Dressing for the Change: Menopause Clothing for Every Season

By Susan LaScala Wood • Published 9/8/2023

a woman dressed in a flowy blue dress, perfect for a person experiencing menopause hot flashes

Is it hot in here or is it menopause?

If you’ve experienced a sensation where heat suddenly surges through your body, this is a question you’ve no doubt asked yourself. These hot flashes, as they’ve come to be known, are the result of a decrease in estrogen levels. One explanation for hot flashes is that the change in hormone levels affects your body’s ability to regulate your temperature — a hot flash is your body’s attempt to cool you down. You can respond in turn — starting with the clothes you choose to wear.

Every season comes with a different challenge. Here, we share some different ways to prepare for each one.

Wearing layers just makes sense for hot flashes — no matter the season

Summer: How do I keep a hot summer’s day from feeling even hotter?

While most people look forward to the summer sun, people going through menopause don’t always share that same enthusiasm. A great way to prepare for a hot flash on a hot day? Light layers made of cool, natural fabrics like cotton and linen. These are breathable materials that allow air to flow, unlike polyester and other synthetic materials that can create and trap in heat. It’s also a good idea to consider wearing open necklines that can let in a light breeze — while letting out heat. Some good summer options to consider include a:

  • Flowy linen dress
  • Loose cotton jumpsuit
  • Light blazer that can help you adjust to the AC.
a woman wearing a layered outfit for colder seasons that is easy to adjust in case of hot flashes

Winter: Do I really need to worry about feeling hot when it’s cold?

Yes, this season might be cold — outside. But step into a space with the heat cranked up, and the day can instantly become a scorcher. Here’s where layers really are your best friend. Want to wear your favorite sweater? Wear a shirt underneath in case you need to peel it off. Dying to wear that new wool coat? Wear a much lighter layer underneath or toss one in your bag. And while you’re at it, toss in a hat and a scarf, too. While linen might not exactly be a popular winter fabric, there are plenty of other wonderful natural fabrics to choose from, including silk and cashmere.

Spring & Fall: If the temperature is comfortable, why aren’t I?

While these two seasons might be known for their milder temperatures, a hot flash can change that in, well, a flash — especially at night. So, it’s not only important to consider what you’re putting on in the morning, but also what you’re wearing to sleep. Here, too, it’s best to opt for natural fabrics. Pure silk, organic cotton, and organic hemp are great choices for sleepwear. Of course, don’t forget to consider the sheets you’re sleeping on, too. Linen, bamboo, and cotton have been known to help regulate temperature and often get rave reviews when it comes to helping you stay cool. You may also want to look into mattress pads and pillows that are filled with cooling gels that can help with night sweats.

It goes without saying that whatever the season, you should always feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing. During menopause, that just usually happens to be something that not only looks cool — but also keeps you cool.

Last Updated 2/15/2024

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