May 21, 2014  ·  style

How to choose a summer suit

After a few years of tailoring fails it was sure nice to see the president killin' it on Easter Sunday. Now that many of us have caught up to the heat and humidity of late-April DC, here are a few parameters to consider when buying a suit for warm weather:
  • Linen is as light and airy as advertised, but it's also as wrinkle-prone as advertised. Think about how you'll be wearing your suit. If it's going to be a couple of hours standing at a garden party, the rumple factor will be minimized and a bit endearing regardless. If you're going to be seated a lot or wearing it for hours on end maybe reconsider.
  • Tropical wool, a light gauge worsted with a looser weave, is an underrated option for suiting up in the heat. While not quite as apt to ventilate its wearer to cool breezes it will be much, much better at staying smooth and unwrinkled. Also wearable in spring and fall, which is notable if you're looking to get a lot of use out of your investment.
  • Possibly even more important than your suit's primary material is the nature of its lining and construction. A conventional suit coat is fully lined and has a floating chestplate with layers of canvas. Obviously as these elements are reduced or eliminated the suit becomes cooler at the cost of structure. More rigid materials like cotton do great with little or no structure; often these suits are lined only in the shoulders and sleeves. A partially unlined, unstructured suit in an airy material will be your best defense against getting cooked.
Photo: Getty Images

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