Tipsheet: Staying (And Looking) Cool In A Summer Suit

Dressing well in the summer doesn't mean you have to ditch being comfortable. If you balance texture, patterns, and accessories right, you’ll be as comfy as if you were wearing khaki shorts & a t-shirt (without the hassle of getting kicked out of your cousin's wedding). And with imminent events that require you to look suave -- graduations, job interviews, summer weddings -- now's a good time for us to share our summer suiting knowledge to help you keep your cool.

When its 80-plus outside, linen and cotton are your summer saviors. But each one's breathability, which is determined by their weave pattern, is just as important as your garment choice. 

1. Cotton: Most of what's in your closet is made out of cotton, but the weave pattern of those items probably wasn't designed specifically with summer in mind. The plucker style of seersucker allows the fabric to lift off your skin and let air circulate (one of the reasons why it became a staple of Southern gentlemen). 

Best of all? Seersucker doesn't need to be ironed. Hooray laziness!

2. Linen: The fabric -- which Egyptian mummies were wrapped in because it was seen as a symbol of light and purity -- comes from the flax plant and is smoother than cotton. It's also lightweight, breathable, and does not retain moisture. One of the downsides of a linen blazer/suit is that it wrinkles easily, but the fabric is more casual anyways, so you shouldn't fret over excessive creasing. Or, buy a cotton/linen blend.
Lighter colors work best, for two non-fashion reasons: they reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, and if/when you do sweat, the spots are much less noticeable. Khaki, tan, stone, and pastels (especially pastels) are the shades on your color wheel  this summer.

PRO TIP: Wear a light cotton tee underneath your shirt to help combat any (inevitable) sweating.

The fit of your jacket, blazer, trousers, and pants should stay consistent all year -- slim, but not tight. Leg openings of 14 or 15 inches and sleeve openings around three inches are ideal. But, for your summer pants, leave a little more room to avoid, uh, moisture and crotch constriction in the heat.
  • Shades: Light suit colors go well with tortoise frames.
  • Ties: Put away your wool ties -- break out the knit and silk, instead.
  • Shirts: In keeping with the open weave rule, make sure your shirt is cotton or linen. (But please don’t wear a linen shirt under a linen blazer, because linen is not like denim.)
  • Shoes: Mix style and levels of formality -- canvas kicks add edge to a blazer, pants, and a loosened tie. And yes, a loafer sans socks is snazzy. But socks absorb moisture... so, in lieu of them, use foot powder for the sake of your loafers, and all those around you.
Two tips:

1.
One of the best things about summer style is the leeway to be a little “messy”, especially when it’s 100 f@$king degrees outside. Loosen up that tie, unbutton your collar, and flow confidently with the casual vibe.

2. You can switch things up a bit and wear a shirt that’s darker than your suit or blazer -- this move provides a balanced contrast to your lighter outer-layers.

Now that you've got the knowledge, head over to our Proper Shop and put it to practice

Other Stuff You Will Like

Shop the T-Shirt Time: Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale Filter

Show your friends what they should be wearing.

Plus you’ll score sweet cash for each friend who signs up and buys through your link.

You can change your Facebook options at any time by visiting your account settings