Men's Suits - Choosing the
Right Suit Fabric for Men's Suits
Men's suits - Can't figure out what type of fabrics you should
look for in a suit? Let's review what you are likely to come
across when hitting the shops.
Wool is the fabric of choice for good men's suits. It's natural,
it breathes well, it's durable and looks great to boot. There
are four main kinds of wool:
Tweed is a very heavy wool fabric, popular in places like
the British Isles where there seems to be a permanent chill
in the air. The average wearer of tweed is more mature if
you get my meaning. Stay away from tweed, especially if you're
packing a few extra pounds. Tweed is not the larger man's
Flannel is the heaviest of the non-tweed wools. It is a corded
wool, it’s durable and is especially nice in a charcoal gray
with classic pinstripes
For a suit, it might be a bit too hot in most office environments.
While nice, it's not an ideal fabric for a suit.
is usually a kind of wool crepe, which is a lightweight fabric.
It's more of a summer weight, the sort you might wear in warmer
climates. Being lighter, it is also more susceptible to wrinkles,
and therefore requiring frequent visits to the dry-cleaner.
This clearly would not be an every day kind of suit fabric.
As I have stated before, worsted wools are your best bet for
a suit. These will be your gabardines or mid-weight corded
wools. They are durable, wear well and usually fine for year-round
wear. They can be a little lighter or heavier, depending on
the weave, but consider them mid-weight.
You might come across a suit that is advertised as a "high-twist,"
100, or Super 110. This just means that the suit is made of
a worsted wool yarn that has been twisted more often than
the usual 60-80 twist fabrics. This makes it a finer cloth
of a somewhat lighter weight. Such suits would be perfectly
fine, therefore, for spring, summer, and fall, but might not
work in winter.
Cotton is probably the most acceptable choice for men's suits
that isn’t wool. If you live in a warm place this is a great
alternative look to wool. I prefer cotton suits that have
a little lycra or something that gives it stretch. This will
allow your suit to keep it’s shape and will prevent the color
from fading more quickly.
Okay, you look at linen and you think of a beach on the Mediterranean
or the Caribbean Islands and you’re strolling down that beach
with your pants rolled up a touch and . . . ahhh. Stop dreaming!
As a fabric goes, linen wrinkles quickly, stains, and doesn’t
wear well. It is not acceptable for a suit, unless you really
are one of the lucky few that actually do live on a beach
in a tropical place.
The 70's are over so let’s move on.
A very light polyester. Again, let’s move on.
Just don’t do it.