Dressing well in the summer doesn't mean you have to ditch being comfortable. If you balance texture, patterns, and accessories correctly, you’ll be almost 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, etc. -- now is a good time to get the lowdown on summer suiting knowledge to help you keep your cool.

And you don't have to work in a 36 story high rise to suit up on the daily -- check out these 9 simple ways you can dress down a suit.


Part I: A matter of fabrics

When it's 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. 
  • 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. However, the pucker-style of gingham, chambray, and 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). 
  • 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, if you're the finicky type, just buy a cotton/linen blend.)

Part II: Summer hues

Lighter colors work best because a) they reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, and b) if/when you do sweat, the spots are much less noticeable. Khaki, tan, stone, pastels, navy, lighter shades of blue are some of our warm weather favorites.

PRO TIP: Wear a light cotton v-neck tee underneath your shirt to help combat any (inevitable) sweating and protect staining the underarms of your dress shirt.

Part III: Keep it slim

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. This is especially true in the summer/late spring when any excess fabric baggage will result in unnecessary coverage and heat retention. Refer to this piece for a definitive guide to how a suit should fit.

Part IV: Accessories

  • Sunglasses -- Light suit colors go well with tortoise frames.
  • Ties -- Put away your wool ties -- break out the knit and thinner cotton numbers, instead.
  • Shirts -- In keeping with the open weave rule, make sure your shirt is cotton or linen (but avoid wearing a linen shirt under a cotton blazer).
  • Shoes -- Mix style and levels of formality -- canvas kicks add an edge to a blazer, pants, and loosened tie. And yes, a loafer or casual dress shoe sans socks is snazzy. But socks absorb moisture so, in lieu of 'em, use foot powder/no-show socks for the sake of your shoes...and all those around you.
  • Watches -- Your timepiece should match the visual sentiment of the rest of your outfit. Nothing too big, bulky, and heavy. Along with thinner leather options, colored canvas bands are an ideal summer suit pairing.

Two final tips:

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

2. Light and dark, dark and light.You can switch things up a bit and wear a shirt that’s darker than your suit or blazer -- this will provide a balanced contrast to your lighter outer-layers.
Christopher DiScipio is a staff writer for JackThreads. Follow him to freshly baked soft pretzels and cold beer on Instagram and Twitter.