With recent forecasts suggesting the Summer sunshine is going to stretch well into October, now is the perfect time to talk about Summer suiting.
Summer suiting can, at times, be tricky. From colour, to material and cut considerations, and even accessorising, there are a few aspects to be mindful of. As part of our latest #500 feature, we teamed up with Hawes & Curtis to deliver a brief Summer suiting guide to perfect your ‘Summer formal’ look.
To kick things off we discussed what material to go for. Linen, cotton, and more recently, seersucker tend to be the warmer weather ‘go to’ fabrics. This season I was looking for something a little different to the classic navy. Paler suits fit much better with warmer temperatures and as I browsed the Hawes & Curtis Oxford St store, a brilliant beige linen suit (gifted) caught my eye. The suit sported a subtle herringbone weave, a fabric that lends itself well to lighter coloured suits. On top of this, upon donning the suit jacket the fabric was fantastically breathable and lightweight; paramount in keeping cool and comfortable in the heat.
I soon got chatting to Oxford St’s very own resident expert who really is a master of his trade, Donovan Lewis. With decades of experience, it was a joy to chat with him about the industry and draw upon his wealth of knowledge on suits and tailoring. We discussed the benefits of linen suiting, how the thread count is considerably lower than alternative fabrics, the breathability and the relaxed yet effortless cool style they offer.
Some would argue to avoid a linen suit however I couldn’t disagree more. The main problem modern gents fear is creasing and wrinkles; I’ve never found this to be too much of an issue. Yes, linen does crease, but this is simply part of your suits character. The best way to keep your summer suit as crease free as possible is to simply wash at a low temperature and iron whilst slightly damp. Mr Lewis even offered up a great tip for ironing my Linen jacket. To avoid ironing a crease into the sleeve of a linen jacket, simply roll up an old towel before stuffing it inside the sleeve.
After Donovan had finished taking my measurements and skilfully pinning the fabrics, I was able to leave my suit in the capable hands of Hawes & Curtis to be tailored to my preferences. Hawes & Curtis offer an outstanding same-day service for their customers; I was able to nip out for a coffee and in no time at all my suit was ready for collection.
The suit I selected was, for me, the perfect piece for summer season events. Generally speaking summer suiting is widely regarded as more of a casual area of men’s fashion, and although I completely agree with this, the linen suits lends itself perfectly to summer weddings. Attending a recent wedding, I was able to dress the suit up with a statement pink tie. The light pink, slightly textured piece worked perfectly to compliment the lighter linen suit and ensured a smart look whilst keeping cool.
In terms of shirting, I’m a sucker for a classic crisp white shirt – It’s a no brainer for lighter coloured suits. There are a wide variety of shades to recommend but you should tend avoid darker hues which creates too much of a contrast. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the shirt a lighter shade than the actual suit and you should be fine!
As mentioned, the flexibility of the linen suit is fantastic for summer parties, casual drinks and even informal meetings. The suit is perfectly at home without the addition of any neckwear at all and is the perfect portrayal of confidence and cool in a casual context.
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