Can stuffy, as in a stuffy room, be used to describe clothes?

"This shirt is too stuffy to wear in the tropics." No? Any suggestions?

  • 1
    I would use it, I might also use 'stifling' to say something like "Having flown from Heathrow to Lagos in January I found the thick shirt I was wearing stifling when I got off the plane". However I can't find a reference to either stuffy or stifling used with reference to clothing so I'm posting this as a comment because it's only an opinion.
    – BoldBen
    Nov 18, 2016 at 7:45
  • .........'Hot'.
    – Mithical
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:30
  • I would have answered stifling, too. Nov 18, 2016 at 9:41
  • 1
    I'd expect a 'stuffy shirt' to be a shirt which is more formal than the person referring to it likes to be, as per the answer from @Dimppy. I'd either recast the sentence to something which emphasised the property it was lacking 'This shirt isn't breathable enough to wear in the tropics' or 'This shirt doesn't have enough airflow...', or just say the shirt was too warm.
    – Spagirl
    Nov 18, 2016 at 10:01
  • Sweaty, clammy, sticky.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 18, 2016 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


You should consider thick. It means heavy in the context of clothing. Look at the example sentence for thick from ODO below which is quite similar to yours.

"This shirt is too thick to wear in the tropics."


1.1 (of a garment or other knitted or woven item) made of heavy material: ‘a thick sweater’

‘Mr Whitby said the man was quite large, wearing a baseball cap and a thick coat, which looked out of place in the warm weather.’

Also, heavy may work.


2 Of great density; thick or substantial:

‘Aching from head to toe, Clara pulled the thick, heavy robe around her waist and cinched the belt tighter.’

‘Most of the seated figures wear a distinctive heavy robe with thick, rounded borders.’

  • Most often the problem is that the clothing doesn't "breathe". A vinyl raincoat is only a few mils thick, but gets quite clammy in many situations.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 18, 2016 at 13:26
  • @HotLicks, can't agree more! I initially thought warm may serve as a hypernym, but felt this shirt is too warm won't fit. Nov 18, 2016 at 14:09

Agree with spagirl. "Breathable/Not Breathable" is the term you're looking for ventilated clothing. Or I would say the clothing is "too heavy" or "too warm" for the tropics.

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