Suit Up for the Heat: How to Wear a Suit Comfortably in Hot Weather

Suit Up for the Heat: How to Wear a Suit Comfortably in Hot Weather

How to Wear a Suit: Everything You Need to Know Reading Suit Up for the Heat: How to Wear a Suit Comfortably in Hot Weather 12 minutes

It’s not just you–summers really are getting hotter. Scientists have found that most summers over the last ten years have been either hot or extremely hot. Yet, business stops for no man. You still need to find a way to look professional, no matter how high the mercury rises.

How can you stay cool and look good while wearing a suit this summer? Read on to find out.

Choose the Right Suit

To stay cool in the heat, choose a fabric that will help wick sweat away from the body and is breathable. If you choose the wrong fabric, it doesn’t matter how you style the suit. It will never keep you cool in the summer.

Summer wardrobe no-nos

A few fabrics to exclude from your summer wardrobe include:

  • Polyester: Since its introduction decades ago, polyester has had a bad rap for making people sweat. While polyester technology has definitely moved on, there is no escaping the fact that it is a form of plastic. It repels moisture, but rather than wicking it away from your body, it gives it nowhere to go. The result is that sweat stays on your skin, leaving you drowning. Oh, and did we mention it traps bacteria and starts to stink?

  • Acrylic: Designed to be an artificial wool, it does not breathe well. Its lack of wicking qualities means it traps heat and moisture between the fabric and your skin. An acrylic suit will quickly get uncomfortable and, you guessed it, become malodorous in no time at all. 

  • Heavy-weight wool:  Wool is not one thing. True, it all comes from sheep, but there are different weaves and weights. There are also advanced forms of wool that are truly revolutionary. But in the summer, you need to avoid heavy-weight woolen suits. Although it’s naturally breathable, heavier options are better suited to winter months. 

Better fabrics for summer

The combination of breathability and moisture wicking is out there, but combining it with sharp styling can be a problem. Two materials that are definitely cool but struggle to be sharp are linen and cotton.

Linen is 100% natural and made from the flax plant. It’s super strong and absorbent but dries very fast. This quality and its natural breathability make it super cool in summer. There’s just one snag.

A linen suit looks awesome for about thirty seconds. However diligently you iron it before you head out, it’ll probably be a crumpled mess by the time you get to your destination. Linen technology has moved on, but creasing is still a major issue for the man who wants to make the right impression in the boardroom during the summer.

Cotton shares some good qualities with linen. It’s lightweight and comfortable and is naturally breathable. However, it doesn’t hold its shape as well as wool does. So, while it won’t crease quite as quickly as linen will, it still isn’t suitable for formal situations. 

At this stage, your options for a professional summer look may seem limited, but that’s not the case. The solution is an advanced synthetic fabric that addresses all the pain points and looks great.

The best summer fabric

The answer is a proprietary synthetic fabric that brings the best of nylon and spandex to the table. It mimics the benefits of wool – sharp appearance, breathability, and excellent drape – and combines it with a lightweight fabric that’s perfect for a businessman on the go. Its features include:

  • Wrinkle resistance: Stands up to suitcase transportation. A quick shake on arrival, and they’re good as new. The built-in spandex also allows for supreme ease of movement, banishing memories of constructive traditional suits.

  • Increased durability: Wool is already known for its durability, but suits can wear out on the elbows and other contact points. This advanced fabric comes with a 5-year warranty, giving you years of worry-free wear.

  • Odor resistance: Being let down by a stinky suit is every man’s worst nightmare. Advanced nylon/spandex fabrics are odor-resistant.

  • Stain resistance: From coffee spills to burger grease, nylon/spandex mix acts like Teflon. Stains just wipe right off, keeping you smart and stylish whatever happens on that business lunch.

  • Machine washable: Dry cleaning is expensive, time-consuming, and bad for the planet. Throw your nylon/spandex suit in the washing machine and dry it in the shade; it'll be clean, fresh, and ready to fight another day.

Whether you’ve got a wedding this summer or want to stay sharp at work, a nylon/spandex suit is the way to go. But to stay chill when everyone around you is melting, you must also style your suit correctly.  

Stylin’ for Summer

Summer styling focuses on two main areas: color and accessories. Get both right, and you’ll look sharp and keep perspiration to a minimum.

Colors matter

Getting the right fabric is the biggest single component in keeping cool. But none of us can get away from the science of colors. 

Dark colors, like black and navy blue, look epic but absorb the sun’s rays. The darker the color, the more they absorb, and the hotter you’ll feel. However, nothing shouts formal like a crisp, dark suit.

Lighter colors, like pale greys and sand, reflect far more UV rays. This helps to keep you cooler, reducing perspiration and keeping you comfortable on the sunniest days. So, if formality is less of a concern, a lighter option could be a great way to look suave while keeping cool.

Shirt or tee?

Depending on the event you plan to attend, consider switching things up and wearing a tee instead of a dress shirt. However, proceed with caution.

Dress shirts are still the go-to for all formal occasions. If you’ve got a high-powered presentation to make in August, you need to wear a shirt even if it’s over 100 degrees outside.

However, the right tee could work wonders if you’re attending a smart-casual occasion. A well-cut, light-colored tee is best with darker suits, while the opposite is true with lighter suits. Patterned tees never look good with suits, so keep them in the closet. 

But if in doubt about the formality of the occasion, stick to a shirt. You can always remove your tie if things are less formal than you anticipated, but once you’ve walked in wearing a tee shirt, you need to own that look for the rest of the event.

Choose the right shirt

Traditional dress shirts can be constrictive, with bulky cuffs that make your wrists sweat. In the heat of the summer, you need a shirt built with the latest fabrics that are extra breathable and odor-resistant.

“What about short-sleeve shirts in summer?” we hear you ask. In days gone by, this was a major faux pas, but things have moved on. They’re a much smarter look than rolling your sleeves up. However, ensure your shirt is well-fitted; otherwise, you’ll unintentionally channel Dwight Schrute. 

Layer up

It sounds counterintuitive to say that layering up could help you stay cool. However, some perspiration is natural on hot days, and you need something to soak it up. A high-quality cotton undershirt is the answer.

It will absorb the sweat that would otherwise soak through your shirt–not a good look. It will also help you stay cooler by creating tiny pockets of air against your skin that help you stay a few degrees cooler.

Summer accessories to beat the heat

If you know you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors in a suit one day, think carefully about adding a hat. And we mean, think carefully. 

Appropriate hats for formal situations include:

  • Fedora: A timeless classic, a crisp Fedora paired with a well-tailored suit can be a winning combination. 

  • Homburg: Another elegant style that pairs perfectly with a suit. It will create extra shade and protect you from harmful UV rays.

  • Panama: Nothing says elegance in hot weather better than a classic Panama hat. Suitable for formal and smart-casual outdoor occasions, its light coloring also helps to reflect the heat and keep you crisp and cool.

While the right hat can set off your summer look, the wrong one can ruin it. So do your research and make sure your suit and hat colors complement each other before heading to the event.

Vest is best

Can’t bear a full jacket in the summer? We understand, but there’s no need to let it spoil your look. 

A vest is a great compromise that screams style while keeping you cool. By freeing up your neck and arms, there’s far less fabric to warm you up. However, keep it buttoned up to maintain formality.

How to Stay Cool While Wearing a Suit

Even a close-fitting suit can be comfortable if you consider making a few adjustments during the summer.

To button, or not to button?

A well-cut suit is designed to look great buttoned up. It emphasizes all the right points, creating a silhouette that’s slightly broader at the shoulder and nips in a touch at the waist. You’ve probably heard the “rule” that suits should be buttoned when standing. But summer is the time to break the rule.

Unbuttoning your suit jacket lets the air rush in. But it does come with potential risks. It only takes a bit of a breeze for it to start flapping. However, if it’s a choice between having to do a little wardrobe control and feeling like you’re being boiled alive, undo that button.

No one will judge you for it. In fact, they’ll all be doing the same thing. It’s much better to look cool, calm, and collected with an unbuttoned jacket than be buttoned up and uncomfortable.

Tie or no tie?

Rewind a couple of decades; you were a rebel if you attended a formal event without a tie. Thankfully, those days are gone for the most part, freeing your neck on hot days from a silken shackle. Funerals and weddings are probably the two biggest remaining exceptions.

In many business settings, a no-tie/open jacket is now the norm or at least an acceptable alternative. But remember to only open the top button. Two open buttons could make you look like you’re about to break into song.

Think About the Fit

Whatever the time of year, the fit of your suit matters. To achieve sartorial elegance, always consider:

  • Jacket: Measure your chest and sleeve length to get accurate measurements. Choose a size that is neither too tight, which creates bunching and folds, not too loose, with noticeable gaps.

  • Pants: Measure the waist and inner leg to find the perfect fit. To work out the perfect length, remember that pants should show a tiny bit of sock at the side when wearing shoes.

However, to stay cool in the heat, you may consider moving up one size in your jacket. Why? This will give you a little extra room to allow for extra airflow. However, this shouldn't be an issue if you get the right fabric. You can feel cool and comfortable while maintaining a tailored look.

It’s Time to Talk About xSuit Air

The tips above give you the best chance of staying cool and looking sharp this summer. However, the single biggest element you need to get right is your choice of suit. 

Enter xSuit Air. Made using our proprietary nylon/spandex blend, it offers outstanding breathability. The moisture wicks away from your body on those hot and humid days, keeping you refreshingly cool. 

Gone are constrictive suits that cramp your style. The spandex component in the fabric allows it to move and stretch with you without going out of shape. Retain a sharp look with a sleek silhouette no matter how hot it gets.

xSuit Air uses odor-resistant fabric that won’t let you down in the heat of the day. When you get home, all you have to do is throw it in the washing machine and hang it somewhere shady to dry. A quick steam and it’ll be ready to go the next day.

It’s time to elevate your summer style with xSuit Air. Choose your perfect color and fit today!