I remember my mom putting away all the white cloths till monsoons were over, she would say they are not suitable for the season, I wondered why. Eventually I figured that they turn transparent(more than coloured clothes) and also become dirty which is the case with other colors as well. Just in time for rainy season, I’ve got some good news: Most of those fears are actually pretty unfounded.
The Naked Scientists posed this question to Jeremy Baumberg from the Nano-photonic Centre in Cambridge…
Jeremy – Well let’s talk about it the other way – how come we can’t see through people’s clothes? There are two reasons for that. One of them is because we put dyes in them, and these absorb certain colours of light and let other ones reflect back. But that’s not true for white clothing, like cotton. So how come we can’t always see through people’s clothing to their underwear? The reason is because clothes are made of fibres which scatter light, and they scatter light in exactly the same way that milk looks white. It’s got tiny particles called casein, which are about the same size as the wavelength of light, and light really strongly scatters against those particles into all directions, so we can’t see through milk. So, cotton is made of lots of fibres around the same size as the wavelength of light, and we can’t see through it. When it gets wet, there’s water around all those fibres and then the light no longer gets scattered very strongly. So basically the material becomes more transparent.
So yes, its all in the fabric! Cotton is definitely not the ideal fabric you should wear in the rains, but fabrics that absorb less water.
If you are as obsessed as I am with a bright white outfit, but are afraid to wear one during monsoon because they look transparent when wet? Here are a few tricks that will help you use the whites in your wardrobe even on rainy days.
How to wear white outfits in monsoon. Tips & Tricks !
• Avoid cotton since they absorb the most amount of water and become see-through.
• A combination of water resistant fabric and cotton will help.
◦ List of water resistant fabrics
• Put your hand underneath the cloth and stretch it a little, if you see your skin it will likely be see-through when worn in rain.
• Wear knee length or shorter outfit or pants that are darker to protect light colour like white from visible dirt.
• Nylon is the best fabric for your Dress. If you are in area where monsoon is very harsh/or heavy rain, than this is a lightweight and durable material, making it ideal for rain and is also very stretchy.
• Whether its raining or not, never wear white undergarments with white outfits. Best colour to go with underneath white tops or dresses is nude. I have worn a strapless nude balconette bra from La Senza in these pictures.
TOP – Bershka
SHORTS – Bermuna Shorts by ZARA, India
SHOES – Steve Madden, India
ACCESSORIZE – Choker by Accessorize, India
ON MY FACE
FOUNDATION – Urban Decay Naked Skin
SETTING POWDER – Laura Marcier Loose Setting Powder
CHEEK CONTOUR – Maybelline Peach me Blush
HIGHLIGHTER – Benefit Cosmetics Sun Beam Highlighter
EYEBROWS – Benefit Cosmetics
EYES – Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner
LIP – Maybelline ColorBlur Lip Gradation Matte Lipstick in PINK 2