Warm weather can be tough on men that enjoy looking good. There are so many outfits that are comfortable during the fall, winter and early spring months. Once those late spring days give way to summer, it becomes difficult to layer clothes. Form fitting fabrics that flatter a figure in the cooler months become sweat traps as it gets warm out. Summer is, without a doubt, the most challenging season for men’s formal wear.
Sure, if you’re going to a wedding and need a tuxedo in Philadelphia, you can tough it out. For most of June, July and August, however, you’ll probably need a way to look good without trapping in heat.
So how do you wear a suit in the summer?
A typical wool suit simply won’t work once it gets above seventy or eighty degrees. However there are many breathable fabric options ranging from formal to novel.
Seersucker and linen suits look relaxed and depending on how it’s worn can even seem ironic. Linen tends to wrinkle very easily which adds to its casual effect; a linen-cotton blend can get around this issue pretty easily. Seersucker is a rumpled cotton fabric typically covered in thin vertical stripes of pale blues, pinks, greens or yellows. It’s lightweight and in recent years has grown in popularity (particularly on the west coast), but is still considered very casual and inappropriate for formal situations.
Cotton and fresco suits allow the wearer a still formal appearance while allowing for a more breathable feel. Fresco is an Italian wool and because of its open weave, it provides a lighter wear with more airflow than the average wool suit. Cotton is a classic fabric and immensely comfortable but is stiffer than wool. It has a slightly different look than other suits, and while probably not as formal as the typical suit fabrics, is generally acceptable in formal occasions during the summer.
While black, navy and dark grey are staples of men’s conservative dress, summer fabrics can be a bit more colorful to better reflect the sun’s rays.
Lighter blues like baby blue act as navy’s summertime cousin. The linen suit is probably the best choice for this particular shade.
Khaki toes the line between casual and formal better than any other summer color. It’s most commonly found on cotton suits making the khaki cotton combo the most versatile of the summer wardrobe options.
Light grey maintains a formal appearance regardless of the situation. This shade works on almost any fabric (with the exception of seersucker) and has the benefit of working well a number of other colors. For the most formal summer-weight suit, light grey fresco can keep you cool and still boardroom appropriate.
When you’re ready to find your next suit for summer stop by our suit store in Philadelphia, we can craft you a look for this summer and many more to come.