Written by Amy Scalia
Summer is here along with the hot sticky weather. A simple way to keep cool as you enjoy the great outdoors is wearing fabrics made for warm temperatures and humid conditions. Summer-friendly staples usually include linen and cotton, as well as chambray and summer blends. But Cotton plisse and Tencel are even more cooling, breathable and sustainable. Here’s a closer look at these two fave-fabrics along with some ideas for how to wear them.
Cotton plisse is a warm weather favorite because it’s natural, light and breathable. It’s also versatile enough to be worn for both daytime and nighttime looks. With a puckered, crepe-like, accordion texture, cotton plisse is travel-friendly and wrinkle resistant. This crimped effect to the fabric keeps it from clinging, which makes it even more ideal for summer. “Plisse drapes differently and tends to stand away from the body, so it gives you that breeze you need on a hot day,” says Kelsey Vi-tullo, Head Designer of Comfort at UpWest. “You have moisture-wicking perks, too, because cot-ton is a super absorbent fiber.”
The light plisse fabric can make a wide leg pant airy enough for summer, while its rippled texture pairs perfectly with a simple tee. Plisse shorts are comfy enough for lounging around the house, but details like fringe, lining and a flattering-fit help dress them up for wearing out as a casual short. The woven plisse takes this utility romper up a notch while its relaxed fit and oversized pockets keep things easy. A plisse swim cover-up gives you the breezy fit and fabrication you need on a summer day with coverage you want when you're away from the water.
Tencel is a brand name for lyocell and modal fibers (think what Band-Aids are to bandages or Kleenex are to tissues) made from a wood pulp fiber derived from sustainably managed forests. These fibers offer long-lasting softness, silky smoothness, enhanced breathability, color retention and biodegradability. It looks and feels similar to rayon or viscose, but rayon requires more energy and chemicals to produce. Tencel, on the other hand, is produced by environmentally responsible processes from sustainably sourced, natural, raw material wood.
Known for its natural comfort, Tencel can be combined with a range of textile fibers such as cotton, polyester, acrylic, wool, and silk to enhance the look, softness, comfort and functionality. It’s also breathable and manages moisture well, so it helps with temperature regulation. This makes Tencel particularly popular for clothing and bedding.
Made with 100% Tencel lyocell, these wide leg pants have a washed look and super soft feel - the kind of comfort that goes with everything. The All-Around Short's handy pockets, adjustable waist and fun “Mudcloth” print on Tencel fabric make it an easy summer go-to. The relaxed fit, adjustable spaghetti straps, sheath sundress silhouette and super soft 100% Tencel Tank Dress is the perfect blend of sustainable style and comfort.
“I really enjoy designing with Tencel and finding new ways to source the softest and coziest fab-rics made in sustainable ways,” says Vitullo. “It’s all about making progress, not perfection, to-ward conscious comfort.” With several partnerships, such as Fair Harbor, Sunski, Nikki Reed, PaddyWax, and Repreve, the UpWest sustainable collection offers a range - from swimwear and beach towels to clothes and candles - of eco-friendly styles and earth-friendly products that are made for more.