10 Pieces of Lightweight Clothing To Keep You Cool All Summer Long
It’s hot out there. These breathable shirts, pants, sneakers, and jackets will keep you looking — and feeling — cool.
Summer is here and so is the heat, which means one defining theme should dominate your style choice: staying cool. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your look. It simply means that you should take some extra care in seeking out clothing options that are lightweight, breathable, and still look great.
Now, there’s a difference between straightforward summer style essentials and the sort of clothing that’s made for the long haul as the thermostat ascends ever higher. Classic textiles like linen, cotton, and bamboo blends are your new best friends (if they weren’t already), and there’s an even more souped-up breed of lightweight menswear picks (some made with tech-savvy fabric) geared to help you beat the heat.
From quick-dry caps and airy, loose weave shirts to stretchy, UPF 50 + pants and stylish footwear with standout breathability, here are ten items to keep you cool this season.
Mack Weldon’s boxer briefs and tees are some of our favorite year-round basics. They’re well-made, and wonderfully breathable. This sporty quick-dry cap offers the same performance-minded attention. Smart ventilation zones, a mesh sweatband, and lightweight performance fabric make it especially ideal for summer.
It makes perfect sense that Lululemon, always with an eye toward moisture-wicking gear, would deliver a cap in a four-way stretch ripstop fabric. It’s water-repellent and built with a mesh sweatband, so while it could function as a workout cap, we’re of the mind that it’s a new essential for days when it’s simply too darn hot out. $29, lululemon.com
Based in Alabama, by way of New York, Billy Reid is designer who knows a thing or two about creating clothes for hot, humid weather. There’s an easygoing polish to this linen shirt, which has almost an instant cooling effect. Pair it with stretch chinos at the office or twill shorts on hot weekends under a blazing sun.
Linen is certainly a miracle fiber found naturally in nature, but sometimes, extreme heat calls for a new way to fight back. One tactic? Performance fabric that still offers plenty of polish. Rhone’s Commuter Shirt uses wrinkle-repellent, luxurious Italian material that moves with you and boasts anti-odor treatment. Despite its performance bonafides, it is 100 percent machine washable.
For days when the sun simply won’t quit, pants with a remarkable level of solar protection (try UPF 50+) are precisely what the doctor ordered. Free Fly designed this straight-leg fit in a range of neutral colors to suit every style (and every day of the week), and the poly-spandex blend is plenty stretchy and lightweight. Well over 500 five-star reviews prove these pants mean business.
If you can’t help but lean into the cut of a traditional five-pocket pant in spite of the heat, Huckberry’s famed Flint and Tinder line is your best friend. They boast the design of a jean but the polished appeal of a chino, sure, but the cotton-spandex blend is what makes them a worthwhile heat-beating option. And between cuts like Straight, Tapered and Slim, you’re sure to find a pair with a reliable yet breezy fit.
From day hikes and backyard bonfires to errands around town, you very well might find yourself in need of a lightweight jacket. Ten Thousand's stylish, water- and wind-resistant option is a great choice. For those in-between days (a cool morning, followed by a breezy day), it’s an indispensable, casual closet staple – before, during and after training sessions.
This shirt, modeled after a timeless Chief Petty Officer silhouette, bridges the gap between casual and rugged, formal and easy going. Linen does the heavy lifting, making it easy enough to weaer over, say, a short sleeved henley or atop a second linen shirt. It’s a jacket that you’ll wear for years and years.