Do white clothes really keep you cool in summer? © iStock

Do white clothes really keep you cool in summer?

No, a white polyester onesie will not keep you cool on the beach.

Yes they do. Black materials absorb heat whereas lighter shades reflect it. At least that’s part of the equation. The other factor is the material. Natural fibres tend to keep you cooler than synthetic fabrics. Linen is especially good in hot humid conditions as the natural flax fibres help to wick moisture away from the skin. That aids the cooling, evaporative effect of sweating.

Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.