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Clothing suggestions for hot humid sunny weather outdoor work  RSS feed

 
Posts: 18
Location: Abingdon, VA
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There must be a best option for clothing to wear on hot humid sunny days while working outside. I'm not looking for style points here, and I don't want to go shirtless (bugs, sunburn, sticky sunblock, thorns, etc.). So far, I have been opting for loose-fitting airy pants with an old long-sleeved cotton blend button down white shirt (with the collar cut off). I like that, with this outfit, I don't have to use a sunblock, that my skin is protected, etc. but it still is certainly less comfortable than going shirtless with shorts. Boots can get hot too, like my favorite Muck boots, so I'll sometimes wear Keen sandals with socks or not. I almost always wear a broad brimmed straw hat with down sloping brim and a pair of safety glasses--keeps the sun off my neck and seems to keep the swarm of gnats hovering above the hat instead of in my eyes and face. My grandfather worked hot Chicago summers in the mosquito abatement field, and apparently they would soak their t-shirts in water, put them on until they dried, and then soak them again. I seem to get soaked enough from my perspiration.

Of course, there's the option of doing outdoor work early morning and late evening, but that's not always ideal--when you have to get something done on the only dry day, for example.

I wish I knew more about what different cultures have used over the centuries.

Have you found the perfect clothing for such weather? I'd be glad to hear about it.
 
pollinator
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It sounds like you're already doing about the best you can within the constraint of our American culture, but have you considered doing what people in arid regions in other parts of the world do? For example, a long, light-colored and lightweight tunic, kaftan or robe-type thing (called a thwab in Arabic) that allows air to circulate around your legs and body? (Actually, there is evidence that black may be a better color than white for summer. It seems to defy common sense, but here is a quick, simple explanation should you want to try a black, bedouin-style robe https://io9.gizmodo.com/5903956/the-physics-that-explain-why-you-should-wear-black-this-summer.
Then, you can keep wearing your wide-brimmed hat if you like (it's a great way to keep sun off your face and neck)

OR

Wear one of these


OR

Go whole-hog into desert dress and wear a Shemagh (which can be tied and worn in so many ways ... this is only one way to do it)
 
David Mitchell
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Location: Abingdon, VA
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Thanks for those ideas, Deb.

The physics on black clothing was new to me, and the link at the bottom of that link (StraightDope) gives even more of the physics, suggesting that in a windy location, black is better, since it absorbs body heat and then is able to transmit it via convection into the passing air. But if the air is relatively still, black just hangs on to the heat. It is worth a try.

I might try a shemagh scarf, just to see how it feels. Just seems like it would get hot and sweaty pretty darn quick, but people have been wearing them for ages, I suppose. On the other hand, I don't have blowing sand here.

(I noticed you're in SW Missouri; I used to work in Springfield, MO.)
 
Deb Stephens
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David Mitchell wrote:
I might try a shemagh scarf, just to see how it feels. Just seems like it would get hot and sweaty pretty darn quick, but people have been wearing them for ages, I suppose. On the other hand, I don't have blowing sand here.

(I noticed you're in SW Missouri; I used to work in Springfield, MO.)



You don't have to buy one if you do. Just grab an old cotton sheet and cut a 44" square out of it (hem or not as you please or fashion dictates). The cheapest and lightest weight white ones work best. And don't forget that you can get them wet before tying on if it's really hot!

As for Springfield ... small world! I live just south of there about 45 miles.
 
Posts: 148
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Hey David,

In my corner of Africa, people go for light and airy cotton clothing. Personally, I wear a wet turban to work outside. It feels awesome and stays wet pretty long. I wrap it so the tail hangs down the back and covers the neck.  And yes, sandals.

Wetting your shirt is WAY cooler than letting it soak in sweat. It also helps with hydration, since your body doesn't have to sweat as much.

Happy working!

 
David Mitchell
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Thanks, Nathaneal.

I should really try a wet turban, but I have no idea how to tie it, unless it is the same as the above post, referring to a shemagh.

Do you happen to have a picture of how you tie that?

Good thoughts on the wet shirt. Thanks.
 
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I have been wearing black long sleeve shirts for many years  here in the deep South.  And catching lots of grief from people who dont understand.  haha  This post has me wondering, do you think wearing a white cotton layer over my shirt would be a good idea to reflect the heat from the sun?
 
Nathanael Szobody
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David,

I'm in the bush right now, and my Internet isn't good enough to upload video. But when I go to the capital in a month or so I'll try to remember to record a video to show how I tie a work turban.
 
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I'm in Djibouti right now.  I'd recommend khaki pants, light cotton longsleeve shirt, bandana or a shemagh.  Sandals if appropriate, low top slip ons like Keens if you have to go steel toe.  How much of SW Asia and Africa are sporting sandals?  Pretty big majority.

The synthetics look better if you have to sell something or appear like in court,  (I don't get by in this world on my looks) and most of you don't either; so for normal context I'd go cotton 1940's look.
 
David Mitchell
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I have been wearing black long sleeve shirts for many years  here in the deep South.  And catching lots of grief from people who dont understand.  haha  This post has me wondering, do you think wearing a white cotton layer over my shirt would be a good idea to reflect the heat from the sun?



I'll definitely try out the black long sleeve at least once.

I would think that an extra layer of white on top of black would defeat the effect of convection of heat from the black.

Ideally, there would be a material that is like a one-way mirror, letting radiated heat out but reflecting all light from outside.

Less complex than that would be a material that is black on the inside and white on the outside, but that might mess with the convection process too.

Thanks for your input.

 
David Mitchell
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I'm in the bush right now, and my Internet isn't good enough to upload video. But when I go to the capital in a month or so I'll try to remember to record a video to show how I tie a work turban.



Thanks much Nathanael. Be safe.
 
David Mitchell
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Post Today 5:44:20 AM     Subject: Clothing suggestions for hot humid sunny weather outdoor work
I'm in Djibouti right now.  I'd recommend khaki pants, light cotton longsleeve shirt, bandana or a shemagh.  Sandals if appropriate, low top slip ons like Keens if you have to go steel toe.  How much of SW Asia and Africa are sporting sandals?  Pretty big majority.



Thanks, Jim. I appreciate the input.

With the sandals, working in the soil, the problem I run into is constantly getting dirt and pebbles in them, so I will often wear heavy duty socks with them. Any tips on that issue? Are there sandal designs that are better for preventing the debris from getting in.
 
David Mitchell
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I have been wearing black long sleeve shirts for many years  here in the deep South.



Do you think these are good to try, brews? Thanks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KBZSQ64/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 
Deb Stephens
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David Mitchell wrote:With the sandals, working in the soil, the problem I run into is constantly getting dirt and pebbles in them, so I will often wear heavy duty socks with them. Any tips on that issue? Are there sandal designs that are better for preventing the debris from getting in.



Have you tried Crocs (or if you're like me, the knock-off brands which are exactly the same but much cheaper)? It's pretty much all I wear. They're roomy inside so let air circulate around your feet. They're "rubber" so don't mind mud or water. And you can slip them on and off easily if you do happen to get a rock in your shoe. In fact, I think they were originally made with gardeners in mind (although I wear them everywhere).
 
Nathanael Szobody
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David Mitchell wrote:
With the sandals, working in the soil, the problem I run into is constantly getting dirt and pebbles in them, so I will often wear heavy duty socks with them. Any tips on that issue? Are there sandal designs that are better for preventing the debris from getting in.



You could try a different brand. Here most people use flip-flops, and they don't seem to catch stuff as much. But whether it's flip-flops or sandals don't hesitate to kick them off for some chores. Here people plow barefoot, for instance, otherwise they would constantly be battling dirt in the shoes. Also, it extends the life of them.
 
Posts: 313
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David Mitchell wrote:

I have been wearing black long sleeve shirts for many years  here in the deep South.



Do you think these are good to try, brews? Thanks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KBZSQ64/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



I'm near the Great Lakes, high humidity and high temps.
That link looks like the new wicking fabric tech that's been around a few years. Simply astonishing how well it works even in a humid climate.  I no longer fear those days. They still suck, but I don't dread them.
 
David Mitchell
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I'm near the Great Lakes, high humidity and high temps.
That link looks like the new wicking fabric tech that's been around a few years. Simply astonishing how well it works even in a humid climate.  I no longer fear those days. They still suck, but I don't dread them.



Good to hear that, Roy. I've ordered some already! Hoping to start a new phase in life...
 
Roy Hinkley
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The first one I got as a gift, it's the best and been trying to find a lower cost one that works as well.  http://www.coolcanuck.ca/apparel/golf/golf%20shirts   Logo says Coolcore fabric, maybe search that.

Tried others with mixed results. They can't be big sellers, everything I bought before is a dead link except for the link I posted.

Amazon "coolcore"
https://www.amazon.com/Coolcore/b/ref=w_bl_sl_ap_ap_web_10007840011?ie=UTF8&node=10007840011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Coolcore
 
brews wain
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David Mitchell wrote:

I have been wearing black long sleeve shirts for many years  here in the deep South.



Do you think these are good to try, brews? Thanks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KBZSQ64/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Since you ask, No.  I wear Dickies twill button up. Loose fitting. Great material, if you get a smudge or something on it, it just brushes off.
 
Posts: 44
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Military surplus desert clothes work well for me in Texas, especially pants. I will buy any nations surplus clothing except USA because I haven't served in the military.

Desert clothing made for military use is tough, light, and designed for high temp environments. There are a lot of overpriced sellers out there. A little effort with a search engine can find great deals online. A good local surplus store can be great resource.

 
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I think you're about right on everything but the hat!

Maybe it's because I'm used to wearing it everyday, but it is very comfortable, easy to wash, and durable. There is a nice gap inside to get some air flow too.  I'm good in this outfit until about 120F, after that I'm in a boiler room or something and all bets are off.
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Ok, I'm not working...
 
Jim Wineteer
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David Mitchell wrote:


Post Today 5:44:20 AM     Subject: Clothing suggestions for hot humid sunny weather outdoor work
I'm in Djibouti right now.  I'd recommend khaki pants, light cotton longsleeve shirt, bandana or a shemagh.  Sandals if appropriate, low top slip ons like Keens if you have to go steel toe.  How much of SW Asia and Africa are sporting sandals?  Pretty big majority.



Thanks, Jim. I appreciate the input.

With the sandals, working in the soil, the problem I run into is constantly getting dirt and pebbles in them, so I will often wear heavy duty socks with them. Any tips on that issue? Are there sandal designs that are better for preventing the debris from getting in.



I'm not a medical type but in the last couple years I've read Blue Zone and Gut Biome.  I'm pretty sure it's really - really good to get some contact with our soil.  I know it's uncomfortable but I recommend you stretch your nervous systems' normal, and condition for it.  Come to think of it Born to Run informs this attitude of mine too.  North American feet, knees, backs are weaker from using foam rubber sports shoes day in and day out everywhere.  There is huge precedence for sandals, or minimal shoes in human history.  

The feet have some special zone where the arteries and veins that are pointing to each other are close.  I forget the two bit word, but think of it as a radiator.  So like if you wake up in the night hot, slightly hot but covered and you want to do the minimum to go back to sleep; well just kick your feet out from under the covers.  Whole body cools down pretty quick.

35 years ago I had an uncle that had some Chinese sandals made from tires and cowhide with a steel ring across the top.  They had super powers at longevity and I spent some time looking for some of my own, without knowing what they were called.  I never found them but I dislike wearing company logos and disposables.
 
Jim Wineteer
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Daniel Richardson wrote:I think you're about right on everything but the hat!

Maybe it's because I'm used to wearing it everyday, but it is very comfortable, easy to wash, and durable. There is a nice gap inside to get some air flow too.  I'm good in this outfit until about 120F, after that I'm in a boiler room or something and all bets are off.



You can get those hats in a cowboy hat shape too for more shade and some Texas cool points.
 
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I always look for the white or light color cotton long sleeve button up shirts at the thrift shops. Light weight, quality sheet like material. Under that i typically wear a scrub top, the hospital kind. Those are often polyester or poly/cotton. (although the one I'm wearing now says 100%cotton!) they are fairly cool and forgiving. Always a bandana (cotton) tied around my neck. A ball cap an when I'll be in the sun for a while the bandana gets draped over my head under the cap an the long sleeve shirt is on. I usually wear shorts and if I'm going to be mowing or riding the tractor all day I have a piece of cotton sheet that's about 45"x 60" or so I drape over my legs. Usually if I'm walking round all day my legs don't get much sun... Or I have used that piece of sheet tucked in around my waist. Heavy leather shoes here cause the fire ants are everywhere... Plenty hot and humid here!!!
 
pollinator
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Are you not concerned about ticks?
I wear long sleeves and long pants in light colors, tucked in. I like permethrin infused to repel ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes. I need footwear to protect from rattlers but haven't figured that out yet as I don't want to wear cowboy boots.
 
Jim Wineteer
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Rattlesnakes aren't very dangerous to sober aware adults.  A lot of the injuries in America involve alcohol are something impairing the picking up on the warning signs.
 
gardener
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I recently attended a funeral in Homa Bay Kenya which is about half a degree from the equator. It was a hot sunny day, but I was perfectly comfortable while local people sweltered.

I wore a long sleeve shirt dipped in water but not tucked in, along with a broad brimmed hat that was saturated with water. I poured water over the thighs of my pants.  It felt like a cool spring day.  Some people thought it looked uncomfortable. When they touch my forearm they said it looked like I might be cold. That was the point. I asked some of the guys if they had ever gone swimming with their clothing on. They had and remember how refreshing it was. I don't think I started a trend. For them it was just a bit hot. For me, the day would have been unbearable.
 
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Not to derail, but any discussion of clothing on our place includes ticks. Not so much directly around the house (we are to spraying with a cedar oil concoction and keep the grass short) or in the open field, but a lot of our planting’s are in woodland clearings or marsh adjacent areas where ticks are plentiful. Not so much concerned with Lyme Disease as we are expert in checking and removing the blood suckers quickly so no LD is transferred, like if the tick is squeezed while attached or when it finishes feeding and throws up a little nastiness. The tick paradigm became more grave when a nearby acquaintance died of Powassan Virus which is quickly transferred very quickly from an infected tick.

So lightweight long sleeved cotton shirts and pants. Pants tucked into socks and I usually wear an old bungie hat w/ a handkerchief attached to the back. Legs on the pants are sprayed frequently w/ essential oils we mix up, no permethrin as we have cats and would worry about their exposure. We’re also experimenting w/ anti-tick leggings and shirts which is a burgeoning business.

I love the idea of flowing black robes and a turban, like Lawrence of the Market Garden...

 
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denise ra wrote:Are you not concerned about ticks?
I wear long sleeves and long pants in light colors, tucked in. I like permethrin infused to repel ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes. I need footwear to protect from rattlers but haven't figured that out yet as I don't want to wear cowboy boots.




Denise, these are what I wear as cowboy boots are not tall enough:

https://permies.com/t/85854/Men-Leather-Snake-Boots-Guide



Every time I see this thread, I think of Joseph's skirt:

https://permies.com/t/50841/search-practical-skirt

 
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It Really a personal preference light slacks or work style pants and a tee or longed sleeved shirt or even layers it depends on what you are doing and what you are comfortable with.
there is no right or wrong way really it is what you feel comfortable and protected in.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I am not wearing my hat. Uusual for me. I did some climbing when it was fairly warm outside.
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My go-tos are: Loose fitting, long sleeved (because of the bugs), light colours (because of the bugs). My preferred fabric is linnen, i find it less clingy and cooler to the touch than cotton, exept for a thin cotton scarf/bandana, which i dip in water (cooling your neck helps cool your body, lots of big vessels close to the skin). Of course a hat. Barefoot, fllip-flops or avarcas for my feet, if circumstances allow. Avarcas are really nice. Mine are made of bike tires and leather, i had them made to fit for around 15$ and wear them almost every hot day for the last 10+ years. They look much nicer than sandals on my feet (Size 15) and are really light.
 
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Ole Florida Boy where in the summer it is hot and humid every day.

1) Avoidance. When you can work early morning and late evening. "Only mad dogs and Englishmen ...." applies here.
2) Material: Nothing but cotton if you please. Back in the day Dear Mom made shirts for us out of what I can only describe as a muslin like material. Sheer and you could see thru it if held up to the light.
3) Sizing: Loose, loose, loose. At least 2 sizes too big. Tried a dishdasha at one point. Excellent in the heat but totally impractical for gardening.

re: https://www.amazon.com/Henlry-Shirts-Cotton-Sleeve-T-Shirts/dp/B07F72P6KX/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1532345290&sr=8-27&keywords=loose+cotton+shirts+for+men for a shirt
re: https://www.amazon.com/KAMUON-Casual-Cotton-Pocket-Lounge/dp/B07B8PVR1J/ref=sr_1_8?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1532345489&sr=1-8&nodeID=7147441011&psd=1&keywords=loose+cotton+pants+for+men for pants.
re: strap on sandals for shoes. No socks.

Examples only, no endorsement. Caveat, suggestions are only for an environment lacking in nasties. If in the Florida wilds its boots, tightest weave denim you can find and shirt with button collar. Better to be hot than fighting snake bite.

 
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Here in NE Ohio it it humid now, but probably not like you are suggesting.  We are in the city and the two city lots get tended in morning and evening if it is super hot.  But today I just hacked the sleeves to cap length off of a loose linen shirt and old cut off loose jeans and sandals will work.  Looking for a hat that will stay on my big fluffy head if anyone has suggestions!  Sombrero maybe?  
 
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Construction worker here. Well,until recently.

Southern Ohio.
Hot, humid,no breezes.
Steel toed boots.
Desert combat boots if they will work for you.
Dickies painters overalls.
Loose fitting swim trunks instead of underwear.
Nylon blend wicking shirts.
White hard hat , with the 360° brim.
Wash cloth.
Bottles of ice.
The combo offers beltlessness for better air flow, white clothing for reflectivity and lightness,lots of pockets, load distribution ,and no plumbers butt.
At break-times and lunchtime, drop-trou and air out your boys(your girls), ice to the groin optional.
Ice water over the back of the head and neck at intervales,mopping up with the washcloth.
Drink water every time you think of it,and pee often.
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I would suggest investing in 100% linen clothing, where possible. It wicks sweat away, is light and breathes well.
 
denise ra
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Listen to Giselle Feuillet-Tunis. She has a French Foreign Legion type name, she should know. ;0)
 
pollinator
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I can't stand t-shirts in hot, humid weather.  They stick too much, especially along my upper arms, and the closed neck keeps too much body heat in.  For me, it's a cotton button-down, usually long sleeved.  (I roll the sleeves to my elbows or higher 90% of the time, but long sleeves at least give the option of wearing them down.)  I'll keep at least the top two buttons undone for airflow.  A light weight cotton is preferred (Indian madras is fantastic if you can find it, but if you're paying retail it'll hurt), though even a relatively hefty Oxford cloth is usually fine.

For bottoms I'll typically wear canvas pants from the farm store.  Something lighter weight would be nice, but I make use of the pockets on the carpenter-style pants and those aren't, to my knowledge, readily available on lighter weight pants.  I'm also quite hard on pants, so a durable fabric is a plus.  Occasionally I'll wear shorts, but only if I know I'm only going to be working in the garden for the time being.

Silly as it may be, I prefer the look of a tucked in shirt, but they usually come untucked rather quickly, and untucked is certainly cooler.

Except for during morning chores, when I just throw on muck boots, my footwear consists of wool socks and leather boots.  I'm surprised how many people think cotton would be cooler, but wool wicks moisture, keeping one's feet dry and comfortable, and by whatever mystery of the universe doesn't make for hot feet.  I do tend to put on fresh socks midday for comfort.
 
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Having lived in the desert all my life, and moved to Missouri, I feel I’m experienced at dealing with the heat. I agree with most of what has been said on this thread: avoid the hot times of day, stay hydrated etc. I don't have money for expensive clothing, my clothes are from thrift stores, I modify them to do what I want, and scavenge parts to work with. I think my current system may be of interest to people who are trying to dress for heat on a budget, as there’s a lot of physics behind what I do. Pick the parts that relate to your situation.

Currently in Missouri, and in a town, so I am dressing for ticks and not offending my Baptist neighbors too much. I prefer more bare skin for evaporation, doesn't work with my situation right now. I also do work that is hazardous, so some of this is protection from pain and injury.

Quote from that linked article: “Black absorbs everything coming in from the sun, sure. But black also absorbs energy from the body instead of reflecting it back.” I think it’s a matter of which heat source is more of the problem for you, depending on your climate. In my climate the solar gain is far higher than my body heat output, so I don’t wear black to fight heat. If I wear black, I’m pretty much a solar cooker!

Took a picture on the day after I read this thread of what I had on that day. All of my wardrobe is designed to enhance evaporation, shading, and air flow. As far as style, my tractor wear probably scares small children! The day this picture was taken I was on the tractor for 6 hours in 93 degrees with over 90% humidity and was comfortable all day.


Cotton undies, good supportive bra (tractor bouncing HURTS!!) steel toed sneakers with good soles. Pouch thing tied at my waist that has pockets for my gloves, and a small pair of long nosed pliers to kill ticks.

Polyester socks seem to work best for me in heat, cotton socks just end up dripping wet and my feet get raw. I don't like the poly, but it at least holds less water. I like soccer socks, they stay up correctly at the knee, and come in proper sizes so you can get the correct one. I have no clue why most sock people think 2 sizes of socks is adequate to sell, I need socks that fit.

Lightweight camo pants, aftermarket type, $5.00 from a thrift store. I buy one size bigger than I would say I wear, and sew a couple pleats in the back to take in the waist and give me some fluff on my butt as my body is not built like a guy’s. I leave the leg length too long for me, knowing that when I strap them (see below) I’ll want the extra length to let me move. The larger size gives me more movement room in the legs, and more air flow. I sew a few more pockets to them so I can carry the junk I want in my pockets and still have a pocket to stick trash, seeds, or hardware in. The important parts to the pants is the lightweight fabric and oversized.

I fold/pleat the bottom of the pants leg after I have my socks on, and strap them with velcro straps to both keep ticks and other insects out, and to hold the pants leg fluffed open so the air flows easily in the legs. I scavenge the straps off of things like crow boots, or cam walkers, or walking casts. These are all common things to see in trash, anyone who has bad feet issues and does things with modern medicine goes through a lot of them, they are held on by 2 inch wide straps of velcro with bitey ends on one or both ends. The straps fit nice and snug on my ankle, keeping the ticks out, without leaving a lot of little cracks, using the drawstring blousing for military pants seems to leave cracks. Not sure if you can buy straps like that, check thrift stores for medical things for feet, see what kinds of strap they have. If I was trying to buy them new, I’d check fabric stores for the velcro, or go to a podiatrist and see if they have extra straps running around (they often do, people don’t need all the straps that come with the boot.) Or the trash at the podiatrist (wash straps well if you get them out of the trash!) or ask anyone who has bad feet issues if they have any old boots around you can pull the straps off.

Tight cotton shirt, as much skin exposed as possible. I wear tank tops or camisoles (I have the only tank top farmer tan I have seen.) The tightness is so sweat soaks the shirt immediately and evaporates, too loose and it’s hotter as the sweat doesn't soak the shirt immediately. If you wear a loose it needs to be very loose, but that’s what my over shirt is for. Tight and very loose work, but halfway between doesn’t. I leave as much skin exposed as I can, that evaporates best, but ticks and Baptists are an issue in my area, so as little shirt as I can get away with. Tucked in to the undies, to keep it tight across the low back where it tends to come loose and not evaporate well.

Big over shirt, loose weave, most men’s dress shirts have too tight of a weave to let air flow through them. The one I’m wearing there is my favorite, thrift store years ago, it’s something like size 3x, hangs to my knees, I have to tie it at the waist. It’s the coolest shirt I own, and the poor thing has a hard life with me. The idea here again is big, and loose weave. It shades my body from the sun, but allows the air flow. White is ideal, any light color works, I have light pink and tan ones also that work, just not as well as this one, due to the weaves. I’d take a good air flow polyester over a tight woven cotton, but loosely woven cotton is best if you can find it.

Wide brimmed hat, loose weave. Most hats I see aren’t wide enough, the idea is to shade as much of your body as you can, with a loose weave so the air flows through. Your head throws off a lot of your body heat, so you want that heat to go up through the hat, not to stay right there by your face. I have never liked the jungle hat types, the cotton is nice, but the little screened dots aren’t enough air flow. Hardhat types have air space above your head, but no way for the heat to get out of that airspace, so they are just hot boxes. Ball caps keep the sun off your eyes, that’s it, totally useless as far as heat control goes. Tightly woven hats, like cowboy hats are great for rain, but have no air flow. I’m currently wearing cheap sunhats from a dollar store, the widest I can find. I add a band to it for both looks and to add weight to keep it in place, the ones I wear on the tractor or in the wind I put extra elastic in to hold them tighter, and a chin string (in a battle between brush cutter and hat, the brush cutter always wins, hats need to stay on!) I also sew a piece of wire along the edge to make it so it has more body and can be shaped as I need it.

In my pockets are a bandana and a hand fan, and where I take breaks there is a spray bottle of water, and a dish towel. Bandana is not used a lot, but sometimes good for sweat in the eyes. When I take a break I spray all skin with the water, and wipe with the towel. Towel absorbs the water back off, bandanas just kind of spread it around, they aren’t absorbent enough. The reason for the water spray is to wash off the mineral solids in your sweat. If you don’t wash them off, the sweat doesn't evaporate off as easily, and you will feel hotter. Too wet on a humid day and you’ll feel hotter too, so spray then towel off all you can, wipe the solids off with the towel, don’t blot, it doesn't clean them off. Hand fan is a godsend, I have them in all kinds of colors to match my wardrobe (to a point, it’s amusing to try to pick a flowered fan to match my grubby camo) and all of my pants have a pocket I put on them sized for my fans. I get them at dollar stores, or cheap import shops in malls that sell jewelry etc “any 6 items for 5 dollars!” type places. One of these days I’ll make some good ones, for now, I buy these. Folding, plastic ribbed, covered in fabric. Oooh, looking at pictures to link I don't have one of that fabric, I’d have bought it if I saw one! But this type, under 2.00 each at the cheap import places. WELL worth having if you do any physical work or are in menopause or are sensitive to heat or want to fascinate small children (beware: you may have a struggle to get your fan back!) Fan is to improve air flow any time you need to, gives you less reliance on the wind.


Sunscreen is optional, I do wear a light coating of it on my face, I make it out of coconut oil, shea butter and zinc oxide. It impedes sweat, but I’m from the desert, all of my family has skin cancer, except me. Vitamin D3 keeps your body able to deal with cancer cells, you can supplement with it (I do) or make sure you get enough sun exposure to let your body produce it, which is not always easy. Adding sunblock lowers your D levels due to less sun exposure, so (In MY opinion) increases your skin cancer risk. If you must wear it, go for a zinc or titanium type, the weird stuff they put in the others actually increases your cancer risk as the chemicals break down in the sunlight into other chemicals (read https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/ for more info.) FWIW, my family that has skin cancer swears by more sunscreen of the chemical type. I can’t prove this, but I’m out in the sun more than any of them, wearing small amounts of a mineral type, and taking my Vit D, and I’m the only one with no cancer.

What is that thing on my face!? I took a pair of cheap sunglasses that were comfortable (thrift store) popped out the lenses, and sewed a ruffle of fabric on it to shade my nose and cheeks, which is always where I burn first. It’s like a hat for below my eyes! The ruffle lets air in, but shades me. Seems to be working well, I am not getting burned.

So do I look cute? Not in my work clothes! But the concepts are the same in any clothes, increase evaporation, shade, good air flow. My cute clothes are a different look entirely, but the same idea. This is something I wore one day, fits my system, but was much cuter, and had a matching fan, those skirts I make have fan pockets too.


Stay cool y'all!!
Pearl
 
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David Mitchell wrote:

Have you found the perfect clothing for such weather? I'd be glad to hear about it.



Not perfect, but what works for me.  The northern Plains all the way up to Canada that get the benefit of Gulf of Mexico humidity can be pretty stifling in mid-summer.  We even had a visitor from the Galveston/San Antonio TX area recently comment on his surprise at the discomfort level of the Fargo, ND area.  It's outside of the metro where things get tougher, since the city will proudly bomb the inner-city mosquito and tick population back to the stone age.

With ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes operating at peak capacity and heat and dew points to match, denim jeans, a cotton shirt, and a hat are just shy of inadequate.  In addition to some judicious use of insect repellent, the best solution I've found that combines heat reduction and insect deterrent is a white, long-sleeve cotton (or blend) shirt soaked in cold water.----to be worn on your head.  After drenching the shirt, insert your head into the head-hole of the shirt and having done so, flip the hanging part of the shirt back over your neck and shoulders.  Adjust the elastic band of the shirt-hole so that it is positioned at your forehead in the front and encircling your head at the back.  Now position the long sleeves so that they are hanging across the front of your shoulders and across your chest (leave the bulk of the shirt over your back to give bug and sunlight protection).  By taking the sleeves and, one after the other, wrapping each sleeve under your chin and back across the opposite shoulder, you will provide additional protection to the side of your head and face.   I tend to go next level [ ;-) ] and actually grab the sleeve ends, once they are behind my head, and tie a loose cross-over knot (not a full knot) with the sleeves that helps to gently cinch the 'turban' down in place.  Remember that this is a cold water-soaked shirt, so it's a lot more comfortable than it sounds.  With a mild breeze, it's even better, ----but tends to do the trick for most buggy, muggy, and warm weather outings.

As a bonus I get to freak the dogs out.....if they haven't seen me put it on, they go ballistic when I come back out of the garden and take me for a complete stranger! :-)
 
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