Blog: Sun is a shock for Brits, even in July

Joe Ayling | 6 July 2009

A recent heatwave in the UK has led information-providers to dispel popular myths about keeping cool, including advice to wear black.

Unfamiliar with baking hot days, long-evenings and sweltering heat, Brits get dizzy when the summer actually lives up to its promise.

Measures include wearing brilliant white T-shirts, opening all windows, and even putting the kettle on for a cuppa. But this BBC guide points out that none of these steps are particularly logical when Britain gets tropical.

Perhaps the most surprising though is the idea of wearing loose-fitting but dark clothes in high temperatures, rather than white.

Physicist Prof Robin Marshall told the BBC: "I look at what people do who have got experience living in hot sunny climates. They wear black clothing. If you can stay out of the sun it will radiate heat off much better."

This is particularly relevant for a vast number of people who work their way between concrete office blocks in poorly air-conditioned cars/trains/buses.

The black T-shirt theory also gets a mention from Daily Mail fashion columnist Liz Jones, who was shocked by how badly the Wimbledon crowd adapted their outfits to the weather uptick.

"There were too many knees on show, and armpits, and awful crusty feet with overlong toenails," she jokes.

Talk of staying cool and avoiding the sun is often short-lived in the UK. However, the wardrobe changes that this so-far sweltering summer has forced will bring some much-needed respite to high street retailers during testing economic times.

By Joe Ayling, news editor.


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