Weighing in on summer-weight suits
By Dawn Stanyon, AICI FLC, Professional Image Consultant
Scenario: Temperature: 90 degress; Humidity: 90%; and it feels like you should be swimming to work.
Dilemma: The thought of putting on a suit makes you want to weep but you’re having lunch with a prospective client so you have to represent.
Solution: Put on a summer-weight suit.
If you work in an industry that requires you to wear a suit daily or on occasion (or if just love wearing a suit like Barney on How I Met Your Mother), you should invest in a couple lightweight suits.
Here are five points of interest about summer-weight suits:
- They can be found just about everywhere: J. Crew, Banana Republic, Macy’s, Brooks Brothers, and beyond.
- Many people think linen when they think of summer suits. The problem is linen wrinkles the first time you sit down. Wrinkles are the hallmark of a linen suit, but in a business setting that informality doesn’t send the right message. Save the linen suit for a daytime outdoor wedding.
- There are options: cotton, cotton/linen blend, fine gabardine, worsted, and silk/wool blends. In many offices, the comfortable and cool cotton or cotton blend suit would be perfect.
- If you want a more formal look, opt for a wool/silk blend. While we think of wool as warm, a summer-weight wool (higher thread count keeps you cool and repels moisture (unlike cotton). Also, this type of material has a slight sheen to it that lends itself to formality.
- A summer-weight wool suit will be labeled Super 120 to 150. This is a good three to four-month suit weight fabric and it drapes better than cotton.