Fashion stylist reveals the fabrics you need to survive the heatwave

How to dress for the heatwave: Stylist reveals the best fabrics for looking chic while keeping your cool – from embracing rumpled linen to wafting around in silk

  • Stylist Miranda Holder reveals which fabrics are best to wear during a heatwave
  • She explained that linen, cotton and silk make for completely heat-proof looks
  • Meanwhile, said polyester, nylon and denim could leave you with sweat marks 

Britons are left battling another heatwave this week – with temperatures expecting to peak today at 95F (35C).

And amid the ongoing hot conditions, mastering the appropriate summer-friendly wardrobe is largely key to staying cool.

Thankfully, British celebrity stylist Miranda Holder has revealed which fabrics you should bank on if you want to avoid unsightly sweat marks, and which ones to avoid. 

She also gave her top tips on how to style linen, silk and cotton so that your fashion prowess remains heat proof – and elsewhere, advised staying away from blends such as polyester and nylon, and even denim. 

For linen, she suggested wearing a ‘worn in’ look and embracing the crumbled design, while for cotton ensembles she said to keep the outfits as simple as possible.


British stylish Miranda Holder has revealed which fabrics you should bank on if you want to avoid unsightly sweat marks during the heatwave. Linen is a breathable elegant option

Linen is a perfect fabric to pick if you want to look laid back in the heat but still turn heads with a stylish feel

‘Linen has to be the number one choice when it comes to midsummer style,’ Miranda said.  ‘The fabric has a particularly large, loose weave which allows air to circulate.

‘And the absorbent fibres help to mop up any perspiration should you get at all hot and bothered.’

The stylist also revealed that linen only gets better with age, which makes it a great investment purchase.  

How to wear: ‘Embrace the crumpled chic. There is absolutely no point in fighting the wrinkles so accept the “worn in look” and make it part of the charm. 

‘Waft around in loose, flowing silhouettes such as floaty dresses, tunic tops and cropped wide leg trousers. If you are feeling a little too shapeless then add structure with some polished accessories to smarten it up. 

‘A well placed belt, cross body bag or smooth leather slides can take your look from sack cloth to suave in moments.’


For cotton, embrace loose fits like Martine McCutcheon to feel totally comfortable. Miranda said organic is best 

A cotton floral dress is an easy to wear summer staple that will suit most body types and will remain breathable throughout the day. Pictured, Holly Willoughby 

Cotton is a basic fabric, but it is perfect for summer and a trusted old faithful.  

‘It is even more absorbent than linen, fully breathable and versatile enough to wear as a casual Tee or more tailored shirt,’ Miranda said. 

‘Go for an organic cotton whenever possible, it comes in many forms and fabric mixes, but the very best of all is cotton poplin, which feels almost satiny, has a smarter finish and naturally cool to the touch,’ she added. 

How to wear: ‘Keep outfits as unfussy as possible – your brain will already be overloaded from processing all the extra heat. 

‘Stick to light, bright colours which reflect rather than absorb the light to stay as cool as possible, and keep jewellery minimal and clean to let your sun-kissed skin take centre stage.’


Silk can be a controversial choice when it comes to tropical heat. Light as a feather, breathable and drapey – absolutely – but silk and sweat do not go, Miranda said. Pictured, Bella Hadid wearing a silk dress, right

Silk is breathable and light as a feather, but be careful, because silk and sweat do not go, Miranda said.  

‘The fabric is as unforgiving as they come, show’s every damp patch and is prone to staining so be vigilant,’ she added. 

But the luxury fabric remains a good summer option, thanks to its glamourous appeal.

How to wear: ‘Due to the potential perspiration wardrobe malfunctions keep silk for the slightly cooler summer evenings, or where you know you won’t experiencing temperature extremes. 

‘A simple camisole, slip dress or skirt can add instant elegance to your outfit, only requiring the simplest of accessories – damp hair scraped back, golden glowing skin. 

‘You can also pair the look with a slick of noughties-inspired red lipgloss and some chunky gold hoop earrings and you’re ready to sip cocktails at sunset in the Costa del Birmingham.’


Synthetics: ‘The price tags may be more tempting, but as a general rule, steer clear of any synthetic fabrics unless you wish to create your own portable sauna in the sunshine. 

‘Synthetics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic don’t absorb moisture, meaning that your perspiration will pool in all the wrong places as you go about your day, leaving you looking like a soggy, sweaty mess.’

Denim: ‘The cut-off shorts look may look fabulous with a beach bod and bikini but the sad reality of denim shorts is that, due the density and weight of the fabric, they will do nothing to keep you cool and only grow heavier and saggier throughout the day. 

‘Steer well clear unless you wish your undercarriage to look and feel something like a soggy nappy.’

Leather: ‘I’m hoping this one is obvious, but due to its origin, wearing leather in the summer is literally wearing a second skin. 

‘Due to the tanning process it isn’t breathable, and in these kinds of temperatures we definitely do not require any further insulation! Keep it to accessories only.’

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