Photo: Tom Godber (Flickr)
If you are packing for a trip to the desert, would it be better to pack light or dark clothes? The answer is not a simple as you might think.
Dark vs Light
Most people know that white reflects heat and black absorbs it. If you’re out in the sun, you’re better off wearing white. However, this is not always true. Bedouins, the nomadic people who spend their entire lives in the desert, wear black robes.
While the air underneath black fabric warms up faster than the air underneath white fabric, at the same time, black fabric provides more shade than white fabric, and this decreases the amount of light that directly reaches the skin. Plus, a lot depends on the type of clothing you’re wearing. You see, warm air rises. And when it does, it’s replaced by cool air. If you happen to be wearing a robe, all that movement of the warm air creates a breeze that sucks up cooler air from the bottom of the robe and pushes it out the top.
Build In Fan
In other words, wearing a black robe is like having a suit with a built in fan. But again, the key is that the robe is loose-fitting. Otherwise, there isn’t enough room for the air to circulate.