As summer starts to kick in, bringing the mercury to a rolling boil and discouraging even mad dogs from leaving the shade, it might be tempting to forswear clothes completely. But the better (and more legal move) is to instead wear things that actually cool you down. We’re not talking shirts with built-in air conditioning (although they exist – thank you Japan). Rather, you should switch to fabrics that move heat away from your body, rather than trapping it against your skin. “They’re generally natural,” says Thread stylist Brooke Philips, “and full of tiny holes, so air can flow in and out.”

They’re also often absorbent, to wick sweat away from your skin, and lightweight, which means there’s no thermal effect. “That makes them more pleasant to wear because you’re not restricted by your clothing,” says Brooke. “It makes dressing for summer much easier, because you’re in clothes that are designed for the heat.”

Merino

Wool might not be the first fabric you reach for in summer, but merino is actually ideal when it’s warm because it absorbs moisture and promotes evaporation. That has the dual effect of cooling you down and stopping your clothes sticking to you. “It’s perfect for things that sit against your skin, like polos and t-shirts,” says Brooke, “but also for tailoring, because it’s lighter than traditional wools, but still looks smart.”

Linen

The go-to for tropical environments, if you examine linen under a microscope you’ll see it’s holier than a Swiss cheese. Which means air moves freely around your body. “It just feels very summery,” says Brooke. “Add a linen shirt or blazer and any outfit suddenly feels like you’re on holiday.” The one downside of linen is how quickly it creases, which means it’s not one for smarter offices. “But linen blends can be, because they stay sharp longer but still feel cool.”

Seersucker

The uniform of gentlemen in the Deep South, seersucker’s natural pucker and wrinkle means it stands away from your body, so hot air doesn’t get trapped. Traditionally it comes in something-and-white stripes – navy, emerald green and barbershop red are the classics – but modern versions tend to be tonal, and therefore a shade subtler. “Blue-on-blue seersucker is less fusty,” says Brooke. “It’s great in suits, shirts or even accessories, like ties.”

Suede

For us, summer is all about suede shoes. “Unlike tanned leather, suede still has its natural holes, which let your feet breathe,” says Brooke. There’s a reason that the desert boot – a shoe crafted with hot climates in mind – is made of suede. “Suede is also a great way to add some texture to outfits and make your whole look feel a bit more considered.”

 

Photographed: Sunspel Merino Sweater (£140)Orlebar Brown Navy Merino Polo (£175)Sunspel Beige Linen Harrington Jacket (£295)Gant Green Linen Shirt (£100)Hudson Grey Suede Shoes (£115)Padmore & Barnes Brown Suede Shoes (£125)Orlebar Brown Green Seersucker Shirt (£175)NN07 Navy Seersucker Overshirt (£155)Kestin Hare Seersucker Beige Trousers (£159)Armor-Lux Linen-Blend Blue Striped T-Shirt (£49)Gant Woven Belt (£55)