People's clothing behaviour according to external weather and indoor environment

M. De Carli, Bjarne W. Olesen, A. Zarrella, R. Zecchin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In prehistoric times man wore furs of animals to protect himself from the cold. Successively over the centuries clothing has become also a tool to distinguish ourselves in society. Clothing has in addition an important impact on people's perception of the indoor environment. Clothing behaviour has been analysed by investigating the external and indoor parameters that motivate people's choice of clothing. Based on two existing databases, two types of buildings have been investigated: air-conditioned and naturally ventilated (NV) buildings. The impact of outdoor temperature on people's clothing selection has been considered. The outdoor temperature at 6 a.m. seems to affect people's choice of clothes the most. Gender does not significantly affect the selection of clothing insulation. Latitude has also been investigated and a good correlation has been found between clothing insulation and external temperature in the ranges 20 degrees-40 degrees and -20 degrees to -40 degrees for NV buildings. Indoor air temperature does not seem to influence the clothing choice early in the morning but it does seem to influence the change of clothing during the day, if this is authorized, in workplaces in NV buildings. Such action can be termed "clothing adjustment" during the day. Some computer simulations on a test reference year have been carried out for a typical air-conditioned office to analyse a person's comfort when wearing different clothes. It is possible to see that in air-conditioned buildings a variation of 0.1 clo is sufficient to change totally the comfort evaluation. It is evident that further studies are needed in this field.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)3965-3973
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • thermal comfort
  • clothing adjustment
  • clothing
  • gender
  • occupant behaviour

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