As the Dutch say: “The summer is standing in front of the door”. Summer is coming. But, how do you dress sharply for the office, a wedding or any other social event during the hot summer season? What should you look for in order to appear stylish, professional and appropriate during the summer?
What to look for in a summer suit
The most important features in a summer suit are the fabric and weave, the construction of the jacket and the color of the suit.
Summer suit fabrics
For summer suits there are a multiple of fabrics and weaves to choose from. The most popular fabrics for summer suits are linen, wool, mohair, cotton and silk. Ofcourse you can also opt for a blend of these fabrics.
Linen is a classic material for summer and it is a very popular fabric for summer suits because it’s strong, durable and light weight. Linen has a visible weave and great natural texture. Unfortunately, it also wrinkles very easy. So if you will be wearing the suit to the office, it is better to use a linen blend that also contains cotton or wool. That way you have less wrinkling, but you keep the nice summer look of linen.
There are a lot of light weight wools that are perfect for summer suits, like fresco or tropcial worsted wool.
The word fresco is derived from the word “affresco”, which translates to “fresh” and that’s exactly how a fresco suit will make you feel. This fabric consists of a multiple yarn, high-twisted wool with an open weave allowing the fabric to be very airy, yet quite durable. This fabric is designed specifically with summer in mind, and although the open weave allows for maximum air flow, the crisp feel and look of the fabric allows this suit to look extremely elegant and refined. Lightweight wools such as this work better than cotton or linen because they wick away – not absorb – sweat.
Tropical worsted wool
This is an open weave worsted wool fabric. It is generally softer than fresco, but also not as breathable. Overall it is a good choice, but if you want increased airflow you will be better off with fresco.
Apart from eveningwear, mohair is also popular for hot climates. Unlike linen or cotton, it always looks crisp yet due to it’s light weight and open weave, it wears rather cool. Mohair fabric will remain practically wrinkle free and drape well. It is nearly impossible to get a mohair fabric to wrinkle! Mohair is very durable, dirt resistant and insulating. However, a 100% mohair suit would be very expensive and also uncomfortable to wear, due to its roughness. Mohair is therefore often blended with wool.
The cotton suit is one of the most versatile choices, as it allows you to have a refined yet casual look that is extremely summer-friendly. Cotton is stiffer than wool suiting, but it is also cooler.
Seersucker is a unique cotton fabric which is distinguised by its signature striped, crinkled surface and strategic puckering.
Chambray or cambric
Chambray is a lightweight cotton fabric that is slighty glossy, very comfortable and perfect for summer. The fabric is durable and sturdy, but simultaneously flows as you move and is soft to the touch.
No fabric is lighter in weight than silk. Silk is more luxurious to the touch than cotton, resists wrinkling better than linen and drapes with more fluidity than worsted wool. However, silk is less durable, doesn’t breath as well as linen and shows water or sweat marks. For those reasons you rarely see a 100% silk suit. Typically it’s blended with wool or cotton.
Construction of the suit
The second thing to mind, regarding summer suits, is the jacket construction. Generally speaking, the less fabric and lining, the cooler it will wear. Natural fibers like linen, cotton and wool breath, but this breathability is obstructed by the satin lining, making even light-weight jackets wear much warmer in the summer. For more airflow you should therefore opt for a half lined or an unstructured jacket.
Half-lined jackets usually have lining across the upper half of the back and down the sides of the jacket, but not on the lower part of the back.
Some jackets are unlined/unstructured. In this case, the inside will be finished in the same material as the outside. Since a lining hides some seams, an unlined jacket typically requires more professional finishing, which increases the cost.
The most important thing to keep in mind with the color of a summer suit is that dark colors will absorb heat, while light colors will reflect heat. Summer is perfect to introduce color, vibrancy and boldness into your wardrobe.
Whatever you are looking for in a summer suit, we will love to be of assistance to help you find the perfect fabric, fit and color(s) that will make you feel fantastic and ready for the summer season!