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    How to stay cool this Summer

    With the temperatures rising and the sun shining, the thought of wearing a thick wool suit is already making us sweat. Yes, a lighter weight wool can work well in the summer, but if you want to avoid sweating as much as possible, we have quite a few breathable fabrics and tips for you to stay cool.

    Breathable Fabrics:

    Linen

    Linen is probably one of the most commonly known spring/summer fabric. It is a breathable, versatile fabric produced from the fibers of a flax plant. Linen was first used by the ancient Egyptians back around 36,000 years ago. The linen look is more casual since it wrinkles easily. Wrinkles however, are part of what makes the look great. Nothing says “I’m enjoying my time” quite like an every so perfectly wrinkled linen garment. That being said, you do want to avoid excessive wrinkling. To avoid excessive wrinkling you need a high grade linen. Where can you find one of these? Glad you asked; here at Bespoke of course! We have some of the best linens on the market for both shirting and suiting. Linen is perfect for any outdoor event, wedding, or any casual setting.

    Custom Linen Blazers and Sports coat and suits

    Cotton

    Cotton is another very popular (and obvious) option. There is a reason why it is called “The Fabric of Our Lives.” It has been worn for over 5,000 years and will continue to be used. The reason cotton has been and will be around forever is that it’s a good insulator. It will keep cool during the summer and keep warm during the winter. Of course, not all cottons are created equal. Egyptian cotton is our go-to for our shirts. For pants, we recommend a good pair of chinos. Chinos can be worn with your favorite linen shirts and sports coats. Here at Bespoke, we source all of our chino cotton fabrics from Huddersfield in England. It’s a high grade, inexpensive fabric that holds its shape and resists wrinkles extremely well.

    Custom Cotton suit and chinos

    Seersucker

    Seersucker is a type of cotton fabric. It is breathable and has the same attributes as cotton, but it is woven differently. The way it is woven bunches up some of the threading giving it a puckered look in certain places. This allows the fabric to lay off the body allowing better air circulation. It also hides other wrinkles, so there is no need to press seersucker as it is part of its charm!

    Custom Seersucker suit and blazer and sports coat

    Hopsack

    Hopsack is a wool fabric but is woven different from a standard worsted wool. It has a more open and looser weave allowing it to be very light and breathable and allows it to be crease resistant. It is more of a casual look and can be fragile and be prone to snagging; that is why it is more common to have hopsack sports coats and blazers rather than trousers.

    Custom hopsack fabrics

    Silk

    Silk is a natural fabric that comes from the proteins of silkworms. It can adapt to the climate making it cool in the heat, and warm in the winter. It is known as one of the most luxurious fabrics and can be very expensive. Silk is commonly blended with other fabrics like wool and linen. In the summer months, the wool/silk/linen blends are ideal as the breath extremely well; keeping you cool while also maintaining their pristine shape.

    It is common in the industry for companies to boast of their inexpensive silks which are often made of or blended with synthetic materials to decrease cost. Unfortunately, these materials decrease the quality and breathability of the fabric. If you are looking for a place you can trust to provide you with only pure silks, we’ve got you covered.

    Tips to Keep Cool in General:

    Avoid Synthetic Materials

    Synthetic materials are man-made fabrics like polyester and rayon. These shield off the airflow and make the fabric very hot. When shopping for a breathable suit, look to see if there is a blend of fabrics. It is very common to find synthetic material in wool and silk suits. It is cheap to make, and it keeps the sheen of the silk. Some companies that use synthetic material may be looking to cut cost, so keep an eye out for them cutting cost on the construction of the suit. Other companies may use a blend for the great durability but with a great construction as well.

    High Super Numbers, Lighter Weights

    If you are still wanting a standard worsted wool suit look, it still can be done and be breathable. There are two factors to look for in a breathable wool suit: super numbers and the weight of the wool. Super numbers are based on the fineness of the thread used to weave the fabric. The higher the super number, the finer the thread. Higher super numbers (Super 150’s+) are more luxurious, extremely soft and breath very well. The weight of the wool is how thick the fabric is when all woven together. For warmer weather, try to stay under 250 grams. A high super number and low weight fabric can be more fragile and will require you to handle with more care. If you plan on wearing it often, we recommend going with something more durable. For special occasions, it will more than likely receive more notice and compliments than anything else in your wardrobe.

    Full Canvas, Unconstructed, and Unlined

    A way to make any suit more breathable is by making choosing an unconstructed and unlined make. This removes the half-canvasing which is is comprised of a wool and horsehair interface in between the construction of the jacket through the lapel. The rest of the jacket is typically fused together. By removing that, you have a more casual jacket that will fall like a raincoat. This is generally recommended for your linens and your seersuckers. If you still want a well-shaped jacket, we would recommend a full canvas over the half canvas. A standard half canvas is cut around the shoulder down to the top button. Half canvas causes the rest of the jacket to need to be fused (glued) which shields off any airflow. A full canvas extends the canvasing the full length of the jacket and is sewn in around allowing the fabric and canvas to pull apart. With no fusing, this allows the jacket to breath while still maintaining its shape. An unlined jacket takes out the lining that can be made from any sorts of fabric, including synthetic materials.

    Custom Unconstructed cotton suit

    Lighter Colors

    Our last pointer when shopping for a good spring/summer suit is to look for lighter colors. When outside in the blazing sun, having a lighter color will help tremendously. This doesn’t help with breathability, but it will deflect the suns heat better. Dark colors will absorb the heat and you will basically be wearing a heated blanket in hot weather.

    Stay fashionable out there and more importantly, stay cool!

    Kolby F. Morgan
    Regional Director, Salt Lake Branch