Human thermoregulatory responses to nonuniform thermal environments was studied by simulating the situation with altered clothing distribution. Clothing was symmetrically or asymmetrically distributed over the body surface. Esophageal and local skin temperatures, metabolism, skin heat flux, evaporative heat loss and subjective responses of six sedentary men were measured at air temperatures between 18 and 30 degrees C. Clothing distribution significantly (p less than 0.05) influenced thermoregulatory responses only at 18 degrees C. At 18 degrees C, the bilaterally asymmetric clothing resulted in a higher (p less than 0.05) esophageal temperature compared to the symmetric condition. Mean skin temperatures did not differ with clothing distribution over the range of air temperatures studied, but at 18 degrees C whole body thermal sensation was warmer (p less than 0.05) for the asymmetric compared to the symmetric group. This increased perception of warm thermal sensation was significantly correlated to the difference in skin temperature across the body.