Choosing the Best Fabric for Your Custom Clothing
Your Guide to Dressing for the Summer Weather
By: Kim Keller, Tom James Clothier in Dallas, TX
May 5, 2023
Have you ever dressed in an outfit to look good for an occasion, only to find yourself too hot or too cold? Fabric choice can play a big role in your overall comfort and appearance if you live in a region that experiences significant temperature changes between the seasons. That’s why it is important to add seasonal garments to your wardrobe that help you navigate the warm or cold weather. Today we are going to focus on some fabric choices we offer at Tom James that perform well, look sharp and keep you comfortable during hot summer weather.
Is Wool appropriate to wear during warm weather?
First, let’s talk about wool. People sometimes think wool is hot or heavy and you can’t wear it in the summer. This is not true, wool is an amazing natural fiber and breathes just like cotton. It’s all about the weight of the worsted wool fabric, you want to be sure it’s a light weight or a Tropical weight wool (ideally less than 10oz in weight). Tropical weight wool is woven less densely and therefore offers superb ventilation, making it an excellent choice for suiting or business wear during the warmer months. The open weave keeps you cool without sacrificing the sharply tailored aspect of the garment.
Next, let’s consider mohair. Mohair is similar to wool; however, the hair comes from the undercoat of the Angora goat. It’s courser than wool but has very good memory (wrinkle resistance) and exceptional breathability making it a smart choice for hot weather wear. Mohair fabric is usually blended with another fiber like silk or cashmere but is most commonly blended with wool, making it softer and more comfortable to wear. Mohair is also known for its subtle luster, if you’re unfamiliar with the look of wool mohair fabric, you need only turn to the James Bond movies. Bond films usually use mohair suits to keep Bond looking perfect and put together through all his adventures!
How can you get a linen suit that does not wrinkle?
Another classic summer fabric is linen. Most people are familiar with a 100% linen suit which is synonymous with hot, steamy weather, but it’s susceptible to wrinkling & gives a shabby chic look. At Tom James, we offer a fabulous wool/silk/linen blend fabric in a wonderful variety of colors that are ideal for your summer calendar of events. This fabric resists wrinkles since it is mostly wool but the touch of linen gives the fabric a beautiful surface interest that is bound to fetch you compliments every time you wear it.
Finally, for more casual looks, consider a Seersucker & Pin Cord fabric which are both made from cotton and are known for being thin, lightweight & ideal for hot & humid weather. Seersucker is usually a striped fabric made with a unique cotton weave that causes the thread to bunch together in some places, giving the fabric its trademark bumpy appearance (called “pucker”). This alternating puckering pattern, combined with the lightweight cotton fabric, is what gives seersucker its trademark cooling property. Pin cord fabric doesn’t have the puckered appearance but performs very similarly to seersucker and has a much more understated look & vibe than seersucker.
The seersucker, pin cord & wool/silk/linen blend suits offer fantastic versatility-you can dress them up with a shirt and tie, dress them down with polo and loafers, or split up the coat & pant to wear them separately– the options are endless!
The Perks of Expanding Your Seasonal Wardrobe
The fabric you choose is important but there are other advantages to investing in seasonal fabrics beyond staying comfortable year-round. Not only do you get to experience the feeling of excitement that comes with unveiling a ‘new’ wardrobe every six months, but you also get added comfort and longevity out of everything you purchase. Your clothes will last twice as long, allowing for crucial periods of rest and maintenance. Seasonal pieces often work better as separates and are much more versatile than the standard year-around suit fabrics. Your wardrobe will look more appropriate for the season/weather & have much more variety (colors, textures, patterns, etc.).
You’d be surprised at the compliments you’ll receive when you wear seasonal garments, it’s a subtle differential that instantly marks you out as a stylish, well-informed gent.