How to Survive Summer in a Suit

It’s safe to say that summer is in full swing here in Denver. The temperature has hit the 90s which means plenty of weekends filled with barbecues, pool parties and iced lattes. A suit may be the last thing you would want to wear in a heatwave but in times where formal attire is required — the office or an outdoor wedding — there’s no escaping it. However, not all suits are created the same. The right fabric, construction and color can help you feel far cooler than you might expect. Here, 303 Magazine outlines the rules to looking cool and feeling cool in a suit this summer.

Materials that Breathe

The Lowdown: In order to survive summer in a suit, choosing the right material is key. Linen is the classic material for summer due to the structure of its weave. It possesses natural coolness and exceptional breathability ideal for that outdoor wedding. Part of its effortless charm is that it wrinkles very easily which perhaps doesn’t make it exemplary for the office. Therefore, the cotton suit would be the ideal option for that important board meeting. One of the most versatile choices, the cotton suit allows you to look refined and sharp without creating your own personal sauna. Another material that is summer-friendly and has enjoyed a revival recently is seersucker. A style made famous by gentlemen in the south, seersucker is a unique puckered, striped cotton fabric that offers the modern man a business-appropriate ensemble in summer whilst keeping cool.

Lighten Up

The Lowdown: It’s time to cast off the dark hues of winter and welcome in some sun-reflecting shades for summer tailoring. When heat is a factor, lighter tones make a potentially sweltering suit that much more comfortable. Light grey, khaki, sandy-beige and baby blue hues are the safest bet. However, despite the intensely hot days of July, spirits are generally high and it’s okay to be a little bit more bold with your suit — an unapologetically fun-as-hell color like pastel pink, jewel green or a bright yellow. The Italians do it best — study the super-suave editors and stylists attending Pitti Uomo every season who embody a free, unconcerned vibe to summer tailoring. Perhaps not one for the office but definitely a way to be the best-dressed guest at a summer wedding.

Deconstructed Design

The Lowdown: The construction of a suit plays an important role when looking for a breathable, summer-friendly suit. You may have got the material right by choosing linen or cotton but if it’s fully lined, it can deliver a suffocating, sweltering suit. Opting for an unlined or half-lined suit absent of any unnecessary padding is the solution. It will result in much more ventilation and an all-round cooler more comfortable garment.

Keep it Loose

The Lowdown: Having some extra leg room is always a good thing on those long haul flights. Similarly, keeping your pants loose — even slightly — will add that extra ventilation you dream of on the hottest days. Many brands and tailors are embracing a more relaxed thigh to their formal pants through looser cuts or by adding a pleat to the waistband. So keep the bottom half as cool as the top and adopt a baggier pant.

Breezy Ankles

The Lowdown: One of the most important relationships for any man is with his tailor. For that reason, it’s important to find a skilled tailor who can execute a ‘shivering break’ — when the hem meets the shoes without creasing. A little bit of air circulation around the ankles can maintain coolness especially if you’re on your feet all day. So take the time to alter the hem of your pants, add turn-ups and allow your ankles to breathe.

Photography by Bridget Burnett.

Models Delroy Gill, Isaac Stroope, Stuart Crowell, Shawn Melgar, Kevin McCartney and David Komisarchik.

All clothing is model’s own.

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