Staying Cool in Traditional Tailoring

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As the weather starts to heat up, many suit-lovers will need to think about making small adjustments to their wardrobe to see them through the summer.

A suit is an excellent year-round outfit, but it will be necessary to make a few concessions to the temperature in order to keep you looking and feeling cool.

What to put away

First things first, there are a few pieces you’ll want to pack away in the wardrobe ready for autumn. This includes any heavy wool suits along with waistcoats and dark coloured shirts. Make sure you put them away clean, pressed and on good quality hangers. 

What to look for in a summer suit

There are some excellent ways to make bespoke tailoring summer-appropriate. One of the best ways to build a suit that will cater exactly for your needs is to sit down and talk with a tailor about the best options. 

Make sure you ask about things such as:

  • Lightweight, breathable fabric: linens and linen mixes are usually the best option.
  • Unlined or partially lined suits: this will avoid an extra layer of fabric which can trap heat.
  • Vents: a well placed vent or two can add much-appreciated airflow to your jacket.
  • Sticking to single breasted: a single breasted suit is often best in summer as it avoids adding unnecessary extra fabric. 
  • Lighter tones and colours: fabric in light grey, blues, beiges and white will reflect the heat and help keep you cooler

What to look for in summer accessories

Of course, keeping sufficiently cool also comes down to the accessories you choose to wear with your suit.

The most important of these is your shirt. The most refreshing option in the heat of summer is a light shirt made of 100% natural open weave fibres. We’d recommend sticking to classic white in cotton or silk. Many gentlemen also find that they prefer slightly less fitted shirts during the summer months, as these provide additional airflow. 

Your footwear will also have an impact on how warm you feel. Start with the socks, choosing lightly woven cotton options in light colours. Depending on the formality required, you may even want to try out so-called ‘invisible’ socks which will keep your ankles cool. Shoe choice is obviously important too; loafers or moccasins can be a seasonally appropriate choice.

Finally, think twice about a tie. In many situations it will be necessary even in the height of summer… but for many others it won’t be. Don’t underestimate how much cooler you’ll feel without it, especially if you can leave your top few shirt buttons loose. 

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