May 20, 2009  ·  style

Cotton Suits

This year brings a bumper crop of cotton suits, and we're all for it. Few items in your summer wardrobe will be more flexible. Wear a cotton suit with dress shirt and shoes to work, or a lightweight knit and sandals on warm summer nights. We checked out three suits, and liked all of them for different reasons.

1. J. Crew Italian Chino | $366
J. Crew actually makes some fairly modern suits, but this one's a little more traditional, with a deep V that skews to an older demographic. Overall quality is really nice, from the lapel stitching to the great lining. You can't beat the selection of four colours. Made with a smooth, crisp twill that feels great. A very good suit for the money.

2. Banana Republic Chino | $380
Not as many colour choices nor the quality lining of the J. Crew suit, but a truly contemporary slim cut, including a small high lapel notch that suggests a bit of a bespoke look. The linen/cotton blend has a rich feel and a bit of a dressy sheen to it. But of course, our day is not complete until we have questioned the durability of a Banana Republic product, and we're going to do it here too.

3. Nicole Farhi | $574 after 25% rebate
The most expensive suit of the three, and one really without flaws. Completely on-trend slim style, in a wonderfully rich sheen for a 100% cotton material. We love the 1-button closure, fairly unique in this class of suit. Straight-leg trousers with a great drape, and a warm weather-friendly tall vent. Only one colour, but what a colour it is; ready for any occasion or time of day.

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