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Selecting Your Suit Fabric

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When it comes to suiting fabrics, it’s easy to think of wool at one end of a spectrum and cotton at the other. In this line of thinking, wool is only for fall and winter (except for those dullards who think wool is the only fabric appropriate for business and sweat in it all through July and August), and cotton is only for summer.

In fact this couldn’t be more untrue, as the type of fabric is meaningless until you qualify it with weight and weave.

So heavyweight cottons like corduroy, cavalry twill and moleskin are actually cold-weather fabrics, while wool can come in weights as low as five ounces and feel as light and thin as a dress shirt.

Our spring collection features suits in lightweight wool, silk, silk/wool blends and cotton. Each finds its place in the wardrobe of well-dressed men, who relish variety. But here’s a handy overview of each fabric’s key attributes:

Wool:

Lightweight woolens can be worn on all but the year’s hottest days, in many cases breathing better than warm-weather standards like silk. Wool’s key benefits are resilience, shape retention and warding off wrinkles, so it travels better. And if you want wool’s natural wrinkle resistance enhanced even further, it takes performance treatments especially well. Wool is also always business appropriate.

One of our favorite wool suits this season is a new gray pinstripe made from luxurious Super 130's wool by Reda®, a legendary Italian mill founded in 1865.

Silk:

Silk’s primary virtue is that it conveys luxury. It reflects light differently than wool, and is visibly distinguished from across the room. When smooth it can be the lightest and most comfortable clothing you’ve worn, and when woven it has surface interest for the connoisseur who knows the importance of texture in dressing well.

Cotton:

Cotton may be silken and luxurious in high-thread-count dress shirt, but decidedly more humble in suitings. Although seersucker has always been an inexpensive fabric, it was originally popularized by the wealthy, whose social standing was so secure, the story goes, that they could afford to wear cheap suits.

Seersucker is our favorite cotton fabrication. It’s both as classic as you can get — about a hundred years old — and has also been making a strong comeback the past few years. We put our own distinctive mark on this season’s seersucker suitings by offering more color options, plus a truly distinguished double-breasted model. Wear it to events where you’re likely to encounter other guys clad in seersucker and quietly enjoy upstaging them.
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