Summer is a time when many people shed their normal clothes and opt for casual looks comprised of t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, or maybe even the odd pair of cut-offs. If you have a professional job – or any job for that matter – you probably won’t be able to adopt the beach bum look all summer, even if it is an appealing idea to you.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to sweat through the summer in a wool suit designed for the winter months. With so many new light fabrics out there, guys can be business-ready while maintaining some level of comfort when the temperature climbs over 90-degrees.
Keep reading to learn more about the top five light fabric suits that you should consider adding to your wardrobe this summer.
If you’ve never heard of a hopsack suit before, there’s a good chance you’re not alone in that. Walk down the street and ask 50 guys and you’ll probably find that less than half of them know about the name.
Hopsack simply means the material has been loosely woven. If you’re in the market for a quality hopsack suit, you need to be looking for tropical wool. Unlike regular wool suits you already have, the loose weave will allow some air to get through so your skin can breathe in the heat.
While hopsack is a light fabric, it can also be somewhat delicate and is prone to snags. It’s also a little heavier than some summer options, so it might be fine for an 80-degree day, but not quite ideal for when it’s any warmer that that.
Linen is the ultimate light fabric for men’s clothing, and every man who has ever been shopping for a suit has probably seen a linen one.
Even if you’ve never considered purchasing one, you almost surely know somebody in your life that has owned and wore one with style. The best thing about linen is that it’s a strong, durable material that breathes easily and wicks away moisture as you move.
Keep in mind, there are a few potential downsides to linen suits. For some guys in more corporate or formal office settings, they might look a bit too casual. That’s because linen suits tend to look a bit more unstructured and remind people more of a beach wedding suit or something to wear for a night out in Miami compared to most work attire.
Linen also wrinkles easily. Sitting in the wrong position at your desk could leave your jacket a mass of wrinkles in the back, turning a stylish look into a disheveled one. Most people know that linen wrinkles and understand that it’s a part of the look, but some feel that these wrinkles aren’t the most appealing.
When you think about mohair, you probably think of sweaters and winter wear, not an ideal light fabric for a summer suit. While mohair can be used for warmer garments, it’s actually a light fabric made from Angora goats.
Designed to be somewhat rigid and strong, mohair is durable enough for a suit that you can wear regularly, but breathable enough for even warm summer days. That’s because mohair generally breathes like linen.
What’s really special about mohair, is the fact that it’s a little more rigid and tends to have a little bit of natural shine when compared to linen. For men in a traditional office environment, this results in a suit that looks a little more formal or business appropriate, as well as one that won’t get wrinkled very easily.
Mohair suits are also excellent for fall wear when worn with layers. It might not be warm enough for winter, but wool suits during that season are everywhere you look.
Most men who think of cotton imagine t-shirts, a pair of soft pants or maybe even some shorts they wear to the gym. While that cotton that you wear in the form of an undershirt is one variety, there are actually a whole bunch of different materials that fall under the larger cotton umbrella. When it comes to finding a light fabric for the perfect summer suit, cotton is often an ideal choice.
Examples of materials for summer suits in the cotton family include chino, seersucker and unstructured cotton. All of these materials are commonly turned into suits, and no matter your style, you can find one that fits and looks great.
Why is cotton an ideal light fabric for a suit? Because it breathes well, doesn’t absorb tons of moisture – and because it can be worn year round if you layer properly.
While the casual styling found on most cotton suits is often a good thing, some men may find that it’s too casual for a corporate environment. Still, if you dress a cotton suit up right with a nice pair of shoes and a high-quality tie, it could work perfectly in any formal environment.
Cotton also wrinkles easily, but in general, less than linen. Consider taking off your jacket when you sit down and you’ll be fine.
Silk for a suit? We can almost hear a collective group of men asking that very question with a hefty dose of skepticism in their voices. Yes, silk really can be used to make a summer suit you can wear.
What makes silk so perfect for a summer suit? The fact that it’s pretty much the number one light fabric in the world is a good start. Silk also has a natural sheen to it, giving some visual interest to what could otherwise be a bland, one-note look.
When it comes to suits, silk does have a few cons. Although it really is an ideal light fabric, it tends to show sweat and stains very easily. If you’re always on the go, you could end up having to make trips to your dry cleaner on a regular basis.
Silk usually isn’t the most durable fabric either, meaning that it probably won’t be a workhorse in your summer wardrobe. You might be able to wear it once per week, but it really is the best suit for when you’re going out on a warm summer night and you want to look your absolute best.
No matter what style you like, one of these light fabric suit choices will be excellent to add to your wardrobe. If you wear suits regularly, consider having at least two or three light fabric options in the closet.
Just because they’re perfect for summer doesn’t mean they can’t be worn throughout the year as well. Some late fall and early spring afternoons could be warm enough to avoid wool altogether.