Hot summer weather can make it difficult to stay looking crisp and elegant in a suit. Choosing a suitable fabric and cut for your summer suit will help to keep you feeling and looking smart and cool. Colour choice and accessories will also add to a total summer look. Read our top tips for wearing a suit in summer.
Choose a lightweight fabric for Summer Suits
Fabric choice is the most important choice you will make for any suit, but especially for summer suits. Your fabric must be lightweight and breathable. You want to be able to keep cool and dry whatever the temperature. Beware anything synthetic and choose natural fabrics. You do not want to look like a boiled lobster in a plastic bag. A fabric that breathes and will not crease and droop as it becomes hot and sweaty will the best choice.
Often the first thought when people consider fabrics for summer wear is linen. Linen, made from flax, is a beautiful natural fabric with a lovely texture and weave. Although it is very cool and comfortable to wear, the downside is that linen wrinkles easily and stains easily too. You would start the day looking crisp and elegant and feel cool even in hot and humid weather, but as you move around your linen suit can crush. Choose a linen blend instead. Linen and cotton or linen and wool blends will give you the advantages of linen and will stay looking crisp throughout the day.
Cotton is a natural fibre and is a very good choice for summer suits. Cotton fabrics are lightweight, breathable and fairly inexpensive. For business or all day wear choose a slightly heavier cotton fabric. Cotton blended with wool or linen are perfect choices for summer, but avoid blends with synthetic fibres.
Seersucker is a cotton fabric with a unique striped and crinkled finish. A seersucker suit has all of the advantages of cotton and can be dressed up very smartly for casual wear. However, seersucker would not be suitable for serious business or formal dress code events, but can be a great option for a beach wedding.
Chambray or cambric is a cotton fabric which is very durable and has a slight glossy sheen. It breathes well and is soft and comfortable to wear.
Don’t be afraid to buy a woollen suit for summer wear. Lightweight wool is very cool to wear because wool wicks away moisture and can absorb a lot of moisture before it looks or feels damp. Wool holds it’s shape and doesn’t crush or wrinkle so you will look smart and elegant throughout the hot summer days. Very fine wool weaves are perfect for summer but can become rather expensive. However wool suits can be worn all year round and are very durable.
Pick a relaxed and easy to wear Suit style
A more relaxed fit suit will be comfortable to wear in hot weather and a less rigid or formal cut will look cooler. Not double breasted. A three piece suit will be hotter but if it is appropriate to remove your jacket you will be cool but still look elegant and well-dressed.
A less rigid shoulder shape will mean less thickness in that area and is therefore cooler.
Synthetic lining can make a suit hot to wear.
A half lined or unlined suit will give you much more ventilation and keep you cooler but will weaken the structure and silhouette of the suit. Great for more casual wear.
For very casual wear and for the truly adventurous, try a short suit. Definitely not for business wear unless you work in a holiday resort, but striking for the work BBQ or a beach wedding.
Lighter colours are great for Summer Suits
For summer choose lighter colours and pastels. Lighter or pale coloured fabric will not only look cooler but because it reflects heat rather than absorbing it they will actually make you feel cooler too.
Some great colours to consider are:
- White, off-white, beige and cream
- Khaki and Olive
- Berry tones
Greys, particularity pale greys, allow you to dress up or down with a huge variety of colour choices for accessories. If you need or can only afford one summer suit, light grey is a good choice.
White, if you a game and if the occasion and your dexterity makes you confident the the nearest canapé will not be magnetically attracted to you. A slightly off white, beige or a cream is more versatile.
Blues tones are lovely for summer suits. Go for pastel blues, misty blues or even bright blue, but not navy.
Khaki and olive tones are very versatile, and can be worn for both business or events.
Earthy tones such as tan or ochre are also suitable, but keep to lighter shades.
Pink or berry tones are also very summery and with the right accessories can fit most occasions.
If you are feeling particularly adventurous and really want to stand out from the crowd you could try a suit from OppoSuits, who specialise in suits made with fun and bold patterns.
Use bright fun colours for your accessories
Accessories, shirts, ties, socks and pocket squares, can change the whole look of your suit. Complimentary colours will make your suit look more formal or businesslike. Fun or contrasting colours will make your suit more of a bold fashion statement.
Add pops of vibrant colour to your pale suit with one or two bright accessories.
Summer Suits Wrap Up
For hot summer weather, choose a natural lightweight fabric such as cotton, linen, wool or natural blends for all day comfort and go for lighter colours to look cool. Light grey or tan are very versatile colours. Team with a superfine cotton shirt and add accessories to suit the occasion.