When I lived in San Diego, CA I could get away with a t-shirt and jeans for almost any situation. Moving across the country to one of the coldest places in the region set me up for a rude awakening. It was a slow transition at first. I was in denial of how cold 20 degrees actually is. I'd try to get away with jeans and a t-shirt when it was sunny and 25degrees with wind. I wouldn't understand why I was so cold. I was even cold in my car which was strange. It was like my heater couldn't heat my whole body. I could either get my legs or torso warm but never my entire body. After being reluctant to even check the mail without putting five layers on I decided to look into how people dress for this climate. It was a little daunting at first. I had to actually look at what things were made of and understand terminology like shells, fleece and wicking. When I moved east from the mtns I was happy to be away from the frigid winters but encountered a new problem.
Growing up in California you always hear about humidity but figure hot is hot. I mean 100degrees in dry weather can't be that much different in humid weather right? The heat index seemed like a joke to me. For those who aren't familiar the heat index, it is what it's supposed to feel like. So if the temperature says 90 and the heat index says 95 it's supposed to feel like it's 95 outside. When I first heard about this I didn't pay much attention to it. That was until I attempted a mtn bike ride in August. I've ridden in San Diego before when it was 90 but riding in the South with a index of 95 is a whole different story. I made it maybe a mile before I was panting and feeling dizzy. What was wrong with me? I thought I was in pretty good shape. I had to learn how my body reacts to humidity and what it can handle.
All of this may seem obvious for those of you who grew up in this weather but I wish I had found a post like this when I first moved here. With the cold weather closing in a lot of stores are having deals on clothing for hot weather. It took me a few summers to realize a cotton t-shirt wasn't the best choice. I've been experimenting with different blends and shirts for quite some time. Columbia's Bonehead shirts are pretty good for hot weather and so are Nike's Dri-Fit Shirts. The problem with most of these is the long sleeve version was just too hot. After all my searching I think I've found something that will be perfect.
ExOfficio recently came out with a shirt called the Sol Cool T-Shirt. This shirt is very light weight and has the dry wicking technology to keep you stay cool even with long sleeves. I like the long sleeves because the less sunscreen I have to put on the better. It's not so thin that you can see through it. The shirt also comes with odor resistant material which is a blessing for those car rides home after a long day. If you wait until Sierra Trading Post has one of their 45% deals you can get the shirt for $20. This is a steal for this type of shirt. I bought two. The fit is great but they large for their size. A small fits me and I'm 5'10, 175lbs. Columbia has a similar shirt called the Freezer Shirt. STP has this shirt as well but it's a little more than the Exofficio shirt. If you haven't worn anything by ExOfficio before you owe it to yourself to give them a try. They make great products that hold up well.