If you’re looking for the most breathable fabric, you’re probably trying to keep your cool in the heat. Breathability matters even more. Natural fibers are best. Loose weaves and fine threads also work well.

Color matters too; lighter hues reflect heat better than darker ones.

When it’s time to pick a pattern, remember that loose shapes keep air circulating around your body better than tight clothes do. Think floaty, flirty dresses , loose trousers , A-line silhouettes


Available in an incredible variety of fabrics, including all sorts of “non-active” summer clothing.

Pros: Soft, durable, breathable, versatile and easy to care for.

Cons: Absorbs moisture (doesn’t wick away moisture or dry), which is why it’s a poor choice if you plan to break a sweat—in searing heat, though, some people wear cotton and douse it in water to enhance the evaporation cooling effect.


Derived from the stalks of flax plants, it’s a popular fabric for casual summer wear.

Pros: Very durable and easy to care for; typically has excellent breathability because linen fibers are large and clothing styles feature more open weaves.

Cons: Like cotton, it absorbs moisture (doesn’t wick away moisture or dry), which is why it’s a poor choice if you plan to break a sweat; also wrinkles very easily.


Few countries have used fabric as a tool to achieve freedom. And that’s the reason why nearly seven decades after India gained its hard-won independence, khadi continues to inspire and amaze people around the globe.

This humble fabric, which was associated with the freedom struggle for the longest time, has made its way from villages to the racks of famous designers. This handspun, natural, skin friendly, and organic fabric is ideal for Indian weather conditions and keeps the wearer cool in summers. Khadi is a skin-friendly fabric that ‘breathes’ and uses no chemicals in manufacturing.

So, whether it is shirts, sarees, kurtas or tops, get your quota of Khadi clothing for this summer, and feel cool, even in the heat!


Don’t misinterpret silk to be a fabric meant only for winters. Silk blends, a lighter and softer version of silk made from natural fibre is considered to be an ideal summer fabric. Unlike raw or pure silk, it doesn’t stick to the body making you sweat or feel sticky. Sport a flowing silk blend dress for an evening outing. Pair it with minimal jewellery, as too much of it can make your skin itch. Many top designers use silk in upscale casual wear. Check some silk suits here.

Pros: Luxuriously soft, lightweight and breathable.

Cons: Fragile; not moisture wicking; retains odors; typically requires hand washing.

Nylon and Polyester

Most activewear features one of these two synthetic materials.

Pros: Wicks moisture and dries quickly; resists pilling and abrasion.

Cons: Not as soft as cotton; retains odor; breathability varies based on yarn size and knit or weave.


Rayon is a man-made material, but it’s produced from natural cellulose that has been chemically processed to create fibers. It absorbs humidity, so it’s great for summer. You find a wide variety of plant-based-but-highly-processed fabrics under names that include rayon, viscose and lycocell; fabric properties vary widely and these fabrics are often blended with other fabrics to achieve different characteristics.

Pros: Has a silky feel, moderate breathability, drapes nicely, dries quickly.

Cons: Doesn’t wick away moisture as well as polyesters or nylons; wrinkles easily; many rayons require dry cleaning.