Wearing a formal wedding suit in the middle of summer should be considered an Olympic event. Despite the thermometer creeping into upper double digits, most of us are expected to calmly watch or participate in the festivities. While pretending there aren’t sweat stains blossoming under our armpits.
And yet, there are plenty of stylish men who look entirely fresh donning suits in the heat and humidity. What’s their attire-related secret for staying cool and comfortable in those outfits?
It all comes down to choosing from the right lightweight suits for hot weather that fit both the weather and the occasion. From quick-drying fabrics to breathable construction.
1. Summer-Friendly Suit Construction
Good tailoring is key to looking cool and suave in the summer heat. Structured suits will give you a more refined appearance. But choosing an unstructured suit is necessary for surviving the heat and humidity.
Unstructured suits hang looser on the body and allow for more airflow to keep you cool. But unstructured doesn’t mean the same thing as baggy. It may still be a good idea to take your suit to a tailor for alterations. Explain you want an unstructured fit without it being too informal.
Another design element to look for in a summertime suit is the lining. An unlined or partially lined suit is ideal for warmer months. It will make the suit far more breathable.
2. Lighter Color Formal Wear
It’s just plain science. Darker colors attract more solar heat, while lighter colors reflect it. Not only will wearing lighter suit colors keep you cooler in the summer, the unspoken rules of summer style demand it.
Showing up in a black outfit to a daytime summer wedding is generally considered a fashion faux pas. Instead, stick to tried-and-true summer attire colors. Like medium gray, light gray, white and tan.
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If you’re tired of traditional outfits, consider opting for a suit in a light color or a bold red hue. Both can help you beat the heat while taking your summer suit style to the next level.
3. Choose the Right Summer Suit Fabric
You can’t ignore your outfit’s material when temperatures reach triple-digit territory. Certain fabrics are notorious for trapping heat and blocking airflow (ahem, polyester). Others will help you keep cool under the sun’s hot rays.
As you search for a warm weather suit, keep an eye out for the following summertime fabrics.
Linen. Lightweight and breathable, linen is one of the best summer suit fabrics a man can buy. Its loosely woven fabric makes it super breathable, allowing heat and moisture to escape.
Linen also dries fast. Which means you’re less likely to get embarrassing sweat stains that cramp your style.
Cotton. Cotton is the quintessential summertime fabric, and for good reason. This natural fiber is light, airy and feels cool on the skin.
It’s also a versatile and affordable option for guys who need a budget-friendly suit option.
Fresco Wool. Wait, what?! Wool in hot weather? While it might sound crazy, fresco wool is surprisingly heat-friendly. It has an open weave, making it breathable and light while boasting a refined appearance.
Seersucker. A Southern classic, seersucker suits are well-known for their impressive air circulation, wrinkle-resistance, and ease of wash.
“You look so seersucker,” they’ll say in a complimentary way, when you wear a seersucker suit like this one. It is sure to keep you cool while earning some serious style points.
4. Elevate Your Style with Warm-Weather Accessories
Formal attire in the heat and humidity doesn’t always need to be a drag. Take advantage of the warm weather season by slaying the look with a few men’s formalwear accessories that show off your personality.
Seasonal Ties. Liven up your typical suit-and-tie formal suit by opting for ties in a variety of colors. Pastel hues such as rose and mint are the perfect way to add a pop of color to an otherwise boring outfit.
Hat-and-Suit Combo. Wearing a hat is a bold sartorial move that only a few brave men attempt. Donning a hat with your suit will keep you cool in the summer heat and potentially earn you a few appreciative nods in the process.
Sunglasses. Practical and stylish, adding a pair of shades to your formal attire will instantly make you look cool.
Moisture-Wicking Socks. Moisture-wicking dress socks are a must-have wardrobe essential for Summer. For a fail-safe look, be sure to match them to your suit.
Or be adventuresome and go unique. You can add interest to an otherwise nondescript outfit by pairing colored or playful patterned socks with a toned-down suit. (This tip is one of the popular groomsmen attire ideas here.)
5. Keep Dress Code in Mind
Although there are plenty of ways to beat the heat, all are not well-suited (pun intended) for the occasion.
Ditching your stuffy tie in favor of greater breathability, for instance, can help you stay cool. But it can also dress down your look and, thus, may not be appropriate for black tie events.
If you’re attending a black tie event, you can stay cool in the summer heat by wearing a white dinner jacket over the standard, all-black ensemble. In fact, a white dinner jacket is considered even more appropriate for black tie events that take place on or near the ocean.
For a more casual affair, consider going for the bare ankles look. Wear a suave pair of loafers and a relaxed suit. This trendy, no-socks look is a stylish way to stay chill at any event this summer.
Beating the Heat in Style
The summertime is the prime season for formal celebrations. To nail your formal attire this summer, you need a summer suit designed to beat the heat.
Combine a solid summer suit with the style tips listed here. And you can finally join the growing number of men who have discovered the secret to rocking formal wear in the summer.
Don’t forget to top off your look with a few accessories and you’ll look effortlessly cool at your next wedding or other formal event.