Sitting cooped up indoors with the air conditioner on full blast is one way to deal with the summer. But the next best alternative is to combat the heat with lightweight clothing. Designers tell you what fabrics work best for the season and how should wear them.
Designer Nishka Lulla says, “Summer dressing has to be light and breezy, so muslin is apt for this season. It falls very well and is easy to wear and maintain. And since it’s a loosely woven cotton fabric, air moves easily through it. It also dyes very well in various fun colours.”
This one’s not an overwhelming favourite for no reason. “Cotton stays cool in hot temperatures. It is comfortable and more absorbent. It also dyes well for an intense colour palette and lets your skin breathe. Blended with a little silk, cotton can be a luxurious option for the summer,” says designer Payal Khandwala. She recommends light cotton jerseys for more fitted silhouettes, because even when it’s close to the skin, it will help you beat the heat.
Designer Anita Dongre advocates linen shirts as well as trousers for men because it’s a lightweight fabric that lets your skin breathe and keeps you ventilated. As for women, she says, “Opt for dresses in pastel shades, muted hues, striking block prints, digital prints and embroidery.” Designer Payal Khandwala also recommends linen. “It’s a great option for summer because linen fibre is strong and it can look dressier than cotton. It also drapes very well,” she says.
Nishka Lulla likes this material for its transparency. “When mixed with opaque fabric, it creates a cool and eclectic feel. Plus, it’s traditionally made from silk, so it has a very Indian feel to it. It also looks very classy and vintage,” says the fashion designer.
Designer Vaishali S is in favour of Chanderi and Maheswari fabrics from Madhya Pradesh, Paat from Assam and even khadi. “The fabrics are rich in quality, look good and suit the local climate. They’re very wearable, light in weight and suit the Indian body type,” she explains. For Daniel Syiem, the khasi fabric called Ryndia is high on the list. “For me, it’s all about cooling whites and beiges. I use simple lines to enhance natural shapes. Summer fashion is all about fresh colours, hand-woven and skin-friendly fabrics, and simplistic styles.”