just my unnecessary 2 cents
+1 on the SmartWool socks. Night and day difference, I won't ride without them when going more than a few miles.
I'm also here in the oppressively hot and humid state of NC; I went just shy of a 1k ride over 2 days last week with a Tourmaster Draft mesh jacket and the Carhartt pants mentioned earlier in this thread. When temps hit 95 or higher, it got tough. Soaking a shirt/bandana is great but it only lasts 30 or 45 minutes at highway speeds... at least on my Aprilia Futura, where the windscreen doesn't do very much to help. The mesh did more harm than good, which surprised me. (and then I find this thread explaining why...)
Commuting to and from work? Mesh is *great* for me. Distance of any sort? I'm going to try something different next time. I'm told staying constantly hydrated (i.e., Camelbak) will work better than any sort of exterior cooling, but I have yet to test that theory. Comes from an IBR rider or two, so I suppose I should try it...
As always, YMMV...
2002 Suzuki DR650
2002 Ash Grey Aprilia Futura
2003 Suzuki SV650S - Sold