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Suitably Cool Summer Fabrics

As we welcome summer, it’s a perfect time to start rearranging our wardrobes for the scorching weather conditions. 

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The above image reminds me of the summer days in Florence during Pitti Uomo, as temperatures would peak to 40+ degrees in the late mornings. With the sun setting late, my jacket and shirt would be moist and sticky due to sweating. Some days it would be so bad that it’s visible and I would end up changing the day’s outfit. However, I noticed a lot of the European attendees would be wearing the same outfit the whole day without sweating nor feeling uncomfortably hot. Although I looked summery in my peacock colours, it felt like I was standing next to a pizza oven. I got to learn that it takes more than just a summery colour pallet to look and feel cool in summerI learnt the different fabrics suitable for different seasons. Let’s look at a few fabrics that can keep you suitably cool during the summer season. 

Linen 

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It is probably the most popular fabric for the summer season and as lightweight as it may look, it is quite strong and very absorbent. The fabric is made from fibres of a flax plant. Growing up it was dubbed “mashobana” getting its nickname from its wrinkled look and feel. There are multiple types of linen fabrics with different weight sizes meaning some can be used for suits and some for dress shirts. Although it may be good for the summer seasons, it does give a suit an untidy look as it wrinkles a lot and quite easily. 

Cotton 

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Cotton is another natural fibre which is arguably the oldest textile dating back to the prehistoric times. It is light weight; breathable and very good at absorbing moist. It also has a variety of fibres but it is mostly popular for dress shirts. However, it has tendencies of leaving moist stains on the garments. 

Chambray/Denim 

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Different in weaving construction but both are as good as siblings. These woven fabrics are not only classified as summer fabrics but also outer fabrics. They may have a heavy look from the traditional jeans, but due to the weave construction, they’re also breathable and conducive to the summer weathersThese fabrics are so versatile that one can have it in a formal suit and shirt, and still go casual with a pair of jeans. On the downside, when they absorb excessive amounts of moist, it takes time to dry up.  

Seersucker 

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It is also known as railroad stripe, gaining its nickname from the thin puckered stripes. Although it does come in checked and even plain, seersucker is another popular fabric for the summer season. This woven fabric is 100% cotton and is one of the best in terms of breathabilityThe name originates from the Persians, “shir shakar” literally meaning milk and sugar, the smoothness of the milk and the roughness of the sugar. Like the linen fabric, wrinkles of a seersucker does not appeal to a lot of gents for a formal and corporate suit. 

Cashmere 

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Although it is known for withstanding the cold weathers, there is also summer cashmere that is lightweight, soft and can be worn without any worries of the summer heat. Cashmere fibres are obtained from Kashmir goatsand have been making textiles for hundreds of years. Cashmere wool fibres are famous for being used to craft the most luxurious suits. Other characteristics of this fabric includes durable, moist wicking, drapes well and resists odourHowever, it is one of the most expensivwool fabrics. 

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There are other fabrics that are considered “summer fabrics” but the above featured are for the context of being suited and still look and feel cool during summer.  Although these fabrics are summery, there is more that goes in the construction of garments to keep you cool for the summer weathers, but that’s a story for another day.  

Until next time… 

Suitably Yours 

Brian Lehang 

SUITABLE MAN 

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18 thoughts on “Suitably Cool Summer Fabrics

  1. This is one of the most important articles because so many aspiring dandies would rock a winter fabric in summer. This is educational

    1. That’s one of the reasons Suitable Man was made. To share knowledge, I’ve made such mistakes before and happy to share the journey I travelled so that the next gentleman don’t go the same route. We live and learn.

  2. Great way of learning about different summer fabrics not only “summer fabrics in general” one can wear different fabrics depending on the degree of the heat. Also important knowing how to keep cool in the mind can also be a great exercise that every gentleman should learn

    1. Very true. Like I also said that there’s more than just wearing a summer fabric, the construction also plays a huge role. But that’s a story for another day.😉

    1. I’m glad you learnt something. Stick around because when the fall comes, we shall look deep into the winter fabrics😉

  3. This is educational coz I’ve seen many people wearing winter fabrics in summer, can 1 of the Suitable Sunday be about the teaching of different fabrics for different seasons

    Thank you

    1. Thank you for the suggestions. Suitable Sunday was establish to continue such conversations on a more up-close & personal level. Come next year the symposiums will be much more educational.

  4. Knowing what to where each season isimportant indeed, it makes your garments drape more since you more comfortable in them as well.

    Enjoyed the article, thank you.

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