1. Supima Cotton Vintage Whisper pocket henley by Splendid Mills, $72. splendid.com. Wearing this luxurious cotton with a deep neckline makes you feel stylish, sexy and still casual. Splendid’s shirts, the culmination of a search to find the softest fabric in the world, are made of American-grown supima cotton and micro modal rayon. And the best part: They’re so soft you’ll never want to take them off.
2. Cotton-Poly Burnout Wonderland Burnout Baby V-Neck by Sinful, $34. soliscompany.com. Cotton-poly “burnout” is the result of a successful fashion industry effort to manufacture vintage and skip the natural aging process. Cool polyester sounds like an oxymoron—the synthetic fabric lacks breathability and gained notoriety helping fighters sweat out water weight—but burnouts go through an acid-wash treatment that leaves the final product thin with a weathered look that feels worn-in and keeps you cool.
3. Silk-cotton Takko blouse with tie-back waist by Diesel, $130. diesel.com. The Chinese royal family first cultivated silk fabric in 3,500 B.C. Today, avoid glossy silk—best saved for old school mafia flicks and frat boy bed sheets—and try a silk-cotton blend. This blouse actually separates the two: Front: 100 percent silk; back: 100 percent cotton. Smooth and lightweight—this silk number leaves the shine for your lips.
4. Cotton Chambray New Midnight Sport Piping Shirt by G-Star, $105. ssense.com. In the U.S., a heavyweight indigo chambray was one of the original workmen shirts, which gave us the term “blue-collar.” Chambray, a strong and lightweight cotton, gained white-collar fashion popularity in the 1980s when brands like Ralph Lauren helped the look reach iconic status. The style is re-emerging today as part of a retro-Americana trend. Look for military-inspired styles this fall.
5. Bamboo Team Crest Tee (coming Fall 2011) by RYU (Respect Your Universe). theryu.com. Bamboo produces the only fabric cooler than cotton. To start, it’s sustainable: Bamboo grows quickly and doesn’t need chemicals to flourish. Bamboo fabric is also soft, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial. The brand RYU (Respect Your Universe) has developed the best bamboo-blend in the business: a proprietary blend of bamboo, rayon and stretch fibers. RYU is releasing a full line of performance apparel and sportswear for Fall 2011.
6. Slub-Cotton Slubbed Polo by Converse by John Varvatos, $75. saksfifthavenue.com. Slub cotton fabric is another fashion industry case of making new products with a vintage look and feel. Finely textured, lightweight and soft, slub cotton is a perfect all-year fabric. For a more forward look, try a Converse by John Varvatos slub henley.