Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care in Colorado answers questions each week on KUSA. This week, he took a question about wearing dark colors in the heat of summer.
Dr. I see lots of people wearing black in the heat of the day. It was my understanding that black and dark colored clothing absorbed light and heat and was not healthy or practical to wear, especially in the summer. Am I wrong on this one? Steve
The overall answer to this question is a big "it depends". Although dark clothes do absorb more sunlight and add to the heat that way some experts feel that dark clothes also absorb more body heat so help reduce body temp as well. Light clothes do reflect sunlight more so might help reduce body heat from this source. But how much light gets absorbed or reflected depends heavily on how much sunlight you're exposed to. How cool you'll be in clothes not only depends on the color of the fabric but also how thick it is and how much wind you'll be exposed to. If you're going to be in direct sunlight then lighter colored clothes might be best to avoid heat. But otherwise it's more important to focus on the thickness of the fabric and not as much on the color.