When picking the fabric of your suit, you have to consider many factors, like the occasion and the weather. There is a huge difference between a summer and winter suit – from the thickness of the fabric to the look of the fabric. Today I’ll try to cover the best suit fabrics – and one, in particular, that you should avoid at all costs.
What You Should Consider When Buying a Suit?
Although there are only a handful of fabrics designed for suits making the decision a bit easier, certain factors must be considered when buying the perfect one. You should always consider the breathability and formality of the fabric.
If you are looking for a suit that you can confidently wear during summer, you can’t buy a thick wool suit. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and the result was awful.
The second factor to consider is the softness of the fabric. Who wants to be outraged by itchy suit pants? Or feel trapped, tight, and unable to move because of an over-starched jacket that is likely to rip if pushed too hard? So let me walk you through the fabric options and when you should choose them.
What Makes a Suit Look Good?
A suit’s look depends on many factors, and the fabric is one vital factor. High-quality fabrics that drape well and maintain their shape make a suit look good. The fabric should have a smooth, refined texture and an appropriate weight for the desired style.
Always consider factors like color, pattern, and sheen to enhance the suit’s overall appearance.
The 7 Best Suit Fabrics for Men
As mentioned in the introduction, there are several fabrics to choose from for your suits, such as linen, wool, or silk. Your selection will largely depend on the occasion you are buying for and your budget.
A silk or cashmere suit will typically be more expensive than one made of wool. Additionally, if you seek a summer suit, opting for linen would be suitable, whereas a thick wool suit would be preferable for winter.
It is one of the best suit fabrics and also one of the most commonly used ones for suits. Wool garments are naturally breathable down to the fiber level. While synthetics only breathe through pores in between the fibers in the fabric, wool fibers naturally allow air to flow.
The breathability of wool will not feel clammy when you sweat and will prevent you from overheating while keeping you warm at the same time. A thick wool suit is the perfect option for a winter suit.
Silk blend suits are incredibly light, which gives the fabric a soft, luxurious feel. It also takes color well. Silk is derived from insects, resulting in a natural protein structure, which means it’s highly hypoallergenic. It’s also a great temperature regulator and is surprisingly warm in winter.
Our recommendation: Silk can look superb in spring, summer, autumn, and even winter. Silk suits work well with most body types and are perfect for elegant events.
Velvet is made in the pile weave of silk, cotton, or synthetic fibers. It has a soft, downy surface formed by clipped yarns. The wrong side of the fabric is smooth and shows the weave employed. For suiting, velvet mainly applies to the smoking jacket.
Although it is an excellent option for formal occasions, you should avoid it in the office.
Worsted is made of a fine smooth yarn spun from combed long-staple wool. The difference between wool and worsted is that woolen fabrics are spun from short fibers, while worsted wool is made from long and fine ones.
Compared to woolens, worsted wool fabrics are brushed in two directions with special brushes. Wool yarn differs in quality: it is bulky for woolen fabrics and smooth for worsteds. Worsted can be woven in a number of ways, producing flannel, tweed, gabardine, and fresco cloths.
Cashmere is known for being one of the softest fibers in the world. Its thin hairs mean that it can be woven into incredibly soft, luxurious garments. It also has a long-lasting quality, but it comes at a cost.
Contrary to popular belief, cashmere doesn’t come from a sheep but from a particular goat called the cashmere goat. Cashmere suits can be quite expensive, but they will make you feel special due to the unique look and softness of the fabric. If you have the budget, we highly recommend picking a cashmere suit.
Cotton suits are stylish and comfortable attire options, perfect for both formal and semi-formal occasions. Made from breathable cotton fabric, these suits offer a lightweight and relaxed fit while maintaining a sophisticated look, making them a popular choice for individuals seeking a blend of elegance and comfort.
Cotton has many advantages, such as its ability to control moisture, insulate, and provide comfort, and it is also hypoallergenic, weatherproof, and durable fabric. It is naturally absorbent and doesn’t show sweat stains as synthetics do. Cotton is the second most used fabric for suits (after wool).
Suits made of cotton aren’t quite as light and breathable as linen, but they’re still suitable for summer. Cotton isn’t the softest fabric on the list, but it’s undoubtedly comfortable enough for most men.
Linen is a durable natural fiber derived from the flax plant. The finest linen comes from Europe – mostly from Belgium. Linen is one of the best choices for a summer suit. Its light and breathable texture allows you to feel comfortable in your suit – even if the temperatures are well above average.
Where should you wear a linen suit? Linen suits are perfect for casual weddings, including beach weddings, outdoor weddings, and daytime weddings. They excel in summer, providing a sweat-free and cool experience. However, linen suits are inappropriate for black-tie events, and I do not particularly recommend them for office attire either.
Why You Should Avoid Polyester Suits?
Finally, let’s discuss one of the most controversial fabrics in the market. From a scientific perspective, polyester results from a chemical process involving petroleum, air, and water. It goes through a long and complex process before making it to store shelves.
Polyester suits are not only cheap looking but also feel uncomfortable because they don’t breathe very well, which makes them very uncomfortable to wear. To top the negative points, they even wear out quickly.
So not only are they bad for multiple reasons, but they’re great at helping you identify when you’ve got a cheap suit in front of you. You might save a few bucks with a polyester suit in the short term, but it’s not worth it in the long run. I do not recommend polyester suits to anyone. Not even, when you are on a budget.
What Fabric Should You Use for a Suit?
For a suit, choose natural fabrics like wool, linen, or cotton for comfort, breathability, and durability. Wool is versatile and suitable for various climates. Consider lighter weights for warmer weather and heavier weights for colder climates.
I hope that the next time someone asks you for advice on the best suit fabrics, you will tell them precisely. Suits symbolize sophistication and offer a chance to showcase your personality, making them one of the most important purchases for a man. That’s why it can be an expensive investment.
If you want to buy a great suit that will last a long time, look out for the points mentioned in the article and pick the right fabric for your needs. Identify the season you plan to wear it in, your body type, the level of comfort you are looking for, and the price you’d like to spend on it. From there, you can’t go wrong.
If you’ve finally found the perfect piece, read this article: Suit Care: How To Best Take Care Of Your Garment