We’ve all grown up hearing people around us tell us that we should wear white in summer because it keeps us cool. And so we did. And we still felt hot!
Do you know that despite its ill repute, the preferred summer colour is ideally black? Nope, we don’t just say this. It’s all based on science – part physics, and part biology.
Come on, let’s go back to school, shall we?
White is composed of all light, which means it reflects the maximum wavelengths, so it should reflect sun rays back and keep you cool, right? Umm, up to a bit, yes.
What no one tells you is that in summer, energy isn’t coming just from the sun. Your sweaty, warm-blooded body is also giving out energy. And it is closer to the clothing than the sun is. So when your body heat hits the white cloth from inside, it gets reflected right back to your body. White clothes essentially cook you.
Wow! That explains a lot.
But hold on, if white reflects heat, then black absorbs it, right? Yes, it does. But it also absorbs all the energy that your body is throwing out to keep itself cool. So it works like a barrier for external as well as internal heat. Who knew that!
For black clothes to be effective in keeping you cool, the thickness and looseness needs to be the same as that of white clothes. Too thin, and the heat will be shared right back with you.
Black clothes are also perfect when there is a little breeze. The wind helps dissipate all the accumulated heat and carries it away from you. Check out ‘convective cooling’ to know how that works.
If you need more convincing, think of UV rays and SPF. Radiation can enter white clothes much easier than black ones. Also, a standard white T-shirt has an SPF of 7, which rapidly goes to 3 when it gets damp because of your sweat.
This knowledge is not new. Ancient desert tribes knew this long before. Which is perhaps why they wear dark or black coloured robes.
The next time you take a detour into any physical or online shopping sites for clothes, stop and admire the rows upon rows of loose, white, summery clothes. Imagine yourself floating in one of those at a lakeside picnic, only to get mud and grass stains on it. Screech, the daydream is over!
Instead, visit Kiabza.com, one of the best online shopping sites for clothes and pick up some cool, dark clothes this summer.