The wedding vows make you smile. The gentleman next to you can only summon a pained look on his face.
It's hot out here. The sun beats down on both of you, but his navy suit isn't doing him any favours.
You'll never know why your friends decided to torture their loved ones with an outdoor wedding on an August afternoon. But at least you came prepared.
Staying cool in a summer suit isn't rocket science. But there's an art to making it look effortless.
Let's help our fellow gentlemen out there. It's not fair to keep this information to ourselves. Let's share strategies that help us stay effortlessly cool in our summer suits.
Stick with the Fantastic Four Summer Suit Materials
Picking the right summer suit is everything. Wearing the right material, colour, and construction can be the difference between hanging out at the bar and staking a claim next to the air conditioning vent.
Tweed and wool are great for the colder months, but when you shop for your summer suit, choose either cotton, linen, seersucker, or fresco wool.
A cotton suit will serve you well in the summertime. It's cool, breathable and provides a little more structure than linen. You can also worry less about wrinkling.
Not that you'll need to pack an iron when you wear a linen suit. Linen wrinkles. It happens. You'll look so good, you (and everyone else) won't even notice. As the quintessential summer suit material, linen charms with it's breathable weave and natural texture. However, if you intend to wear a linen suit to work, try a suit that blends linen with wool or cotton to keep your suit crisp throughout your busy day.
Seersucker, on the other hand, is not a material you should wear in an office with a formal dress code. However, the cotton fabric's stripes, puckering, and crinkled nature are great for casual events in the summer.
I know we mentioned to avoid wool in a summer suit, well unless it's fresco wool. This dense and durable fabric is also lightweight and breathable thanks to its loose open weave. The fantastic fabric that allows airflow to keep you fresh can also wick away sweat to keep you dry and looking cooler than your cocktail.
With the material sorted, let's see how your suit's colour can keep your temperature low.
You're Right About the Colours. Here's Why
Summer offers a chance to use vibrant colours in your wardrobe, but don't stray far from navy and gray for suits you wear to the office
Choose lighter colours like light grey, sky blue, and khaki for your summer suit to help reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing them.
Make an even bigger splash at your summer events by experimenting with bold colours. Pastel shades of blue and red can keep you fresh and looking great.
It Makes So Much Sense When You Think About It
Not everyone pays attention to a suit's construction. But after looking at the colour and the fabric, it pays to look "under the hood."
Between the outer fabric of a jacket and your body, there's an extra layer of material that gives the jacket structure. Most jackets are fully lined, meaning there's an extra layer of fabric to envelope you on a hot summer day.
On the other end of the spectrum, unlined jackets can help your body breathe better. The downside to an unlined jacket is that it lacks structure, which, depending on your body type, would not create the most flattering silhouette.
A half-lined jacket provides the best of both worlds—the lining structure, but with better breathability than a fully-lined jacket.
Stay with Me Here: Wear Layers
I know we just talked about limiting your number of layers. And it sounds counterintuitive. But let's be honest, you're not wearing a tank top underneath your pastel blue linen suit.
The long-sleeved dress shirt and a suit jacket will team up with the heat to make you sweat. It may not keep you cooler, you'll appreciate it when the undershirt absorbs the sweat instead of your dress shirt.
Feel more relaxed and confident knowing the majority of sweat is hidden away underneath your dress shirt.
Every Battle is Won Before It's Fought, But...
You can still make a few moves when you step onto the battlefield. Remove your jacket during your commute to keep your body temperature down. And take a few minutes to freshen yourself up when you arrive at your destination. When all else fails, carry a handkerchief and keep a spare shirt in your office.
Or if you're like our friend at the wedding, excuse yourself to down a tall glass of ice water and find some shade.
For more style advice, take a look at our Journal and browse our collection of free eBooks.
Complete your summer look with a tasteful and elegant tie. Browse our collection of grenadines and six-fold ties to liven up your outfit.