Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog
It matters not how cool your tie or shoes are, nor how much bling you’ve added to your wrists and fingers, if you choose the wrong fabric for your suit, you’ll live to regret it.
These days you can have clothes tailored out of pretty much anything. From your Gran’s old curtains to the contents of the fresh meat section at the supermarket (we’re looking at you, Lady Gaga) it would seem once you have the necessary funds, nothing is off limits.
But unless you’re an overpaid pop star with a sartorial death wish, then we’d guess you’re after something a little more classical when deciding on a fabric for your next custom suit. So how do you go about choosing one?
It’s easy to shy away from anything made of wool in fear of the office sweats. But the truth is wool is actually a very breathable fabric that you can wear in both hot and cold weather. Add to that the many weaves we have such as flannel, tweed, cashmere, and merino and you can see why it’s a clear winner in the popularity stakes.
Far from being the toughest of the bunch, Super wool suits are the ones that require the most care and the suits that lose their shape the soonest. Super wool requires a twisting of the wool during the weaving process to create a lighter finer weave.
This is why we see Super 100s, 140s and the like on the tags of certain suits. The higher the number, the lighter the weave and the more expensive the suit. Being so light makes this type of fabric ideal for warm weather, but like we said, it takes a lot more care.
Probably second on the list in terms of popularity is trusty old cotton. Years of listening to our mothers extolling the virtues of 100% cotton have had their effect, and when we see the word cotton, we immediately think of reliability. This, in part, is accurate.
Cotton is a breathable fabric that lasts well and takes minimal effort to clean, but it tends to lose its shape a little when used in suits and has the propensity to crease in the most noticeable areas. However, it’s a good choice for a cheaper suit to wear in the warmer months.
We have mentioned this on many occasions but just to reinforce the point, we’ll again remind you polyester has no place in quality suits. Thankfully, manmade materials are less widely used now with both custom tailors and mass producers shunning these cheap fabrics in favour of better quality natural fibers.
The quintessential summer suit fabric, linen is to beach weddings as ice is to scotch. But don’t think you need to tie the knot in the sand just to wear a linen suit. If you live anywhere hot and like to wear your suits in a smart casual fashion, then the incredibly lightweight linen is an ideal choice.
The downside to linen, though, is it creases very easily, and even the smallest drop of Bolognese sauce will ruin your entire look.
The expense of this material makes a pure silk suit unattainable for most of us. But if you find yourself with a healthy bank balance and a desire for a super lightweight and ultra-smooth suit then, by all means, spoil yourself.
As with super wool, silk requires a lot of care in terms of cleaning and storage. It’s by no stretch of the imagination a very high maintenance suit to own.
So, when choosing a suit fabric try to think of it as a living creature that needs care. Would you rather a cute puppy (super wool, silk) that’s all soft and cuddly, but that needs constant attention or a cat (cotton, wool) that looks after itself and has nine lives? It’s a tough call (everyone loves puppies) but if you need any help then pop into the showroom, where we have more than a few samples to share with you.
Below is a list of articles from the Building Your Wardrobe - Blog topic only.
Montagio did a great job on wedding suits for me and my two groomsmen. Bally provided us with fantastic service and the result was definitely superior to an off-the-rack option... more »
I have bought a total of 11 pieces custom made so far - quality and attention to detail is spectacular, material choice is broad and the input customers have in creating the exact look they want is a great experience... more »
I went back for another suit, a few shirts and some ties. Outstanding! I had so many complements on my new suit yesterday! more »