The 13 Best Cooling Clothes and Accessories of 2023
Jul 17, 2023
"Chill out" just got a whole new meaning
Melanie Rud is a freelance beauty writer, editor, and expert living in Chicago.
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People / Marcus Millan
There’s certainly no shortage of different ways to beat the summer heat. You can jump in a pool, sip on a chilled glass of lemonade (or rosé), and, of course, change up your wardrobe. And we’re not just talking about summer staples, like cut-offs or a midi dress that celebs like Jessica Alba and Kylie Jenner love. Incorporating cooling clothing into your closet is another way to help you keep your chill all season long.
“These pieces are designed to regulate your temperature so that you can stay cool in warm or hot environments, no matter whether they’re a result of the climate, exercise, or a combination of both,” explains Rachel Lovitt, a certified personal trainer. There are a few different ways in which they work. Moisture-wicking fabrics are super common; these mimic our natural cooling process by transporting sweat away from the skin to the outside of the clothing, where increased airflow helps it evaporate quicker, she explains. There’s also something known as wet evaporative technology. This uses materials like acrylic polymers that increase the level of evaporation even further; you soak them in water and then they keep you cool for hours on end, making them great for super hot and dry environments, she adds.
When it comes time to pick your cooling clothing, the most important thing to think about is what you’ll be doing while wearing it. According to Lovitt, moisture-wicking fabrics are typically totally sufficient for most day-to-day activities; for more intense outdoor workouts, you may want to think about more souped-up cooling technology. Either way, the good news is there’s no shortage of options to choose from — including a plethora of picks (all available on Amazon!). These all ring in at affordable prices, and, in true Amazon fashion, arrive via super fast shipping, so you can chill out ASAP.
Here, the 13 best pieces of cooling clothes, including tops, bottoms, shoes, hats, and more.
Those who are active, as it’s a high performance workout T-shirt that’s both moisture-wicking and has a slightly stretchy, very comfortable fit.
Anyone looking for a more stylish option, as there’s nothing particularly unique or fashion-forward about this basic tee.
Jarett Antoque, Fashion Director at Amazon Style, says this is an especially good pick for more active customers. The brand’s Clima Tech technology helps wick away moisture so that sweat dries quicker. “I’ve tried a few other tees, and with this one you can really feel how much cooler it keeps you for longer,” he points out. At just $20, you can easily afford to nab it in a few different colors; the extensive size range is another plus, and also makes this a good unisex pick.
Price at time of publish: $20
Size Range: XS-2X | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 11
Anyone spending time outdoors; along with being moisture-wicking, these are also water-resistant and have built-in UPF sun protection, plus plenty of pockets.
Taller women may not be big fans, as some reviewers point out that they can run a bit too short.
Sure, you could totally wear these for your next hike or longer walk. They both have a water-resistant coating and quick-dry technology, meaning that if they do get a bit wet (or sweaty) they’ll dry super quickly and keep you nice and cool. (In related news, they also dry very fast after being washed.) They boast UPF 50 sun protection, too, an attribute that the experts we spoke with said was a nice addition to look for in cooling clothing. Plus, there are plenty of pockets in which you can stash any and all of your gear. That being said, they’re still stylish enough, thanks to a tapered fit and cuffed ankles, that you could easily pair them with a cute tank and sandals to wear while running errands.
Price at time of publish: $35
Size Range: XS-3X | Material: 92% Polyester; 8% Spandex | Colors: 16
This is a top pick for those looking for more size-inclusive clothing, as it’s available in sizes up to XXXXL, as well as those who want a good piece for travel, given that this is wrinkle-resistant.
Petite women, since even though this can easily be a unisex piece, even the small size may be too large for women with smaller frames.
Wear this button-down solo or as a layering piece over a tee or tank. Either way, you’ll reap the cooling benefits, thanks to a high-tech, air-vent fabric that ensures it’s nice and breathable. The fabric has built-in sun protection and is not only water-resistant, but also stain- and wrinkle-resistant too — a huge plus if you’re traveling. And while it works great as a long-sleeve, there are buttons on the arms to ensure the cuffs stay put if you want to roll them up.
Price at time of publish: $37-$42
Size Range: S-4X | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 17
Anyone who loves a little black dress, but wants one that comes with some more tech-y features.
Since this dress only comes in three colors (black, navy, and grey), it may not be the best choice for those seeking out a wider variety of shades or who prefer brighter colors.
Fashion meets function in this dress. Antoque is a fan, calling out the “very easy LBD silhouette,” which is easy to pair with any number of different types of footwear and accessories. The stretchy fabric and comfy fit (thanks to a little bit of elastane in the mix) is another plus, and, on the functionality side, you get both moisture-wicking technology and UPF 30 sun protection, he points out.
Price at time of publish: $47
Size Range: XS-3X | Material: 89% Polyester; 11% Elastane | Colors: 3
Anyone who wants an extra soft, very comfortable pair of leggings that is also going to keep them extra dry and comfortable, especially during more low-impact workouts like hot yoga.
Those doing more intense workouts or who may prefer a snugger, more compression-type fit to their leggings; while very soft, these aren’t particularly supportive.
Think of these as your beloved black leggings, just with a cooling twist. Namely, it’s the brand’s Double Dry technology that delivers extra moisture-wicking benefits, making these choice for sweaty activities like a hot yoga class. (The fact that they’re also made to resist odor is just an added benefit.) Not feeling super active? The extra buttery feel of these leggings and the high-rise fit mean they’re just as good for lounging and chilling out (pun intended) as they are for a sweat sesh. Also nice: They come in plenty of solid colors and fun prints.
Price at time of publish: $38
Size Range: XS-2X | Material: 78% Polyester; 22% Spandex | Colors: 10
Those on a budget looking for easy, affordable, basics that can be worn in different ways but still have moisture-wicking technology.
Those who prefer more stylish T-shirts as the cut and look of this one is fairly simple and basic.
Cooling clothes are great for layering; after all, it’s a perfect way to ensure that you can add more layers on top without ever getting overly sweaty underneath. Enter these basics, which Antoque says are awesome for both layering and wearing on their own, as well as great for traveling. The rapid-dry fabric wicks away moisture stat, and it also has built-in UPF protection, an impressive attribute given the price point. Plus, the hem, sleeves, and neck have double-stitching so that you never have to worry about them unraveling.
Price at time of publish: $20 for 2
Size Range: S-3X | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 13
Women who like bras with no underwires will love the stretchy and wire-free fit of this bra; the extensive size range also makes it a nice choice for women of all different cup sizes.
Anyone who prefers that their T-shirt bras don’t have cups, as there are ones built into this bra.
Bid farewell to that oh-so unwanted boob sweat once and for all. (We’ve all been there and it’s not fun.) The X-Temp fabric of this bra helps keep you both cool and dry — yes, please. It also touts the perfect combo of comfort and support; it’s extra stretchy and wire-free, though thin molded cups help create a nice smooth shape, even under super fitted tops. Not to mention that the straps are convertible so that you can easily wear this with different types of necklines.
Price at time of publish: $15
Size Range: S-3X | Material: 50% Nylon; 37% Polyester; 13% Spandex | Colors: 9
Those looking for an affordable pair of versatile sneakers that are breathable , quick-drying, and can be worn for a variety of different activities.
Since these only come in solid colors, anyone who prefers that their sneakers be more uniquely patterned may find these a bit simple; some reviewers also note that they could offer more arch support.
It’s not just cooling clothing that’s worth seeking out; cooling sneakers are also worth trying, particularly during this summer. This pick is an Amazon fan fave, boasting both a very breathable mesh upper and an insole that is moisture-wicking and nice and cushiony for extra comfort. They can be either laced up or slipped on (always a plus in our book) and come in an extensive range of over 15 colors.
Price at time of publish: $43
Size Range: 5.5-10 | Material: Mesh knit upper; memory foam insole | Colors: 16
Anyone with a large or small head, as a velcro strap makes this easily adjustable, as well as anyone who wants cooling technology that goes above and beyond standard moisture-wicking.
Those who want a hat that feels more structured and substantial, given that the material of this is fairly thin and lightweight.
Keeping your head cool is a nice way to help keep the rest of your body cool, and this baseball hat makes it easy to do exactly that. Pop it on before, after, or during a workout; all you have to do is wet the mesh material, wring it out, and snap it to activate the cooling technology. Just how cooling is it? It can actually cool up to 30 degrees below your body temp. Color us impressed.
Price at time of publish: $18
Size Range: One size | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 17
Someone who wants an instant cooling effect, as well as one that will last; the technology activates within a minute and lasts up to an hour.
Anyone who’s going to be in a situation where they don’t have easy access to water, as this does need to be wet in order for the cooling effect to kick in.
Lovitt calls this neck gaiter a "no-brainer,” lauding it not only for the wet-to-cool technology but also the built-in UPF 50. (This works similarly to the above hat on this list; soak it in water, wring it out, snap it, and it almost instantly offers chemical-free cooling.) Don’t want to wear something around your neck? “This is also very versatile, so you can use it as a headband or a headscarf,” says Lovitt, adding that it’s awesome for hiking, yard work, or just staying cool during a heat wave.
Price at time of publish: $15
Size Range: One size | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 5
Those participating in outdoor activities who may want to have an extra cooling accessory on-hand that can easily be used in different ways.
Anyone who isn’t a fan of hand-washing will probably want to pass on this, as it shouldn’t be machine washed.
Okay, so this may not be a piece of cooling clothing per se, but it is a great accessory that’s definitely worth having on-hand for extra hot days or intense outdoor workouts. Wet it and it instantly cools down 30 degrees — though still remains totally dry to the touch, thanks to its extra-evaporative material. (It’s also super absorbent, soaking up plenty of water so that it will stay cold as long as it is exposed to air.) In other words, it’s way nicer to drape around your neck or shoulders than just your standard old wet towel, not to mention that it's big enough that you could easily lay on it, too. Can you say, "beach day essential?"
Price at time of publish: $20
Size Range: One size | Material: 100% Poly Vinyl Alcohol | Colors: 10
“Take into consideration both your environment and your activity,” suggests Lovitt. “Are you running on the treadmill at an air-conditioned gym? Hiking on a hot summer day?” In most instances, the more basic, moisture-wicking technology found in most cooling clothing is totally sufficient. It’s for the more intense, outdoor workouts in the heat where other cooling technologies — i.e the ones that actually change the temp of the fabric, like the Mission neck gaiter — can be helpful, she points out.
Given that you’ll oftentimes want to wear cooling clothes for outdoor activities and/or when you’re going to be outside for longer periods of time, Antoque says it’s a good idea to seek out pieces that also tout a built-in UPF level as an extra layer of protection against the sun. UPF stands for "Ultraviolet Protection Factor" and indicates how much UV light the fabric allows to permeate through to the skin; for example, UPF 50 fabric blocks 98% of the sun's harmful UV rays.
Tags can be a big irritant to your skin, especially when you’re sweating, notes Antoque. (Being hot and itchy?! No thank you.) He says choosing items that are tag-free is a good way to ensure that you stay extra comfy while trying to keep cool.
It depends on the particular fabric, but oftentimes it’s by offering an advanced level of moisture-wicking that can help keep you both cool and dry. Other fabrics have more advanced cooling technology, which relies on a method of absorbing water that then evaporates faster than usual in order to actually alter the temperature of the material so that it will truly feel cold.
The short answer: Whenever you want. They’re obviously great for outdoor activities and exercise, although Antoque points out that they can also be a smart pick for traveling. Just keep in mind that if you are wearing them in the extreme heat, you’ll still want to make sure that you’re practicing other safety measures. While Lovitt notes that "wearing cooling clothing can help regulate your temperature and reduce the risk of things such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion," it’s not a direct replacement for other smart habits such as drinking lots of water, taking breaks, and seeking shade.
This will vary a bit depending on the particular item in question and its fabric makeup. Your best bet? Follow the directions on the garment. Generally speaking, most pieces can be machine-washed, though many should be line-dried.
Melanie Rud is a beauty and lifestyle writer who covers a wide array of topics. She has written for brands such as Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and Shape. For this story, she interviewed experts Rachel Lovitt, a certified personal trainer, and Jarett Antoque, fashion director at Amazon Style, as well as researched many pieces of Amazon’s best cooling clothing and other cooling accessories.Moisture-wicking fabricswet evaporative technologyPrice at time of publish: $20Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $35Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $37-$42Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $47Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $38Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $20 for 2Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $15Size Range: Material: Colors: Price at time of publish: $43Size Range: Material:Colors: Price at time of publish: $18Size Range: Material:Colors: Price at time of publish: $15Size Range: Material:Colors: Price at time of publish: $20Size Range: Material:Colors: