What Type of Clothing to Wear in the Heat & Humidity

Pack light for a tropical vacation.

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Heat and humidity make your hair frizz and your face shiny. If you choose the wrong outfit, you'll be hot and sticky too. When packing for a tropical vacation -- be it a jungle trek along the Amazon or a family reunion in South Florida -- maintain your cool with a few wise fashion choices. Instead of looking like a wilted flower, l be cat-walk ready!

Think Loose

Humidity not only opens your pores, it causes your body to swell, so your skinny jeans and form-fitting, Lycra-loaded shirts cling to you -- and not in a good way. Leave the jeans at home and pack loose-fitting trousers, shirts and dresses. Instead of designs cinched at the waist, take shift dresses that have relaxed shapes. To show off your figure, include a colorful scarf or belt to tie loosely around your waist. Wide-legged drawstring trousers are great because you can loosen them as the weather gets hotter. This is also a good time to show off your toned arms with sleeveless dresses and shirts.

Light Colors

Instead of basic black, remember these two little words: light colors. Black and dark colors absorb light, and in hot weather, you want clothes that reflect light. Unless you're a bride, that doesn't mean only white. Add light tan, beige or pastel colors to your suitcase palette. Or mix basics like khaki pants or skirts with pastel tops and T-shirts. Another option if you want to stand out in the crowd: tie dye or polka dots.

Natural Fabrics

Your mother may have told you that "women don't sweat, they glow." She was wrong. In hot climates, everyone sweats. All that wetness needs to go somewhere, and natural fibers provide the best escape route. Because cotton, linen and bamboo fabrics are natural and breathable, you feel more comfortable in sticky weather. Woven linen trousers keep you cool in the muggiest climates, and cotton knits are comfortable in T-shirts and dresses. And don't forget a silk slip to wear under that shift dress. If you need a raincoat, then instead of a slicker made from plastic material you should pack a water-resistant cloth slicker -- maybe in polka dots, with a matching hat.


A sun hat is not just a fashion accessory -- it is a necessity for sight-seeing in sunny weather. A hat with a wide brim in a light fabric or woven material is best. Make sure it doesn't fit too tightly. Try the hat on with your favorite shades. Leave your leather handbag at home. Instead, bring a straw bag that matches your hat. Sandals and espadrilles are de rigueur for beach vacations. Also, leave your panty hose at home. Instead, pack an extra bottle of sunscreen or a second bathing suit.

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