Scouting Report: A merino dress for summer? Yes, you read that right. It helps keep you cool, resists odor, and doesn't wrinkle.
I love this dress so much, especially to travel with, but it’s a great summer piece anywhere. The design is cute and comfy, without being too revealing, and the longer back hem adds an extra little stylish touch. I like that the fabric is a neutral color, but also a print, to keep it from being boring. Most of all, I adore the fact that it’s made of super soft merino wool.
Icebreaker Merino Women's Yanni Tank Summer Travel Dress
It might sound counterintuitive to wear a wool dress in summer, but when the wool is merino, it makes perfect sense. That’s because merino wool has properties that other types of fabric don’t, and it’s why my entire travel wardrobe – for all four seasons – is made from varying weights of it. This tank dress is a perfect example.
The most important feature for summer clothes is that merino wool can literally help you stay cooler when it’s hot outside. That’s because it can absorb over 35% of its weight in water or sweat before it feels wet. In the heat, the moisture dries faster and the evaporation is actually cooling. That also means you won’t have damp clothes clinging to your body, which gives your skin room to do what it’s supposed to: regulate your body temperature.
Another great advantage of having warm weather apparel made from merino wool is that it’s odor resistant. Not only is your sweat evaporating, there are molecules in the fibers that break down the bacteria which cause odor. You don’t even have to wash them as much as regular clothes, simply leave them to air out. But when you do wash them, they dry very quickly on their own. Wool also offers UV protection equal to 40 SPF, which makes it particularly handy during hot, sunny days.
In addition to all of that, the fabric’s naturally rippled fibers form little air compartments that trap your body heat, which turns it into a type of insulation, summer or winter. All of those things combined make merino clothes truly wonderful for travel, but the crowning touch – for me, anyway – is that wool doesn’t wrinkle. It’s made from curly fibers that just spring back into their original shape after being bent, which I very much appreciate, since I don’t remember the last time I held an iron
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