Summer Tailoring: How to Smarten up without Feeling the Heat


Formal wear in the winter is simple; with plenty of options for sumptuous, luxurious fabrics, beautifully tailored bespoke three-piece suits and crisp cotton shirts, the last thing you’ll think about is overheating in the office. But once the spring arrives and temperatures start to soar, dressing formally can become a problem, and you might find yourself dreading everything from the morning meeting to your cousin’s wedding.

If the air conditioning in your office isn’t quite up to scratch, the first thing you’re going to want to ditch is the heavy fabrics; say goodbye to thick tweeds and wools, and instead opt for traditional lightweight bespoke suits that won’t leave you feeling hot under the collar. Linen is one of the best materials to go for; not only does it allow for more air flow, but also naturally draws moisture away from the body, leaving you cool, calm and collected. For summer weddings, christenings or other social events, silk is a great choice as it’s almost certainly the most lightweight suit fabric on the market, and also tends to look almost iridescent in the light.

Arguably, once the sun has started shining, the last thing you want to do is feel trapped by a restrictive shirt and tie, but if you absolutely have to keep up the neckwear, there are a few tricks to stop you feeling like you’re stuck in the Sahara. Firstly, try choosing shirts which have a neck measurement half an inch bigger than those that you usually wear; the extra half an inch might not sound like much, but it will allow for extra air flow, and will make you feel a little cooler.

Secondly, opt for skinny ties; it might sound obvious, but simply put, the less material you have around your neck the less hot you’ll become. If you’re lucky enough to be able to avoid wearing a tie in the summer but still want to look as sophisticated as possible, tuck a beautifully made pocket square or handkerchief in the breast pocket of your suit.

So, this summer, stay smart and stick to our simple rules. Choose a light fabric, a loose shirt and keep the accessories subtle yet stylish – even when the temperatures are soaring, the little details make all the difference.

About the Author
Peter works for Mullen & Mullen, a English family run bespoke tailoring service based in York, visiting London, New York and across Yorkshire.
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1 Comment

  1. It is really helpful to learn more about how to stay cool while still looking nice. I have found that suits can be really hot during the summer, but I try to wear a suit to work every day, and then there are weddings during the summer as well! It would be really good for me to try to find lighter suit coats, like you suggest, because then it would be much cooler. Do you know where I can find some of these lighter suit coats that you suggest?

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