To wear jeans or not to wear jeans–that is the question I have every morning when getting dressed lately. On the one hand, I know that with jeans I don’t have to shave or worry about my legs not being in summer shape. But on the other hand–jeans are too hot for summer, right? Right??
Well, maybe not. A friend brought up a good point–does wearing jeans really make you hotter, or is it just psychological? I had to find the answer (I’m just weird that way) and did an internet deep dive on the topic.
So let’s start with the science of sweating–why do we sweat? When we get hot we sweat, and in order for our bodies to cool off from the heat, we need that sweat to evaporate. According to this NPR article, it’s the evaporation of sweat that drains the heat from your body. That’s pretty straight forward, right? According to the professor of environmental physiology and ergonomics they spoke to (so, yea, pretty legit), for sweat to evaporate you need air to flow all over your skin–as much as possible–thus the natural urge to wear fewer clothes when it’s hot out. More air flow = less hot feeling.
Now, using this logic alone, we would all be running around naked in August–which isn’t exactly feasible, is it? Unless you live on a nudist colony you need to wear something. This is why skirts and dresses are so popular in summer–they allow you to be fully clothed but get that much-needed air flow to your legs (the same goes for why sleeveless tops are best).
But before you write off wearing pants completely–let me represent an alternative view here. This is where the pants-in-summer debate really heats up (sorry for the pun): some people swear that pants actually block the sun/heat from hitting your skin and can keep you cooler. This claim I could not substantiate with any scientists or doctors–but there were several message board posts about it. And that’s the internet equivalent of scientific research, right?
Another argument for wearing jeans and other pants in summer is that most people’s offices have the A/C blasting during the summer months, so you actually need to cover your legs *more*. If this is true of your office, then yes, wearing jeans in summer might not be a bad idea.
Now that we can agree that more clothes coverage make you hotter (remember the air flow issue, from above!), but that someone’s personal preference might be to wear more clothes–how exactly do you reckon that? Well, there are plenty of tips for how to pull of things like jeans in summer… like this one from Business Insider. You can read the whole thing, or I can give you just the info you need to know:
–The lighter the denim, the better. Denim typically weighs 12 ounces to 16 ounces. Go for the 12 stuff.
–Avoid stretch denim or skinny jeans. The synthetics that make denim stretchy aren’t breathable (as compared to something like a cotton or a linen). Remember, you want breathable fibers when you’re sweating. The absorb moisture and breath it away from your skin.
–Avoid “raw” or “dry” denim. If you see those words on the description, don’t buy them for summer wear. The fabric is stiffer which makes it less breathable (until it’s more broken in, of course).
–Go for distressed or hole-y denim. As long as it’s office appropriate, go for distressed denim that has patches that are worn through (or best case scenario, huge holes). This will allow for that air flow you’re so after.