While natural fabrics are preferred by most when it comes to summer clothing, synthetic fabrics can be a great choice too, thanks to their special moisture wicking properties. Whether you’re looking for the perfect summer maxi dress or activewear, discover the best fabrics to wear in summer.

From basic fabrics made from cotton and silk to more complex weaves that are great for air circulation in the summer time, here are the best choices you can make in order to get both comfort and style in warm weather.

1. Cotton

If you want to stick to the basics, 100% cotton weaves have a high breathability, but you need to make sure that the cotton isn’t too thick for really warm and humid weather. Even if you’re not making it the main fabric in your summer wardrobe, don’t exclude cotton completely, since it’s both comfortable and extremely versatile.

Organic Cotton

2. Linen

Made from the flax plant, linen is more expensive than cotton, but it will help you stay dry in hot weather better than other fabrics. Lightweight and more breathable than cotton, it’s definitely one of the best fabrics to wear in summer, but it tends to wrinkle and crease, so you might spend more time ironing it if you want a crisp look.

3. Rayon

Created from purified cellulose that comes from wood pulp, rayon goes through more chemical treatments than other fabrics, which makes it semi-synthetic. You can find rayon in a variety of finishes, including viscose, lyocell and modal. Light and breathable, rayon maintains its shape when wet, but it doesn’t always have the same durability as other fabrics.

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4. Seersucker

If you’re going for the casual country club look, seersucker is definitely one of the best fabrics to wear in summer. It’s a thin fabric made completely from cotton fibers, but with a few properties of its own. Seersucker is more breathable and lighter than other common cotton weaves, and its wrinkly appearance helps it stay away from your skin, so it doesn’t stick as much when you’re sweating.

Fabrics

5. Georgette

A lightweight and sheer crêpe fabric, georgette has a gauzy texture and it’s less lustrous than chiffon. Named after Georgette de la Plante, a French dressmaker, the fabric is breathable, light and more springier compared to chiffon. While it was originally made from silk, georgette is also created using wool or polyester fibers.

6. Madras

Identical on both sides of the fabric, madras is usually available with a plaid pattern. This cotton fabric is lightweight and was developed in India. Madras are available as more than one variety of fabric, and the distinctive plaid pattern can also be created on seersucker. A staple of preppy fashion since the ‘60s, it’s a great summer choice.

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7. Jersey

A knit fabric made from wool, cotton and synthetic fibers, jersey is one of the best fabrics to wear in summer, especially if you’re looking for a draped item. The lightweight single knitting jersey is a good choice for summer, while the double knitted version is thicker and has less stretch. You also don’t have to worry about pressing or ironing jersey.

8. Silk

When it doubt, silk is one of the best fabrics to wear in summer. While it costs less in polyester blends, pure silk is an even better summer choice, keeping you cool and allowing for proper air circulation. Some types or chiffon are also made from silk, while cheaper ones include a nylon blend, but none will keep you more comfortable in the summer than 100% silk.

Silk Dress

9. Chambray

Known more as a lightweight imitation denim, chambray is actually available in many color combinations. Thicker than other good summer fabrics, it was originally made from linen, but you’re more likely to find it made from cotton. If you want the denim look during the summer time with a lot more comfort, chambray is the way to go.

10. Synthetic Wicking Fabrics

Synthetics also have a well deserved spot among the best fabrics to wear in summer. Most activewear include special synthetic fibers that “wick” moisture away from the body, helping you maintain a stable temperature even when you’re working out outdoors.