The Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Complete Guide

Suits are one of the most important purchases of a man. Whether you are looking for a wedding suit or one for the office, you need to look out for a couple of things before you’d pick up one from the store or tailor. In today’s article, we cover one of the most important aspects of suits, the fabric.

The Best Suit Fabrics for Men

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 look out for 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 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 Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Complete Guide
© Suits Co

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.

1. Wool

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 providing you a warm option for your suit. It’s the perfect option for a winter suit.

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Wool
Photo by Alexander Naglestad

2. Silk

Silk blend suits are incredibly light, which gives the fabric a soft, luxury feel. It also takes color well. Silk is derived from insects, resulting a natural protein structure, which means it’s highly hypoallergenic. It’s also a great temperature regulator and is surprisingly warm in winter. 

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Silk

Our recommendation: Silk can be worn in springsummerautumn, and winter. Silk suits work well with most body types and are perfect for elegant events.

3. Velvet

Velvet is made in the pile weave of silk, cotton, or synthetic fibers and is characterized by 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. Velvet is an excellent option for formal occasions, but you should avoid it in the office. 

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Velvet
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

4. Worsted

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.

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Worsted

5. Cashmere

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. Although cashmere suits can be quite expensive, they will make you feel special due to the unique look and softness of the fabric.

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Cashmere
Kent Handmade Plaid Cashmere Suit by © Ralph Lauren

6. Cotton

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.

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Cotton

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.

7. Linen

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.

Best Suit Fabrics for Men: Linen

When it comes to occasions, linen suits can be worn to casual weddings, such as beach weddings, outdoor weddings, and daytime weddings. They work particularly well in the summer and keep you sweat-free and cool. However, linen suits cannot be worn to black-tie events, and I am not particularly recommending them for the office.

Why you should avoid Polyester

At last, one of the most decisive fabrics on the market. To speak about it scientifically, polyester is derived from a chemical reaction involving petroleum, air, and water. Polyester is thermoplastic, meaning it can be melted and reformed.

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. In addition, they 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.

Final words

Deciding which fabric is the best for your suit is not as easy as you might think. Suits symbolize sophistication and offer a chance to showcase your style and they are one of the most important purchases of a man. That’s why it can be an expensive investment.

Man Navy Blue Suit Outfit

If you want to buy a great suit that will last a long time for you, look out for the things in the article and pick the right fabric for your need. Identify the season you plan to wear 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