Friday, August 8, 2008

The Great Shirt Hunt continued

First, we revisit Carolyn Ballinger’s Easterfest outfit. I asked her how she pieced it together, and she said, “I specifically went out looking for an outfit - I found the black halterneck top and kept looking to find something that would cover all the bareness. The black camisole I wore underneath was an oldish one I had in my cupboard, so it was a bit faded - but I didn't mind because it helped to break up the dark blackness, if that makes sense.”

Abomination of Perspiration

If you are conscious enough of your health to eschew the poisons in antiperspirants, this can leave you with an embarrassing problem. Modern fabrics tend to display underarm moisture rather exuberantly. I have 3 suggestions for this:

1. line the garment,
2. don't wear close fitting sleeves,
3. or be very particular about the fabric you choose.

Contrary to my expectation, I discovered that dark colours frequently don't hide wet patches. Sometimes they magnify their presence. I recommend busy patterns (like the Spotlight polyester advertised in the previous post) or pale colours. Best of all is white – convenient this season because the white shirt is trendy in a big way, billed as ‘fashion’s best blank canvas’. We know that white is cool, but could there have been another reason why Colonial ladies of the Orient dressed completely in white?

The above 3 options are from Shukr USA.

Long-Sleeved Cotton Shirts

I had a friend who had a limited but extremely versatile wardrobe – she wore her long-sleeved cotton shirts no matter what the season. This might seem reasonable in spring or autumn, and maybe in winter with a cozy fleece on top, but who in their right mind wears long-sleeved shirts in summer? The less clothing the cooler you'll be, right?

Un-right. I found out just how practical they are.

A long-sleeved cotton shirt can form your very own air-conditioning tent. (1) The body produces moisture which soaks the fabric, (2) air passes through the fabric, (3) causing evaporation, which takes heat with it and lowers your body temperature. Having wet under-arms or under-anythings is actually not anathema! A girl just has to learn it’s not disgusting and get used to it.

This BN Punjab suit of cotton voile (below) makes a perfectly air-conditioned tent, as I discovered last summer.

Three of the Simplicity patterns in Part 1 of this post illustrate patterned fabrics that would hide those sweat marks quite nicely. I don’t recommend satin [Simp3838] – it marks easily and doesn’t breathe in the heat. If you want to use satin, line it.

Annie Lantz excel at creating pretty pictures. These floral cotton shirts are from their Spring catalogue, bringing with them a price beyond my pocket but an inspiration and delight I hope to share with you. These fabric choices are dainty, feminine, and ideal for hot weather. However, a modest wearer of this particular style would need a camisole underneath to compensate for the missing button.

Remember, click image to enlarge. These are really worth seeing up close.

Rolled Sleeves

I found a key to being comfortable in a long-sleeved shirt is the ability to roll the sleeves up or down according to temperatures changes. Exposing the inner elbow in humid conditions seems to be a significant cooling device. If you are the owner of sensitive skin or wary of UV rays, long-sleeves are peace of mind under the blazing sun (note: sunscreen lotions are known to encourage skin cancer). If your midday summer temperatures drop significantly with the onset of evening, long sleeves, rolled up during the day, can be rolled down to prevent those nasty goose pimples.

Sleeve Tip: roll them scientifically, not higgledy-piggledy! Unbutton the cuff. Fold up the cuff so that it is the width of the cuff. If the shirt has no separate cuff, fold the end of the sleeve up two or three inches evenly all the way around. Fold the sleeve again, using width of the first fold as a guide. Repeat as many times as necessary. This should form a firm cuff that will sit nicely and won't tumble down at inconvenient moments.

The following 4 images are from

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