If you’re hoping to stay cool this summer, you can do it fashionably in or out of the workplace, said Jane Kemmerer, owner of River City Apparel, a women’s fashion boutique on Frazier Avenue.
A sundress is always a fashionably cool option, she said.
“The cotton sundress is very popular. It can easily be worn to work by adding a lightweight sweater or shrug,” she said.
For men, the summer fashion of choice for professionals is the classic seersucker suit, said Bruce Baird, owner of Bruce Baird & Co., a men’s clothing store on Broad Street.
“Cotton seersucker is a very cool and lightweight fabric that doesn’t pucker when it absorbs moisture,” he said. “Cotton, in general, is the ideal fabric for summer fashions.
“You get such rich colors. Ninety-five percent of our sport pants are cotton, and we sell many seersucker and poplin suits in the summer. All of our dress shirts are cotton.”
Additionally, some synthetic fibers are ideal for summer fashions, Ms. Kemmerer said.
“While cotton will always be a popular summer fabric, there are others that are comfortable,” she said, noting that some polyester blends are cool, and they hold their shape.
Whatever the fabric, cool choices are plentiful this season, Ms. Kemmerer said.
“We’re doing really well with dresses,” she said. “While the strapless sundress is our most popular fashion, we’re also selling many trapeze-cut tunics, tube and halter dresses, babydoll dresses and fit-andflare dresses that are fitted at the top and flared at the waist. It’s a style that goes back to the ’50s.”
Cotton is the fabric of choice for many enviromentally-conscious people, according to the Cotton Inc. Web site, www.cottoninc. com.
In a Cotton Inc. survey, consumers gave natural fibers the highest rating as fibers that are “extremely safe” for the environment. Nearly 60 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for apparel made from natural fibers such as cotton, according to the survey.
WTVC personality Don Welch said his favorite staying-cool summer fashion is a cotton golf shirt.
“Cotton is comfortable, and I like the feel of it,” Mr. Welch said. “If I have to be outside — whether it’s working in the yard or something else — I wear cotton. I prefer a golf shirt over anything else because it’s casual, and dressing casual is my nature.”
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...