f you’re in the UK right now, you don’t need me to tell you how outrageously hot this summer has been. And with further heatwaves on the horizon, the thought of donning a full suit is something we’re sure a lot of men would like to avoid – after all, office aircon can only do so much. But you needn’t let record-breaking 40°C weather kibosh your seasonal style; summer offers the perfect opportunity to get a little creative with your suiting choices. You just need to know what to look for.
The first thing you should consider is fabric. Perhaps the most important aspect of tailoring, your fabric choice will dictate how warm or cool you’ll be. For warmer months, you’re better off steering clear of heavier weaves like tweed or cashmere blends. “Our biggest advice for summer tailoring is fabric first – the main thing to look for is breathability and weight. We’d recommend a fabric such as linen, silk or wool mix,” advise the style experts at luxury fashion retailer Fenwick.
“Keep it cool and loose. Only use natural fibres such as wool, cotton, linen and mixtures of noble fibres like silk,” adds Rob Charnock, CEO of Savile Row tailor and cloth merchant Dugdale Bros & Co. Plumping for these lighter, more breathable textiles will ensure you’re not left sweating through your suit by the time you reach the office, but if you’re concerned about wrinkling, there are still options to consider, such as wool or linen blends. “Wool in plain weave construction is cool to wear and holds a sharp line for tailoring while shedding unwanted wrinkles,” says Charnock.
The second consideration that must be made for summer suiting is cut. Sure, a sharp three-piece never fails to impress, but as temperatures rise, excess layering will not be your friend. “Choose a suit that is tailored and makes sure you look smart, but allows a little breathing room,” says Fenwick’s styling team. “In terms of shape, we’d suggest opting for single-breasted styles, which tend to be cooler and looser.” Alternatively, lean into relaxed summer vibes and go for something a little more trendy. “A looser fitting silhouette is finding favour,” says Charnock, who recommends more voluminous pleated trousers and unlined, unstructured jackets when you want to feel as fresh as you look.
The third thing to think about when finding your perfect summer suit is colour. Though largely dependent on occasion, this is where you really get to have some fun. It should go without saying that dark colours – black, navy blue and charcoal grey – are best avoided at this time of year, but if work requires them, the Fenwick team advises reconsidering your fabric choice. For anything else go wild. “For events such as weddings or garden parties, run free with pastels and lighter colours, such as khaki and light grey, which will help reflect light and keep you cool.” Not so sure you can pull off a pastel pink number? “Garments constructed of more reserved blues, greys, tans and olives will work as long as they are melange,” Charnock adds.
With fabric, cut and colour all taken care of, the final thing to think about in terms of summer suiting are your styling choices. For footwear, a pair of sharp Oxfords will work perfectly for more formal occasions, while a pair of fresh white trainers make for a much more casual edge for your ensemble. Your choice of shirt is another excellent way of showcasing personal style and, while we’ll never turn our noses up at a sharp white shirt, summer truly offers you the opportunity to shake things up and get adventurous with an unexpected, coloured polo, or even a floral patterned number.
So, now you know what you’re looking for, here’s our pick of the best suits to supercharge your sartorial prowess this summer…
Corneliani single-breasted suit
Cut from a light silk-linen and flax blend, this single-breasted suit is ideal for summer garden parties. The blazer is tailored for a fitted silhouette, with classic lapels and two front patch pockets, while the trousers feature two side inset pockets, and two at the rear welt.
Fendi twill suit jacket and trousers
Roman fashion house Fendi has upped the ante with this soft green two-piece suit, tailored from a breathable linen-twill blend. Slightly looser in fit, the suit jacket features a patch pocket on the left lapel and the pleated trousers are subtly embroidered with the brand’s logo beneath the back pocket.
Gabriela Hearst linen and cotton suit
Think pink in this saccharine suit from Chloé creative director Gabriela Hearst. Constructed in Italy from a linen and cotton blend, with a partial lining for added breathability, this contemporary take on the classic sports jacket exudes an air of laidback sophistication. The matching trousers are cut for a slim fit and pleated for a sleek finish.
Hartford seersucker suit
For relaxed summer suiting, you can’t go wrong with Hartford’s lightweight seersucker ensemble. Though its dark navy colour is traditionally better suited for cooler months, its loose, cotton construction makes for an easy-breezy option as temperatures soar.
Paul Smith Kensington suit
Arguably the King of English tailoring – Savile Row aside – Paul Smith’s out-of-the-box suiting never fails to impress. Cut from a lightweight wool cloth that is perfect for summer, this slim-fit suit is built over a half floating canvas for improved movement and features a contrasting green lining. It’s also available in a vibrant teal shade, but whichever you choose, you’ll be turning heads at all those upcoming summer nuptials – just don’t upstage the bride.
Tom Ford silk blend suit
Trust Tom Ford to come through with the sharpest of summer suiting. One of the brand’s most popular styles, this cotton silk-blend suit is tailored in Italy and cut for a slim fit. The jacket features structured shoulders and sharp lapels, while the trousers are pleated and benefit from the sleek finish of this silk blend fabric.