Hot Under The Collar: Clerical Wear in the Summer
With some of the hottest temperatures recorded in history throughout the UK, it’s time that we talk about how to stay cool in the remaining summer months. We know that the burden of clerical wear in the summer can often be the rigid structure of the collar to allow for a crisp clerical collar insert. However, our clerical shirt material is made from a poly cotton blend which is specifically made to breathe during hotter days and give the relaxed fit you need to conduct service.
Tip 1: Black attracts – that could be a good thing!
Although it is the most traditional colour associated with clerical wear, contrary to popular belief wearing black in the summer is considered to be the best way to keep cool in the heat. Don’t just take our word for it, this is confirmed by science in a study published by Walsberg, Campbell, & King, 1978. J. Comp. Physiol.126B: 211-222. The age old belief is that white is the ideal way to keep cool in extreme sunlight as it reflects a great deal of wavelengths of energy coming in. This means that it should reflect the sun’s rays back, instead of letting them cook us. And that’s perfectly correct. HOWEVER! Heat is not just coming in off of the sun. It’s also coming off a person’s own body, which is a lot closer than the sun is. When our body heat hits the white clothing covering it, the heat gets reflected right back towards the body. Therefore, when we wear white, we are essentially cooking ourselves from underneath our clothing.
Now, why would I wear black? Black absorbs everything coming in from the sun! This is right but black also absorbs energy from the body instead of reflecting it back to it. Now, the helpfulness of black clothes depends on finding black clothes that are the same thickness and looseness as those summery white clothes. Black clothing also needs a little help from atmospheric conditions. Once it has absorbed heat, it has to have some way to radiate it away. If there’s even a little wind, black clothing is the better choice for those who want to keep cool. So don’t be afraid to break out your traditional black clerical garments!
Tip 2: Breathe easy with cotton
Our poly cotton range of products are a fantastic way to keep the price to our customers low but still find the perfect balance between climate regulation. They keep you warm throughout the winter period but breathe in the warmer months. Not all cotton is created equal. Just like there are different levels of quality (e.g., low quality cotton vs. premium quality cotton), there are different types of cotton. and a premium cotton product is a fantastic choice when the summer comes around. Cotton is soft, lightweight, breathable, and soaks up sweat, allowing heat to escape the body and for you to stay cool.
Our clerical polo shirts are a slightly heavier cotton range as they aim to also provide a little more insulation on cooler days. However, these cotton products are also very breathable and provide good airflow and absorption for sweat when the heat is turned up. They come in 4 different colours, including a traditional clerical black, light blue, grey and white.
Our clerical blouse for women is a lightweight poly cotton product which is specifically developed to be worn during the summer. It has a degree of elasticity in the material which stretches to accommodate a smaller or slightly bigger increment in between sizing. We highly recommend this summer product for clergy women who want a cooler option when conducting their service.
Tip 3: Stay protected from UV!
Whilst a short sleeve clerical shirt allows for a little more breathability – protection from the sun’s harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays should be a priority. Clothing is actually the most basic form of protection against the sun and the more skin covered – the better. Long pants cover better than shorts. Long sleeved shirts are better than t-shirts. We are currently working on a lighter weight, long-sleeve product for men to provide a little more breathability but will also protect you from harmful UV rays. We will keep you updated on our product development but we hope to have something released by the following summer. Our polycotton long sleeve mens clerical shirts and women clerical shirts are proven to provide a good balance for cold and hot temperatures, making it the preferred year-round choice of clerical clothing.
Finally, staying cool and hydrated is really important to avoid heat exhaustion. Warm sunny days are great but to keep comfortable wearing loose clothing, drinking lots of water and avoiding the strong sun when possible are key. If you have other top tips for the clergy staying cool in the heat wave please let us know! We will update this blog with any great additions that we receive!