Should Dark or Light Clothes Be Worn On Hot Days?

Summer heat getting to you? Cool off with this lengthy look at experiments carried out in an effort to determine whether you should wear light clothes, dark clothes, light clothes over dark clothes, or some other combination to beat the heat.

The problem of the undergarments has been taken up by the Federal Government very seriously of late and exhaustive tests have been made. The experiments have been carried out on an elaborate scale recently in the Philippines, where a thousand men have been used in the tests which have been carried on for upward of a year. If the soldier can be made to march further, carry more weight, and fight better in hot weather merely by changing his shirt, naturally the United States Government wants to know all about it.

It’s actually pretty interesting to see the lengths they went to, the blood tests, the dietary monitoring, the consideration of dark skin versus light skin, etc., in their research. The conclusion at the time was that our bodies suffer from the short wavelength light rays more than the actual heat, so opaqueness of clothing matters more than the color.

SHOULD DARK OR LIGHT CLOTHES BE WORN ON HOT DAYS? Interesting Experiments by Government Experts on the Effect of the Color of Garments (PDF)

From July 17, 1910

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