Well suited for summer
Summer, traditionally speaking, is not an easy time for the man who needs to dress with a touch of formality. The traditional wool jacket and the strangulating shirt-and-tie combo seem to have been created specifically as a means of warm-weather torture. Or so it used to be.
Today, a man putting on a jacket in summer, out of choice or necessity, has many more options to combine comfort with style. The best of them achieve this by using a lightweight, breathable fabric and a casual, unstructured style. Bear in mind that breathability is just as dependent on the way a fabric’s woven as it is on the fabric itself. Tightly woven linen will feel much warmer than wool designed to let the breeze through, so read the product descriptions closely.
This summer, the style-setters are wearing T-shirts, polo shirts and camp-collar shirts under their jackets. Read on to find out how to make summer blazers work for you.
Choose your fabric wisely
The first thing to note is that, while dress codes are more casual than ever, there should definitely be a distinction between what clothes you should wear for summer and winter. In order to survive summer in a suit, material choice is key.
If possible, opt for a suit cut from cotton, linen or a cotton-linen-mix fabric—all of which will allow maximum breathability and allow air to circulate around your body. Seersucker in particular has enjoyed a recent revival and is well worth your attention during summer. This puckered, striped cotton fabric is perfectly adapted for warm months—the fabric’s texture prevents the garment from clinging to your body, allowing air in to cool you. Plus, the artfully wrinkled appearance means you don’t have to press it every two minutes to keep it looking fresh.
Look out for the lining
Another common mistake men tend to make in the hot weather is to deem a suit “summery” on the basis of its color and not much else. Yes, these months are the ones where you will be able to get away with a sandy-beige or a slick olive-green suit in the office, but appearances can be deceiving. As with buying a car, make sure you also check under the hood before you buy.
Even if you’ve got the material right, a cotton or linen can be rendered warmer if fully lined—especially if that lining is also made from a non-breathable man-made fabric. Look instead for a half-lining, which adds lining to the sides and upper back of your jacket, or an altogether unlined blazer, which usually means the piece is lined under the arms to prevent sweat patches. An easy way to determine your prospective jacket’s lining is to open it. If you can see exposed taping on the back you’ve got a warm-weather winner. Both of these options will allow more air through the fabric and keep you feeling cool.
Turn it up
Sometimes, on the very hottest days, you look for extra coolness wherever you can get it. To that end, think about the hem of your trousers. You might like a nice break on your trouser hem during winter, but in summer some air circulating around your ankles can really help. Consider getting your tailor to add a turn-up to your trousers (not a full-on crop, but just an inch to expose some skin or a light silk sock) to help you feel cooler if you’re on your feet all day. Make sure that your trousers are tapered properly for this, though, as legs that are too baggy will simply make it look like your trousers have been handed down from your (shorter) dad. Your tailor will be able to help you balance this right, so make sure to ask his or her advice. Breezy does it.