The key functional aspect of trouser cloth is the body that enables it to drape well and hold its shape.

It should throw a nice, clean line down the leg, hold its crease, and recover from wrinkling when hung at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, this is much easier with heavy materials. In summer there is therefore a consistent trade off between coolness and performance.

In this latest instalment in our Guide to Cloth series, we will run through the different options – the fibres, yarns, weaves and finishes – to make you aware of exactly what these trade-offs are.

It is then up to you which trouser cloth you pick – one which, as we will see, is largely a question of style.

 

 

Linen is often seen as the king of summer cloths. It certainly has functional appeal: it is cool to the touch and breathes well.

The biggest downside is style: some dislike how much it wrinkles, and for many others this feature just makes it too informal for the office or other formal environments.

The effect can be mitigated by heavier weights (as is the case with all these trade offs).

Irish linens, coming in around 11 or 12 ounces, hold their shape much better than 8 or 9 ounce Italian versions, and are still very cool. I tend to wear and prefer them.

 

 

Cotton generally performs slightly better than linen in terms of wrinkling, and can be woven quite tightly, which helps more.

Cotton gabardine, for example, is a tightly woven twill – a twill having more cloth in it per inch, and therefore having more body, and gabardine being a particularly tight twill weave.

Cotton can also come in two-way mixes (a little wool or cashmere) and a variety of finishes. Linen, by contrast, tends to be a simple plain weave and have a simple finish. Herringbone linens have a tiny bit more body.

The problem with cotton is that it lacks the elegance of both linen and wool.

“Linen rumples, cotton creases,” Audie Charles of the Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery says, aphoristically. “Cotton tends to look like a dirty shirt when it’s hot and worn.”

Oliver Spencer, trouser cutter round the corner at Anderson & Sheppard’s bespoke shop, agrees: “Cottons not only crease but the colours tend to be brighter and more garish than the same in linen.”

I tend to wear cotton more as a casual trouser. It definitely has a coolness than can be attractive, but the style is a very casual, almost workwear one.

For some this might be an attraction; for others, the opposite of what they’re looking for.

 

 

Which brings us to arguably the best of all fibres, wool.

Wool has the obvious advantage of recovering well after wear. Hang up a pair after a day, and it will have lost most of its creasing by morning.

In general, animal fibres (wool, silk etc) will always crease less easily than plant fibres (cotton, linen etc).

Wool also responds well to moisture, and therefore can have its creases fairly easily steamed out of it, unlike cotton and linen.

That performance can be enhanced by twisting the yarn, to make a high-twist wool. This increases both its elasticity and its crease resistance.

The only disadvantage to high-twist wools is that they tend to feel crispy, rather than smooth like a normal worsted – or, noticeably in summer, like linen.

 

 

Interestingly, the best known of summer wools is fresco, yet it is not necessarily high twist.

Rather, fresco has been defined by using relatively coarse wool, traditionally a particular weave, and a lack of finish that gives it a raw feeling.

That raw, dry feel was historically associated with a cloth feeling cool and fresh – which in a way I can see. Softer things will often feel warmer against the skin.

But today it’s hard to make an argument for fresco, given its roughness and the need for many customers to line trousers made from it as a result – negating the supposedly cool feeling.

A finer, more finished high-twist wool is likely to be better. “It doesn’t have to be superfine – Super 100s is fine,” says Anthony Rowland at Henry Poole. “If it’s not too lightweight, that kind of cool wool can be perfect for a smart summer trouser.”

Some wools will also be open in their weave than others, but this doesn’t make much difference.

Unlike a jacketing, an open weave can’t be taken too far in a trouser without it quickly losing its shape. (And there’s normally less tolerance for transparency.)

 

 

A last word should be said about fibre mixes – usually a mix of three out of wool, linen, cotton and silk.

Cotton/linen can be nice in more casual trousers, such as chinos and shorts.

But it’s rarely a good idea in formal trousers – better to mix one or both with wool, in order to get its recovery and crease-resistance.

Silk can have a similar beneficial effect, but usually it’s added for a particular look and feel, so carefully consider the style of anything with a high silk content.

 

 

Style, then, is a big driver of what cloth to go for in a summer trouser.

Linen is wonderful – truly one of God’s gifts – and I understand why some people are as fanatical about it as they are about flannel in the winter. But its style will simply make it a non-option for lots of people.

Cotton has its appeal, but it is a style one and a narrower one than linen.

Lightweight wool is likely to be the safest option, particularly with smarter outfits for the office, or with a sharply tailored jacket.

But consider whether you really like the crispiness of high-twist wool before you go with it.

As with all these guides, I won’t recommend specific cloths or bunches.

This is both because I haven’t tried them all, and because the differences between the various mills are much smaller than the variation described above – primarily in fibre, but also in yarn, weave and finish.

 

Photography, from the top of the post including header: Scabal, Luke Carby, Simon Crompton, Simon Crompton, Andy Barnham, Jamie Ferguson, Luke Carby, Jamie Ferguson

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Adam Jones

Sort of related but in respect of summer trousers, what leg opening would you opt for when and if going sockless. Really I am asking about casual (mainly holiday) outfits – summer chinos, cotton trousers etc. Being on the shorter side of adv height 15/15.5 inch on some of my incotex seems way to bulky around the ankle. Im thinking of altering down to 14/14.5

Joseph

Yay! Another instalment of the Guide to Cloth. Quick question if you don’t mind, Simon: Coupled with the usual weather precautions like umbrellas, which trouser fibre would you say has the best chance of keeping the shins dry in the case of brief exposure to light or moderate rain?

Warmest regards,

Joseph

Joseph

Well put. Thanks Simon!

Anonymous

Simon

Do you ever get summer wool trousers unlined?

Thanks.

Alfonso

I’ve tried summer cotton trousers, but I am unsatisfied. They are too warm for summer in Italy and they don’t regulate temperatures. I’ve always refused to try linen because of 7-8oz linen looks like garbage after 5-15min of use ahhahaahah and 12-13oz (W.Bill) is too heavy for our temperatures. Fresco wool or high-twist trousers are more indicated for climate like italian-one. I am really happy with Monadh by Holland & Sherry (for hottest days) and Crispaire as well as Cape Horn. This summer I’m planning to try Finmeresco or Gilt Edge (by Smith Woollens)

Alex

Interesting point regarding fresco’s appropriateness for summer. I opted for a navy fresco fabric for the purposes of a suit for my upcoming wedding (September), and have been surprised at each fitting by the stiffness of the material, which feels like a strong mitigating factor against the coolness the open weave affords. Having said that, I’ve only worn it indoors so have yet to get a sense of how it breathes out in the open.

Phil

Mr Roetzel, the authorof the book The Gentlemen, recommended as well Barathea cloth. I haven´t found much information about that. Would you recommend it as well and if yes, why?
Best regards
Phil

Anonymous

I’m very surprised by your comments on fresco, as they are rather inaccurate.

All frescoes are high twist, and finished with an open weave; the method of weaving was patented, being designed in particular for warm weather. It is this rather than the hardness of the cloth which makes it wear cooler, and nothing at all to do with hard vs soft against the skin.

Anonymous

Sorry to have to correct you Simon, and I appreciate you are learning as you go along, but Fresco was patented in 1907 by Martin & Sons as a high twist, breathable yarn. Not as a name, but as a method of construction.

That is now, and has been, the basis of fresco construction.

Anonymous

Perhaps you should read the patent; you would then accept I am right and you are not. It is my profession, not my hobby.

There is too much “false news” around these days.

Nick Inkster

Simon I think the roughness of fresco is less of an issue these days; Finmeresco has a smoothish finish, and Minnis lll is very soft to the hand compared with ll. The loose weave does make them very breathable cloths for warmer climates.

I agree with the comment on Gilt Edge, which is a favourite of mine for the summer, and which despite its weight holds well as a trouser. And, not for the first time, let me suggest bamboo; smooth, light, cool, crease resistant and, rather nicely, quite a talking point.

Matt

Simon, the blue loafers with tassels in the cover picture. Do you now where the shoes are from?

Peter K

I have a pair of wool-linen mix trousers that are easily the most comfortable and cool summer trousers I own.

Richard

Interesting post… does the cut make any difference? I favour slim (not skinny!) trousers but find in warmer weather a lightweight fabric with a slim cut doesn’t feel as cool as a wider cut.

John

Hi Simon,
Thanks for this timely post!
Tropical wool trousers look lovely. But allegedly, they’re not as cool as fresco. Is it really the case even when they’re light weight?
I love linen jackets, but over the years I’ve noticed that I only wear them with cotton trousers. And yet I’ve no explicit rationale for such a choice.
John

Rollo

I’m late here in my question but could you explain this comment about not wearing linen trousers and jackets together? I am not not much of an expert on clothing.

Nick

Silk-linen is a blend that, in my experience, combines the lightness and breath-ability of linen with the wrinkle resistance of silk. I have bone-coloured trews in this cloth that I would wear everyday if I could get away with it: they go with everything, they’re light as air, and theyhold a decent crease.
I second the point that cut is important. In Summer, a slightly looser cut all round, and with a higher hem.

MCS

You describe linen as typically a twill … unless my eyes deceive me, that’s not the case.

Craig

Hi Simon,
Where would you rank mohair? Would you consider it similar to a high twist wool or is it considered too warm for summer clothing? Thanks.

Jonas E

This post gave me the idea to commission a pair of tan Crispaire trousers. To wear with odd summer jackets, mainly navy or just with a shirt or polo. Simon, what’s your opinion on this?

Jackson Hart

A word about Crispaire. I have several trousers made of this and I am only fond of it because tropical wool simply wears out too quickly for my liking. But Crispaire has it’s own issue as a summer material. It’s heavy. Yes, it has a high twist and open weave and, as a result, durability. But I must warn you that the weight will be noticed in the dog days of August. But, as I mentioned, tropical wool is neither cool nor durable. At least you stand a chance of being cool in Crispaire if you catch a breeze with the open weave. And I find Fresco to be lighter than Crispaire, but it doesn’t drape as nicely as tropical wools or Crispaire. In other words, choose your poison, sir……

John

Hello, Simon. The raw silk is not the breathing material like others. I would like to call them summer tweed. However, I’ve noticed some gentlemen wearing the silk suits in the old movie. How do you think the silk suits nowadays?

frank

Hi Simon
Regarding your March post on cavalry twill trousers do you think a good quality pair in navy would go well with a mid grey 13/14 oz woolen herringbone jacket( Australian winter).

Hristo

I have crispaire trousers and they are very balanced and wearable 3 or even 4 seasons with appropriate choice of knee socks.
I have also tried 100% silk trousers. It was an interesting experience, but they loose shape too much and I would not repeat this experiment.

Anonymous

Hi Hristo

Do you have the crispaire unlined? Also, do they hold a crease well?

Thanks

Hristo

They are partially lined (for example on the knees).
Yes, they hold crease pretty well.

Nik Ismail almurtadza

Simon
How about summer flannel?.Appreciate if you could share some insight on light flannel of 8 to 10 oz..

Nik

Alfonso

@ NIK ISMAIL ALMURTADZA: don’t go for lightweight Flannel. It loses its shape so fast and that’s horrible. I’ve tried 10/11oz Marling & Evans light grey with few success.

@Anonymous under Hristo: go! Crispaire unlined for summer. It holds shape well.

Anonymous

Crispaire not itchy?

Alfonso

nope

Alfonso

no, don’t worry.

Emanuel Lowi

Mohair cloth from William Halstead is a magnificent summer cloth. Cool, lovely texture, comfortable, perfect balance of elegance and fun.

JoeFromTexas

Something I’ve been wondering about linen – both trousers and jackets: What to do in between wears. Sending them to the cleaners seems like overkill, but starting the day wrinkled seems like a bit too much of an embrace of wrinkles. Trousers can be ironed, but what about a coat?

Jackson Hart

With respect to linen, you mentioned above that Will Boelhke once said that linen looks best the first time it’s worn and the 10th”.

I take it that this quote means that you simply get used to the wrinkles (i.e., embrace them) by the time you’ve worn them 10 times.?

Carl

I really like the first picture but wonder about the versality of a navy loafer. They look gorgeous but isnt a brown color more safe? I own 3 loafers (different shades of brown) but are thinking about buying a navy pair. But are they too dandyish?

S

Simon,

I think the London Lounge Brisa and Piuma summer cloths also deserves mention.

Brisa is a 13oz open weave like fresco, but butter soft and is really crease resistant. A wonderful cloth both for travel and wears very cool if unlined.

Brisas have been made in solid colours like navy (I know you have said before that you are not a fan of some of the LL designs). I really hope you try Brisa (or other LL cloth as Piuma or Mistral) soon, as that is cloth far superior to what is discussed in this post and may change your perspective somewhat.

It would be something if someone with your influence in the bespoke world became a fan of this quality of cloth and managed to convince the merchants to offer regular books in this quality. Maybe even a Permanent Style curated book? Now that would be something:)

Thanks,
S

S

Simon,

Would that kind of collaboration not be worthwhile? To get LL quality out to the “masses” would be another great feat for this blog.

Thanks,
S

Philip

Simon – I think this has been asked before, but I’m interested in an up to date answer – where in London can you buy cloth yourself that you can then take to your tailor? I’ve made a couple of mistakes when choosing cloth from small swatches before. Thanks!

Pat

Hi Simon, following on the points raise above and yes, you’ve consistently said navy trousers are hard to match but can you suggest what colour and patterns that matches well with navy trousers…..

Martin

Does this also apply to chinos worn without a crease? Aren´t they closer to blue jeans?

Eshika Roy

Thank you for posting this informative blog on the trouser trends this summer. It seems cotton is the best fabric to wear in summer. This blog will serve as pointers to a lot of people who are confused about what to wear in summer. Looking forward to reading more helpful posts in the future.

Jasper Gnott

Seersucker? Or is it too American? Works well in the high heat and humidity of the Deep South. Wrinkles? So what? It’s seersucker.

David

Hi Simon,
Very quickly, if you only had 3 summer trousers and 3 summer jackets, what material and what colors would you have them?

Anonymous

Of course. I was thinking something from casual to business casual. Given a choice between linen, hopsack and something like fresco or crispaire, for both pants and jacket, which would you go with?

David

What about linen? You said in your “how to dress in summer” post that you like it better than fresco or other high twist wools. Is that still true and did it apply to trousers, jackets or both?
Thanks

Dr Andrew Walker

Another considered, helpful and timely article – and after a wardrobe review over the long-weekend, a challenge I need to address!
Thank you Simon
Best wishes,
Andrew

Thomas

Simon, quick question, do you have any thoughts on pleats for linen trousers? I tend to have double pleats and love them on my wool trousers, but it always seemed a bit weird on a more casual cloth like linen. But then I saw one of those pictures from your style guide, and now I am somewhat uncertain…seems like it can work…but also on the heavier linens I tend to prefer?…etc.

Any thoughts welcome as always.

Regards
Thomas

Shem

Hey Simon, I have found darker oatmeal in combined shades of brown and grey in wool/linen blends to wear incredibly cool. Although they crease, it is my go to trouser to wear with linen and polo shirts for smart casual Fridays. On that note, I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for colors and cloths for summer trousers which can be worn in similar occasions? I have found cream/white linen to be quite showy. I have grey crispaire and fresco but find them too smart as well.

Anonymous

I know that you like fairly slim fitting trousers but have you ever considered a summer trouser styled in the manner of Cary Grant in the movie To Catch A Thief?Personally,I think the style works only with a thin sweater or long sleeve polo shirt but not with a jacket .In the latter case the wider trouser leg just makes the outfit look too loose and somewhat old fashioned.

James

Simon et al, what fabric weight of wool trouser would you recommend for a summer trouser vs a year-round wool ? Perhaps a lightweight fabric may start to look to flimsy – like a worsted wool suit trouser?

shem

hey simon how useful would a pair of mid grey linen trousers be?
Thinking of commissioning one but not sure if it’s useful – grey being better in wool and linen being better in less formal colours?

JB

I have a pair of dark grey linen trousers from Stòffa. They work equally well with a polo and sneakers as they do with loafers and unlined chukkas and a lightweight jacket in the office. Granted, not as formal as a high twist wool, but if you like linen and can wear it, it’s a great choice.

JB

Simon, what weight do you recommend for tailored cotton trousers in the summer? I’ve recently picked up a pair of 265g cotton twill trousers from Brisbane Moss which I’m wearing in Sweden (around 2-4C) right now and they’re fine, so I’m thinking they would be too heavy for summer. But on the flip side, I fear the cottons I’m considering for summer (160-190g or so) would be quite flimsy..

Shane

Hi Simon,

I come from a tropical country which can be very humid and hot.

Would you recommend dry cleaning of summer wool pants after say 4 uses?

Any other tips are welcomed!

Many Thanks!
Shane

shane

Thanks Simon.

To be more specific, they are Holland and Sherry’s Intercity wool fabric.

Is it recommended to hand wash them instead of dry cleaning or machine washing them?

Many Thanks!
Shane

JJ.

Hi Simon
I am looking for summer casual trousers ( Spain is so hot in summer).
I am considering one pair of 100% linen ( 390 grs).
Other option is a mix 75% cotton 25% linen (370grs).
Are this options ok for a fresh casual trouser?
Thanks very much

shem

Hey simon, what are your thoughts on khaki crispaire as a pair of odd summer trouser? Would it be too formal given its drape and smoothness to work casually with (polos and t-shirts) and yet, too casual in color to work in more formal situations?

Also, would there be a specific shade of khaki you would recommend? More towards mid brown or towards yellow? Many thanks!

hugh

Shem (and Simon, too),

I have a pair of yellow-y khaki crispaire trousers from Luxire styled pretty casually. I find that they can work well with darker polos (navy, green, etc), especially if hot and sunny. In my experience, how well they work is context dependent (bright sunny day in a more casual US office) . For me, they’re very versatile and get quite a lot of wear both with and without a jacket.

Hans

Hi Simon,
I have one sand color W/L/S suit and really love the cool and dry feeling when wearing it in the summer. But I found it’s not easy to separate the trousers to pair other sport jacket. What’s your opinion of wool/linen/silk odd trousers?

Shem

Hey Simon. 2 questions

1) what are some summer fabrics you would recommend for trousers which are incredibly hard wearing?

2) what shades of grey for odd trousers do you recommend if one has light and mid grey covered? Would something between mid grey and charcoal be versatile or should one stick to mid grey or charcoal?

Many thanks!

Jonny

Simon, I know it’s very hard to generalise, as there are so many variables, but how would you say cotton performs relative to wool in terms of keeping cool? Would a 300g cotton wear warmer, cooler, or the same as a relatively open weave wool (fresco/crispaire) etc?

Christos

Hi Simon,

since smells and sweat is mentioned, which is an essential parameter during summer or during other sudatory activities like dancing, i was wondering if a mixture of wool with synthetic fibers would perform better here.

I am about to commission my first trousers purely for dancing argentine tango. This kind of trousers usually have wide legs and double pleats on the front and even pleats on the back side. My first research regarding materials resulted that, that kind of trousers are usually made either from 100% synthetic or from a mixture of synthetic and a maximum of 50% woolen fibers.

Nobody of those specialized tailors could really answer my question why not 100% woolen. Most of them said that due to the synthetic portion a better drape of this wide trousers can be achieved plus minimization of creasing. Some also mentioned the cost factor, meaning 100% woolen would make them too expensive.

That kind of trousers are usually made to measure, with very poor finishing (to keep the cost low) and the price is ranging usually between 100 and 200 Euros. One can choose out of a small range of fabrics but bringing your own is not welcome and even refused from some of those tailors, because the ones they are offering have a “guaranteed” and “tested” drape.

What are your thoughts on making such trousers of a 100% woolen fabric? For instance, out of a very high twist? Or fresco? And what is your opinion of making them out of linen or a mixture of linen with cotton or even linen with wool? In regard of performance in Sweat/Smells, Creasing and Drape?

I really would appreciate your thoughts on that.

Many thanks in advance!

Anonymous

Simon

Do you think navy linen could work as separate trousers? Or do you feel, with navy trousers , material is irrelevant?

Anonymous

Thanks for the reply. In terms of weight for separate trousers, is 10/11oz ok? Or would you go to 12oz if it’s available? In past posts , you suggest the former is ok. However, would it be better to go heavier?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous

As always, many thanks and hope the pop-up shop goes well.

Chancellor

Can you elaborate on why you think navy linen doesn’t work? I understand why you think worsted wool does not (looks like an orphaned suit trouser). But I assume that’s not the reason for linen.

Michael Wolfe

Dear Simon, thank you for the article.
I’m not sure if you touched on this matter, but do you have lining in your linen pants? I’m considering commissioning a pair or two made out of Sobliati Linen (Tolomeo and\or Quarantalino) and I’d appreciate your advice.
Thank you in advance!

Michael Wolfe

Thank you Simon for answering my question!
And I apologize; I meant to write “Solbiati”.
Once again, thank you and have a lovely weekend!

Michael Wolfe

Dear Simon,
Please excuse my curiosity, but you said that the choice of applying lining to your linen pants “varies”; could you please enlighten me as to when you would choose to have your linen pants lined?
Thank you!

Michael Wolfe

Thank you for the insight, Simon!

Serge

Hi Simon
I am finally going to brave it with white linen trousers. However, being relatively modest I was thinking of getting them lined. How far should you go with the lining? Up to the top of the knees or below the knees?I am making them with a tab and button flat front but EZ elasticated band on the sides. Fairly loose and with a wide leg opening. The fabric is by Burgoyne linen (Irish) and fairly substantial. Thanks.

Lindsay Eric McKee

Hi Simon,
What kind of cloth is Venetian? Huddersfield Fine Worsteds apparently sell this under their “Eskdale” trousering bunch. Maybe not a suitable summer fabric.

Anonymous

A previous post helpfully points to a couple odd trouser staples for fall and winter (grey flannel, chinos, moleskin, cream trousers, etc). What would your top 4 or 5 be for summer (cloth type and color)?

Anonymous

That’s very helpful, thank you. What books and weight would you recommend for each? From what I could glean 9 oz Irish linen (of which book)? And unsure about the others…

Anonymous

The 11 oz linen from W Bill feels like it will really hold up but the weave is relatively tight and not open. Doesn’t this negate the cooling properties of linen?

Have you tried Moygashel linen before Simon?

Anonymous

Simon, what is a good weight for crispaire high twist for Los Angeles summers?

I’m thinking of a 12 oz W Bill Irish linen. Is that too heavy?

And a good weight and mill for cream cottons/ chinos?

I forgot your answer to this: half lined or completely unlined for LA? Thank you

Anonymous

This would be for LA/beachy Santa Barbara weather. Unlined for all?

Jonny

Hi Simon,

Do you feel Crispaire would be aesthetically inappropriate in autumn/winter? Not to do with temperature, as it would be worn almost purely indoors, but does the cloth ‘look’ too much like a spring/summer cloth to you?

Anonymous

You said that cotton/linen mix is rarely a good idea for formal trousers. How do you define formal trouser in this context?

Is a linen/wool mix significantly more breathable as a pure lightweight wool trouser and significantly more crease resistant than a pure linen trouser? Or what linen mix would you recommend as a good alternative for high twist trousers?

Sock Boots

Found your post interesting to read. I can not wait
to see your article. Good Luck for your upcoming update.This article is really very interesting and effective.

King regards,
Thompson Duke

Jens C.

Hi Simon,
even after reading this informative article, I´m still wondering which cloth I should choose for a pair of trousers that I would like to wear either a bit more formal with a sportcoat and also more relaxed with a polo shirt or a merino sweater and loafers or sneakers for example. Is there a cloth that could match these criterias? I´m just starting to build my wardrobe and have so far two chinos, one dark grey flannel and a navy blue heavy cotton brisbane moss trouser. I was now thinking about a trouser for spring/summer in light grey or brown. Please share your thoughts with me!
Kind regards,
Jens

Jens

Hi Simon,
thanks a lot for your answer! You are probably right and the kind of trousers which I had in my mind don´t exist! I like the idea with the tailored chinos very much. I believe that a Brisbane Moss cotton would be a good option then, don´t you agree?

Jens C.

Thank you very much, Simon and Happy Easter by the way!

Karol

Are grey high twist wool trousers any good for combining them with heavier jackets? Since my wardrobe is rather casual, I intend to only own one summer sport coat (pale brown wool/linen). Is it worth it to go for light grey high twists to wear them with casual jackets and heavier sport coats in spring/fall? The other option would be to get light grey linen for general summer casual, and then perhaps light grey flannels for colder months.

Karol

However, wouldn’t the high twists be much sharper and harder to combine with casual wardrobe? If I recall correctly, you have mentioned in a post that they are much more “formal” than linen or even flannels

Karol

I see, I should have been more specific. By casual I mean I rarely wear sport coats. Mostly casual jackets, overcoats, knits, oxford shirts/polos/tshirts, cotton trousers with an odd flannel thrown in. It seems that linen will work better.

Jeffrey S

I’ve seen some places do a ‘tropical wool’ is this a synonym for high twist wool.

Ayush

Hi Simon! Thank you so much for such an lovely and informative post. I have few doubts and it would be really helpful if you could help solve it.
1) You have always said that you are not a fan of ‘made to measure or bespoke chino’ and therefore a person should try and find ready to wear chino for himself. Unfortunately even after a lot of trying and alteration to my off the rack chino, i am not satisfied with the overall fit and look of it and therefore at this point of time i do not have a single pair of trouser which can work in a smart casual environment other than a pair of linen trousers. Do you have any other alternative to ‘ready to wear chino’?
2) Are wool trousers appropriate for smart casual function?
3) Can i wear wool trousers with just a button down shirt( no jacket)?
Would my odd trouser look like an incomplete suit if i am just wearing it with a button down shirt and not wearing a jacket? Asking this question because a lot of times i would be attending functions where jackets would be a bit formal?

Would love to hear your opinion on this matter.
Thanks.

Ayush

Thank you so much Simon for taking out time and answering my questions.
I just visited a tailor today and he told me a couple of points which i would love to share with you and i would be obliged if you could advice on the same. Sorry if i am disturbing you in any manner.
1) He said that if i take a tailored cotton trouser which is darker in colour(supposedly dark olive green) then it would not be much different than ready to wear chino. He was of the opinion that tailored cotton trousers would look formal only when the trouser is lighter in colour. Do you agree with his opinion?
2) He also said that if i am not very keen on cotton trousers than for smart casual i can go for dark olive green wool trousers which is quite apt for smart casual functions and can be worn without a jacket and it would also not look like an incomplete suit because of its colour.
Would love to hear your opinion on it as well.
Thanks

Ayush

Just ordered a pair of dark green olive wool ‘MTM’trouser. Thank you so much for the advice.
I am also thinking of ordering an Irish linen trouser 11oz for summer as i am getting it at a very reasonable price.
What is your opinion on dark olive green Irish linen trouser for summer and spring in India? Can linen be used for smart casual function and could i just wear linen trousers with a nice fitting shirt and a good pair of shoes( sans jacket). In total could linen be an alternate to flannel trousers in summer?
This is the first time i would be ordering linen trouser and therefore any advice from your side would be highly appreciated.
Thanks.

Kailash

A beautiful read Simon!
I have a pair of charcoal grey wool trousers which want to wear with a shirt sans jacket for a smart casual ensemble. Do you think it could be done it would charcoal grey wool would like a suit trouser?

Kailash

Can i maybe put an overshirt on top of it to negate that effect?

Gab

Hi Simon,

Beginning to thnik about next summeer season. Do you think hopsack / mesh fabrics can work for a full suit? I was wondering if the type of weaving would make it too fragile for trousers especially. I would say it is one of the few fabrics that allow a range of use, as the jacket could be used as a separate quite easily, if the construction allows it (patch pockets, sioft shoulders etc.). Thanks. G

Henry

A few years late but what are the green trousers (cape horn bespoke) at the bottom of the piece?

William

Excluding linen, can you recommend some specific fabrics (or fabric types) for a cream summer trouser?

William

First, thanks so much for the quick, informative response!

Second, I was just looking for something a bit more formal, or “smarter”, as you like to put it…do you have any specific fabric recommendations for the smarter, cream trouser? For example, that article you linked mentions as wool gabardine…are there any other specific recommendations you can offer?

Thanks again…you’ve already been incredibly helpful!

William

Looking back through this comment section, I see that you, as well as others, have mentioned that Huddersfield Fresco trousers, while relatively “light and airy”, are also quite “rough and stiff”….would you still say that the most current version of their Fresco trousers, the Minnis III at 8/9oz, are “rough and stiff” or have they softened up a bit? And would you still get these Minnis III Fresco’s lined to the knee, or would you consider unlined?

William

Thank you so much for your informed and quick response!!

Would you also do the Crispaire half-lined?

William

As for pairing and wearing shirts with linen trousers (no jacket), of course there are no “hard” rules, but it IS acceptable to wear linen shirts with linen trousers, correct?

And thanks again for all your timely and insightful responses!

Tony

Dear Simon,

Thanks for the article, or rather, articles. I have gone through most of them in just a few days since they are so interesting to read and so well written. However, I have yet been able to come up with a strategy for my summer trousers, particularly in color and texture. I have chinos in three colors: navy, khaki, and cream; grey, cream, indigo, and blue jeans. I also have a pair of mid grey trousers and navy in wool (which is hard to wear as you point out in other articles). What pieces should I have next? In terms of color, texture and fabrics. Thank you.

David

Do you have any experience with Airesco from H&S? How does it compare with Crispaire?

Hywel Jones

What are your thoughts on wool/silk/linen mixes for trousers? I’ve got some beige trousers in a Loro Piano summertime wool (70%) silk (15%), linen (15%). Not so rough as pure high twist wool but seems to hold its shape as well and seems wrinkle resistant?

Il Pennacchio

I got a look at the Airesco book yesterday. Imagine the high-twist equivalent of flannel or tweed. It has a matte finish and is more appropriate for casual garments whereas Crispaire is what you’d want for a business suit.

It looks really cool (no pun intended) and I’m wishing I’d known about Airesco before I commissioned a pair of casual odd trousers earlier this year; Airesco is better for that purpose than Crispaire. (Being smarter, Crispaire runs a greater risk of looking like orphaned suit trousers).

J

Simon, what’s your thought on mohair for suits in the summer?