As uncomfortable as the weather can be this time of year — scorching heat, sky-high humidity and torrential rains — what you wear can make a dramatic difference as to how your body copes. Clothing choice is particularly important when you’ll be spending significant time outside, such as at the Riverbend Festival, said Mark McKnight, Rock/Creek Outfitters marketing director.
“The first thing I think about wearing when going to Riverbend is closed-toe shoes,” Mr. McKnight said. “There’s nothing worse than someone spilling a sticky drink on your feet. And you also want to wear a shoe that’s good for walking.”
Mr. McKnight also advised staying away from dark colors, which will be hotter, and garments that are full cotton.
“Cotton does absorb moisture, but it stays in the garment, and if you’re wearing a dark color, you’ll see the moisture. Synthetic fabrics have been designed to shed the water so it will dry quickly.”
Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press Crowds fill Riverfront Parkway on Sunday on the third day of Riverbend 2010 .
Mr. McKnight said that convertible garments, such as a shirt with sleeves that can be rolled up and down, pants with zippers that allow a conversion to shorts, and a rain jacket that folds up into a small, easy-to-carry pouch are ideal choices.
The bottom line is that if the temperatures reach 90 degrees, it will be 90 degrees, Mr. McKnight said.
“It is what it is,” he said, “but if you dress for comfort and you put some effort into choosing the appropriate pieces, you’ll be more comfortable.”
To really outfit yourself for the outdoors, look into high-tech garments specifically designed to wick away moisture, block wind and allow freedom of movement.
The advanced technology in the Exofficio line, for example, includes insect repellent, moisture wicking, odor resistance, water resistance, quick-drying properties and ultraviolet protection.
The clothing is not only functional but fashionable, said Rock/Creek employee Rachel Tucker.
“Our industry is recognizing the need to make clothing stylish,” she said. “The styles ... are now trendy and cute.”
Mark McKnight's Riverbend fashions
* Shoes: La Sportiva Fireblade shoes, $95 (cushioned, good traction, closed-toe).
* Socks: PhD Ultra-light micro sock, $15 (stays cool, lightweight).
* Shorts: Patagonia Rock Guide shorts, $75 (stretchy, stain resistant).
* Shirt: Columbia Tamiami II long- and short-sleeved shirt, $60 (lightweight, wicking, vented, roll-up sleeves, roll-up collar for sun protection).
* Backpack: Covert messenger bag, $150 (reflective, light).
* Rain jacket: Outdoor Research Helium rain jacket, $140 (ultra-lightweight, waterproof).
Rachel Tucker's Riverbend fashions
* Shoes: Keen Midori Mary Jane, $80 (organic canvas, jute rubber, Nubuck leather, closed-toe).
* Top: Patagonia pinback top, $45 (organic cotton and 10 percent Spandex for stretch, cool, dry).
* Skort: The North Face Apex Casey skort, $54.95 (stretch knit undershorts for modesty and four-way stretch for comfort, internal drawcord).
* Jacket: Marmot Crystalline jacket, $130 (ultra-lightweight rain jacket, stretches for full range of movement).
* Purse: Kava rope bag, $45 (over-the-shoulder ease, casual).
Riverbend Day 3Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press Becky Hunt claims seating for friends and family along the Chattanooga Pier on Sunday afternoon to watch headliners The Waybacks, Joan Osborne and John Coawan with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra on the third day of Riverbend 2010.
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 ...