Clothing for hot & humid climates.
June 19, 2009 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be spending three weeks at my inlaws in Japan over summer where it will be super hot and humid day and night - simply stepping outside makes me sweat. Any recommendations for clothing that will make it a bit more comfortable and bearable? What types of material are best? any specific brands / items (preferably from the cheaper end of the spectrum)
posted by mairuzu to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Linen is your friend in hot and humid climates.
posted by dersins at 8:52 AM on June 19, 2009

Best answer: Linen, cotton, and silk are the best summer fabrics. However, the one drawback with Japan is that everything is air-dried and these fabrics have a tendency to wrinkle and stay wrinkled without a dryer or a ht iron.

Some people prefer moisture wicking fabrics for the Japanese summer, too. Uniqlo sells a range of colors for both genders at their stores as well as a bunch of other summer appropriate clothing.

Mujirushi also sells nice, cheap summer clothing, including linen, so you might find what you need once you get there if you're not too tall.
posted by Alison at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2009

Fabric with CoolMax or other wicking fibers is always good, as are cotton and linen gauzes. You might check out for some styles that have been tested in ultra-hot, ultra-humid climates.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2009

coolmax/dryfit or any of the sporty fabrics will be your friend. Linen is good. Do not overestimate the value of dri-fit type socks. Cool feet make the body happy.

As a heavy sweater/hater of hot and humid, do what Japanese people do. Carry a handkerchief (or two) to wipe yourself down from time to time. Or, if you're not too self-conscious, the very lightweight towels you can buy at onsen? They're fantastic for drying yourself off, and they, in turn, dry very quickly.

Best of luck. Get yourself to the ocean, so you can properly cool off. Failing that, a department store where they keep the aircon at subzero levels.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:10 AM on June 19, 2009

Buy clothes that are loose. A lot of Coolmax clothes are tight and fitted, which cancels out their wicking properties. It's better for something to be light and loose-fitting than for it to wick.
posted by halonine at 10:37 AM on June 19, 2009

I love light woven silk underwear, boxers, briefs and t shirts. If you get these in black, you can wear a sheer and breathable outerlayer. Silk washes easily and evaporates water readily, so you can pack just a few and wash them frequently. Wintersilks has a nice online selection.
posted by effluvia at 10:37 AM on June 19, 2009

Personally, I would avoid both cotton and silk. Cotton because it simply absorbs your sweat and feels gross and wet all day. And I always find silk to be very hot; in particular, it seems to block the breezes I so desperately crave in that kind of weather.

I'd go with nylon and other synthetics (not polyester).
posted by Netzapper at 10:40 AM on June 19, 2009

In that situation I would wear my light summer peron tonbon, and a keffiyeh to mop sweat and fan my face.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:08 AM on June 19, 2009

Three L's for enduring weather like that: light-colored, loose-fitting, linen.

The light colors reflect heat and keep you cool. Loose fit allows you to catch breezes. Linen is the premium natural-fiber textile for hot weather and has the added bonus of looking classic (where wearing high-tech sports fibers make you look like you're about to go for a run or something - not a BAD look, necessarily, but not the most versatile one.)

Linen does hold its shape, though- this means when it's ironed it's beautifully smooth and crisp, but when it gets creased it tends to stay that way. So either pick things that can get a little wrinkly and be OK, or be prepared to do a bit of prep-ironing.
posted by oblique red at 1:17 PM on June 19, 2009

Agree with Alison. Find a Uniqlo over there. That's all I wore the summer I was over there.

Also, eat a Japanese diet. I sweat when it's in the upper 60s here in Chicago, but it'd be in the mid-80s and humid in Japan and I'd barely break a sweat. Corollary maybe. But you'll have some good food regardless.
posted by tenaciousd at 8:39 PM on June 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses - Uniqlo had a good range of "Quick Dry" items so i stocked up on T shirts and am currently testing them out in humid japan - so far so cool!
posted by mairuzu at 2:23 AM on July 21, 2009

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