, but full-brimmed hats are best. Heck, to really stand out, wear an Asian rice hat. They’re great for keeping the head cool in hot weather, and you’ll look like Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Thunderbolts not included.

Extreme Hot Weather Clothing should always include a wide-brimmed hat. Photo Credit/Much Epic Karma to: Kiril Dobrev on Unsplash.com

Keep Your Neck Cool – You’ve covered your skin and your head. Do the same for your neck, with a bandana or cloth dunked in water and placed around your neck until the water cools.

Wear Proper Socks – Don’t wear cotton socks in hot weather. Wool or synthetic socks are fine provided they’re comfortable and fit well. Too big? They can chafe. Too small? They can cause sock slippage and pressure points.

Once again, REI comes to the rescue with a totally epic article on how to prevent and treat blisters – something you’ll have to contend with as a hiker or extreme athlete.

More Tips For Keeping Cool

The Australians have pretty much mastered the art of slip, slop, slap in the face of extreme heat,

That’s SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on UPF50 sunscreen and SLAP on a hat, by the way, in an effort to prevent skin cancer, which can come back and bite you later in life.

To that I’ll add it’s important to stay hydrated , whether that’s with a hydration pack or squirt bottle.

Hot weather clothing can keep you cool. Add a little water and sunscreen to the equation and you’re in better shape to ride the long, hot days of summer.