Materials, colours… How should you dress during a heat wave?

In this second half of August, temperatures rise and stabilize in the average high season. Five departments of the Center-East are still placed this Monday evening in heat wave orange vigilance by Météo-France and the organization announced that “the heat should increase in the southern half in the second part of the week”.

To reduce body temperature and protect those most sensitive to heat waves and heat waves, several national recommendations are communicated by the Ministry of Health, starting with how to dress.

Prefer amplitude and light tones

Faced with the heat, several clothing tips are given to the French by the Ministry of Health: “If you have to go out, wear a hat, light (cotton) and loose clothing, preferably light in color.”

This last information on the color of textiles is the best known. Indeed, dark clothes absorb the sun’s rays and store heat. The evaporation of perspiration, allowing the regulation of body temperature, is also made more difficult.

But then why do the Tuaregs dress in dark colors? These nomads wear light-colored clothing below their loose tunics. By convection, which corresponds to the transfer of thermal energy with a fluid, gaseous or liquid, the air heated by the outer garment sucks in the cool air from below.

“Under normal conditions, 15% of heat transfers take place by convection with the air. The importance of these transfers depends on the renewal of the air in contact with the skin, i.e. the wind and the ‘airy’ character of the clothes”, specify the authorities.

Prioritize natural materials

Finally, it is advisable to favor natural materials, such as cotton, linen or even wool, which evacuate heat better. Synthetic materials, which create an “oven” effect, are to be avoided. Silk is also not the best ally against the heat.

However, be careful not to expose yourself too much to the sun’s rays without covering up or with too little protection, as light clothing allows them to penetrate more easily to the skin. A hat and sunscreen are essential for heat waves.

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