Here's How To...
 Choose Cool Clothes
On a hot summer day, a loose-fitting, loose woven (like a basket weave) all-cotton shirt is likely to be cooler than a knit golf or polo shirt. A loose fit will allow air to circulate and cool the body; tight-fitting clothes, including knits that hug the body, can trap hot air and moisture and add to summer discomfort, according to Marla Day, Kansas State University Research and Extension assistant clothing specialist.

‘Loose’ refers to a relaxed style that is neat, but comfortable. It is not the same as baggy or sloppy ­ too much fabric can trap hot air and hold heat. The newer, relaxed style ­ usually without a tight-fitting collar and cuffs; defined waistline or tight belt ­ is a popular choice in tailored professional or dressy casual clothing. 

Natural fibers like cotton and linen also can be a plus because natural fibers breathe; man-made fibers can trap heat and moisture, she said.

"Consumers who resisted choosing clothing made with natural fibers because it required ironing are now choosing the fibers with innovative fabric finishes that have simplified clothing care ­ some luxurious linens now have a Teflon® coating that reduces wrinkling and ironing. Newer detergents, clothes washers and dryers also offer more options that can simplify clothing care and extend its life," says Day, who offered these tips:

Read clothing care labels before buying; refer to them before the first washing or dry cleaning.

Treat stains when they are fresh. On new clothes or clothing that may not be colorfast, test stain removal treatment on an inside seam or hem. Blot rather than rub ­ rubbing can set the stain. If stain removal is not successful the first time, repeat treatment. Do not place clothing still in need of treatment in a clothes dryer or hot sun ­ heat will set the stain, Day said. She encourages consumers to keep a stain stick or other stain treatment products near laundry facilities to encourage family members to treat stains promptly. "Treating a stain promptly can make a difference in whether or not it will come out," she says.

Sort clothing by color and type (socks, pants, t-shirts) and fiber (naturals like cotton or man-made, like polyester). Sorting by type is important ­ sweat socks are white, but they shouldn’t be washed in the same load as a delicate white linen blouse or lingerie. Sorting by fiber also is important ­ man-made fibers can attract oils that can be released from natural fibers during washing. Wash them separately, said Day, who also recommended separating clothes that call for special care: For example, a new navy blue sweatshirt; stone-washed blue jeans; and denim skirt all are blue, yet a new sweatshirt can "bleed," which means that color from one fabric can be transferred to other fabrics in the wash load. New clothing and/or clothing likely to bleed should be washed separately.

To preserve color and brightness, turn clothing inside out before washing.

Select appropriate washer load size and water level. Think you can squeeze two loads into one? Overloading a washer or dryer is hard on the appliance and the clothes, which may not get as clean or be fully rinsed, she said.

Choose an appropriate cycle.
For example, a gentle cycle is recommended for linens and cottons because too much wringing or twisting can increase the amount of ironing needed. Place delicate or trimmed items (fringed, for example) in a hosiery bag or pillowcase pinned or tied shut during the wash cycle.

Need to use bleach? Use chlorine bleach on white cottons or linens; oxygen bleaches on dyed cottons or linens. Follow package directions.

When removing clothes from the washing machine, shake the clothes lightly to diminish wrinkling before putting them in the dryer or line drying. Dry like clothes on appropriate settings such as delicate, permanent press, etc. Do not over dry: Doing so may cause shrinkage and set wrinkles.

Clean lint filter after each load.
Hate to iron? Line dry, lay flat or hang (on a rust-proof hanger) linen or cotton clothes until slightly damp. Ironing while still damp can make the job easier: A steam iron is recommended; choose a medium to hot setting and iron on the wrong side first. To bring out the sheen on light-colored linens, iron lightly on the right side. (Ironing on the right side is not recommended for dark colors.) To avoid impressions from seams, hems and pockets, use a press cloth. Iron linen and cottons until they are smooth, not dry ­ they will dry as they hang.

Store clean clothing, especially linens, in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Choose clean cotton or muslin bags as covers rather than synthetic garment bags; plastic storage bags or boxes; cardboard boxes and cedar chests may cause fabrics to discolor.

Basket Weave Knot-Front Dress
Basket Weave Knot-Front Dress

Basket Weave Madras Shirt
Basket Weave Madras Shirt

Can’t decide what to wear? Teens and young adults follow trends they’re choosing slick and clingy  polyester knits in neon brights  reminiscent of the early ‘70s.  Adults over 40 are opting for  comfortable, easy-care yet stylish clothes in natural fibers. 
­ Marla Day, Kansas State Research and Extension

Find something cool! Visit the Clothing section of Farmer's Market Online

Trying to remain cool during summer days is difficult, but not entirely impossible. Here are a few helpful tips.
* Limit physical activities during the hottest part of the day.
* Walk on the shady side of the street.
* Park cars in the shade. Roll car windows down and allow car to cool before entering.
* Dress for coolness indoors and out. Lightweight, light-colored, loose fitting clothes are most comfortable.
* In homes without air conditioning, open windows at night and create cross ventilation.
* During the day, close windows and draw shades on sunny sides.
* Drink plenty of liquids. Unless on a salt-free or fluid restricted diet, drink at least a gallon of liquid a day when outside temperatures reach 95 degrees and no air-conditioner is available.

Source: University of Missouri Extension

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