It's blistering on the sidewalk but freezing in the office and you are faced with the inevitable summer conundrum: what fabrics make a comfortable, versatile summer sweater? When shopping for the summer sweater, it is important to remember some key characteristics of the best summer fabrics. These fabrics are light-weight, breathable, easy to wash, and luckily very easy to find.
Cotton is a great summer option because it is light and breathable. Cotton also holds dye particularly well, and you can find sweaters in a variety of fun, summery colors. Easy to wash, cotton cardigans, pull overs, and sweater-vests are great summer options. Crocheted or mesh fabrics, like cotton, also make for an extra layer that is easy to take on and off. The ready ventilation on these looks makes them ideal for the summer. Some blends, like a cotton-nylon mesh, provide the lightness and breathability of cotton with the stretch and shape retention of nylon.
Jersey also provides a light, flowy feel that falls away from the body and creates an easy and comfortable cardigan or wrap. Linen, and linen blends, likewise make light options in cardigans and wraps that don't trap too much heat. Silk, cashmere, or cotton based Pashminas are also a good option and can be worn as a wrap, scarf, or shawl indoors and outdoors during the summer. They offer fashionable, removable warmth and a burst of color.
With all of the fabulous fabric options for summer, there are also some fabrics that are best worn just in the winter. Angora and cashmere are natural heat retainers and though light and soft, can get uncomfortable when it is too warm outside. Wool is also a classic sweater fabric, but the characteristic itching and pulling become even more irksome in the summer. Rayon and synthetics are tricky. Though they often make light and brightly colored sweaters, these fabrics are notorious for odor retention. Even the most diligent deodorant appliers may find some trouble.
Keep these tips in mind and you will be able to choose the right summer sweater to add to your wardrobe.