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If you're traveling to a tropical paradise, you need to think about the weather when deciding what to wear. Basically, it's gonna be crazy hot, which means you need clothes made with natural fibers that are super breathable and absorbent. Leave your stifling polyester and wool blends at home -- in tropical climates, you want to keep your fabrics light and comfortable.
You've heard the phrase "cotton breathes," right? You better believe it, sister. If you're spending time in tropical climates, make cotton one of your best buddies to stay cool and comfy. Cotton fibers absorb and release perspiration like it ain't no thing, so you'll stay less sweaty and dry out quicker. Just try to avoid blends that contain polyester or other synthetic materials because it sucks out some of the cooling effects. Whenever possible, stick to 100 percent cotton clothes or a blend that includes other natural fibers such as linen.
Speaking of linen, here's another tropics-approved fabric that will keep you cool in hot temps. Go to any tropical paradise and you'll see this fabric everywhere -- it's standard-issue hot weather wear. The stuff is made from flax and is slightly thicker than cotton, but it's still super absorbent and cooling. When you need a tropical outfit that's a bit dressier than a cotton tee or sundress, go for a crisp linen blouse and some loose linen pants or a skirt.
OK, so maybe you need to wear something even fancier: That's when it's time to turn to silk. This magical fabric is kinda like a Thermos -- it keeps you cool in hot temps and warms you up in cold temps. It also absorbs moisture and looks pretty snazzy to boot. For a dressy evening in a tropical paradise, slip on a loose, flowing silk dress and a silk shawl to stay cool and dry while you sip nighttime cocktails under the palm trees.
If you're planning on spending a lot of time out in the elements, consider a fabric with a little extra space-age protection. Believe it or not, some crafty scientist out there actually created fabric that blocks the sun's ultraviolet rays. It's called "UV-protective" or "sun-protective" fabric. Neat, right? A little tag on the inside will tell you how much UV protection you get by listing the fabric's UPF rating. For instance, a UPF of 20 lets just 1/20th of the sun's radiation in -- in other words, it reduces radiation exposure by 20 times.