Summer's "Coolest" Fabrics

Ever wonder how some people can wear a suit in the summer? Well, not all suits are created equally and some have better airflow than others. For example, consider the fabric and interlining.

If you have a jacket with a fused (glued) interlining, it will not breathe and as a consequence will trap heat very quickly. Also the material, weave as well as the weight, have an impact on how warm or cool it feels.

Before we get into some ideal summer fabrics, it’s important to know that our Made-to-Measure suits are half-canvas and our Bespoke suits are full-canvas; all natural horse hair and stitched for comfort, drape and longevity…and of course, breathability.

Seersucker is an all-time American classic, especially in the southern United States, and usually comes in a stripe of white and blue. Seersucker is made from a fine, highly twisted cotton yarn that creates the puckering effect in the cloth. The crinkle is permanent and cannot be ironed out, but because of the high twist, it does not wrinkle otherwise which makes it a good travel suit, perfect for garden parties, summer events, or just plain hot days!

Linen is derived from the flax plant and can be made into a stiffer or softer fabric. Typically, Irish linen is stiffer, while Italian linen is softer. Linen fibers naturally have a long staple (length) and is resistant to abrasion, even more so than cotton. It also has very heavy wrinkles that create a very sophisticated, unique look, as opposed to just plain “wrinkled”.

Cotton often comes in lighter colors for summer and also in tighter weaves such as twill which makes it less breathable than linen. It also wrinkles more than linen, and looks … well … wrinkled! When it comes to cotton, having a more open weave (hopsack or waffle) is more advantageous to staying cool in the summer. Also, the addition of wool will help with both airflow and wrinkling.

Tropical (wool) is soft, lightweight and specifically designed for warmer weather. Sometimes you can find it with a small addition of Mohair which is a little crisper, adds a bit of wrinkle resistance and a tiny bit of shine while at the same time makes you feel cooler when you wear it! Tropical wool is infinitely easier to care for, wrinkles less (as they tend to hang out well), drapes beautifully, and can be worn beyond the hottest of summer days.

Now, with all that in mind, you may wish to opt for a single-breasted silhouette as your coat can be worn open allowing more breeze passing through, and if this jacket is to be used for only the warmer months, consider a half-lined jacket for even more breathability.

As summer approaches … enjoy time with family and friends, have fun, and dress well! Should you have any questions, or wish to explore exceptional wardrobe options and opportunities, feel free to contact me at your convenience. I am delighted to continue making it easy to look your best.