Does white underwear keep you warm more or less than similar pieces of black color?

IMHO, white color would more "reflect" back the existing temperature of the human body. However, black would "attract" warmth of radiation coming from outside, according to what is considered as black body.

Does it also matter, whether other clothes are worn on top of the underwear, and its color?

Note: I am no expert in physics at all, so please feel free to edit this question to be more technically correct.


1 Answer 1


The color of an object does give some idea as to how much it absorbs or reflects EM energy, but only radiation in the visible light spectrum.

Where visible light is an important part of the heat transfer (such as in direct sunlight), then white objects would be expected to absorb less energy (and heat up less) than dark objects.

But since underwear is (normally) worn beneath mostly opaque clothing, the heat transfer doesn't involve visible light photons. The perceived warmth would have more to do with how it conducts heat directly and how well it absorbs/radiates in the infrared spectrum. Neither of these correlate with the color of the material.

So no, I would not expect white underwear to be more or less insulating than black.


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