I found it very interesting in our recent capsule suit collection article how many readers mentioned wearing suits casually. 

It’s natural to assume that suits are for business. It is how they have been most commonly used in recent decades, after all.

But as business becomes more casual, and men wear fewer suits (even moving to jacket and trousers – fingers crossed!), there will be some that want to save the suit and use it elsewhere. 

If you enjoy wearing head-to-toe tailoring in the same material, there’s no reason you can’t do in more casual circumstances. I’d argue it’s harder to do well, but it’s still possible. 

Indeed, casualisation might help the suit in some circumstances. It’s a natural step that the lounge suit will gradually replace the dinner jacket as the standard for evening, just as the dinner jacket replaced the tailcoat. 

This, then, is a companion piece to that original article: a suggested capsule collection of casual suits. 

 

 

1. Corduroy

Probably the most versatile material for a casual suit. 

Not only can it work as a suit, but both jacket and trousers can usually work separately. There aren’t many materials you can say that for.

My favourite colours are tan or pale brown, and dark green. Personally I don’t think navy works that well, but a warm grey can. And bright colours should usually be restricted to a jacket. 

The Pirozzi suit pictured of mine is worn with a tie. I assume, however, that most men wearing a suit casually will do so without a tie. 

This is a dangerous area. Suits can easily look incomplete without a tie: the scale of their colour means that having something to close the neck looks more finished and natural. A suit without a tie often looks incomplete, and unbalanced. 

But if it’s going to work with any material, it’s a casual one like cotton. And if you’re going to do it I’d recommend adding more elements to the outfit, to replace the tie, whether that’s a handkerchief, a pin, or a cardigan. 

One last point on corduroy is that it is going through a ‘moment’ in terms of fashion. It certainly wasn’t fashionable when I was growing up, and may not be in another five years. So perhaps don’t invest too heavily in it.

 

 

2. Other cottons

Cottons other than corduroy are also great casually. The way they rumple, fade and wear in just means they look more relaxed than any other tailoring material.

The only downside to these cottons is that they’re less likely to be wearable as separates. A brushed cotton like moleskin can work, for example, but simple cotton gabardines like my one pictured from Elia Caliendo, can struggle. 

There are many variations on cotton. Usually they’re a twill weave (for better body and drape) but there are lots of different weights and finishes. Drake’s has done quite a few different ones over the years for example, and I particularly like the Denim cotton bunch from Loro Piana (which I used for both my P Johnson trousers and Saman Amel trousers). 

I’d avoid full denim suits though. A jacket in a good denim can look great (see my Cifonelli) but the trousers often let it down. They don’t look like jeans, like just look like tailored indigo cotton. I’ve never worn my Cifonelli as a full suit as a result.

 

 

3. Tweed and other wools

If we switch from cotton to wool, any casual wool suit will likely be something approaching tweed – just because that’s what a coarser wool looks like. 

The issue with tweed generally is that anything soft enough to make a good jacket will not have enough body to make good trousers. So err on the side of denser, harder-finished tweeds. 

I’m in the process of having a grey-herringbone tweed suit made by The Anthology (The SherryTweed bunch) and the trousers look good. But I would never have ordered it if I hadn’t seen it made up on Buzz already. 

Tweed is also below cotton on this list because, frankly, I would pretty much always prefer a tweed jacket to a tweed suit. It looks better without a tie and is more versatile. 

I hope guys exploring casual suits aren’t doing so because they don’t feel confident combining separate jackets and trousers. By all means wear a casual suit; but make sure you master separates too. It will be more useful.

There are wools other than tweed of course, including some with names (like covert) and some without. Flannel, however, is hard to make work casually. At the very least, it needs to be in a non-business colour, so not dark grey or navy. 

 

 

4. Linen 

Our third fibre, and only listed fourth because it is limited to warmer months. 

Linen is a wonderful material for tailoring – as set out in our linen article in the Guide to Cloth. It’s strong, cool, light in weight and has a distinctive rumpled elegance. 

It’s also unlikely to be worn in a business environment, making it a great candidate for a casual suit. It would hardly be worn (and enjoyed) otherwise.

It also feels easier to justify the tieless look with a linen suit in hot weather, along with sockless (or invisible-sock) shoes and perhaps one more shirt button undone.

Linen is best in casual, earthy tones too: tans, greens and browns. Indeed, that applies to all the casual suits so far. Warmer and stronger colours are more casual, and so suit this style of suit. 

It probably goes without saying that  casual cut and make helps too. Less structure, less padding, and a soft, rounded cut. Probably Neapolitan.

 

 

5. Evening wear

As mentioned in the introduction, in the nineteenth century the dinner jacket gradually replaced the tailcoat for evening wear, just as during the day the lounge suit was replacing the frock coat.

Menswear has been becoming more casual for a long time. Just very slowly. 

If fewer people are wearing a suit today, therefore, it would be logical for it to start becoming the standard for formal events, replacing the dinner jacket. 

For wonderful as black tie is, there are times when it can seem a little tacky. The fact most dinner jackets are rented is a problem, as are the bastardisations of it worn by waiters. A white DJ looks great until you go to a restaurant and all the serving staff are wearing them. 

I think this is a theme we’ll explore in a separate article in the future, but for now suffice it to say that this is an excellent opportunity to wear the suit in another role. 

At evening events it is much easier to get away with double-breasted jackets, with waistcoats and with jewellery. 

Just remember that the same style principles of black tie apply: colours should still be dark, rich and tonal, with variation coming through cut and texture.

So black linen, perhaps, or even the dark-green linen I’m making a suit with at Gieves & Hawkes (below).

Textural variation through the choice between a shiny satin handkerchief and a matte linen one. Flannel for its texture, just like velvet in a smoking jacket. Something to dress the neck, even if that’s a roll neck or a silk scarf.

 

 

In the end, I think it’s great that people are exploring the idea of a casual suit – worn for pleasure rather than business. It can give tailoring a new lease of life. 

But I do think a separate jacket and trousers is the more useful and practical option most of the time – in all the examples above, except perhaps number 5. It can be harder to put together, but a separate jacket is more subtle and more modern. 

Hopefully the other posts in this Wardrobe Building series help illustrate that, as well as the posts in the Jackets and Trousers categories. 

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Anonymous

Ahhh simon I was so onbaord until the end!!! Jewellery replacing black tie???? Ughhhhhhh

Also importantly – what would moleskin in a suit be like? Worth it?

Keith Taylor

Do you not think the uniform texture would be a bit much in a suit? I often wear my much loved moleskin peacoat on cooler days, but I always feel I need to break up that mass of smooth texture with something different in the trousers. I usually end up going for a stubby linen or a heavier wool, depending on the weather.

Keith Taylor

Yes, I’d say it’s the almost velvety smoothness that would overwhelm me. Maybe it’s just that I’m not particularly adventurous nor brave in my clothing choices, but in all moleskin I think I’d feel self conscious in a way I wouldn’t with most cottons, which usually feel like they fade into the background rather than shout their presence. I’m sure it would look great on someone confident enough in their choices to wear it proudly, though 🙂

P.S. Stubby in my comment above should read slubby. Bloody autocorrect.

Stephen

Hi Simon.

Thank you again for another interesting and insightful article. I was wondering whether for option 1 to 4, for an even more casual look, it was possible to pull off trousers with a waistcoat only (of the same fabric and color I mean). I am aware that a waistcoat should be worn with a jacket, but since the article is about casual fabric, I thought this may work.

Robin

A casual suit for me means Italian .
Soft tailoring , worn effortlessly but which can easily be stepped up with a tie .
I think there is something about brands such as Boglioli , Caruso and a lot of the stuff that Trunk clothiers carry which allow them to work casually and formally ( with a little ‘f’).
Likewise The Armoury , Anglo Italian all look like they carry great informal suits .

Aside from mentioning the cloths would you care to mention particular brands or tailoring houses that you feel do a great classic suit ?
Also , aside from the jacket what makes a trouser as part of a suit informal ( pleats ? No pleats ? Etc ).

Justin

Fantastic article, Simon. I always find myself gravitating toward the casual-fabric suits you’ve had made in recent years (green corduroy, tobacco and charcoal linen, etc.), but have tried to temper too many such commissions only because they have more limited use for me personally.

I’ve instead taken your advice on jacket+trousers with a tweed jacket commission from Steven Hitchcock and an upcoming Solito jacket commission in a summer blend. To date I’ve found it much more versatile than some of my earlier choices (e.g. tobacco linen Edward Sexton low button DB).

Shem

Hi simon
On the topic of casual suits I really like the idea of a fun suit like this from the Armoury (https://thearmoury.com/products/the-armoury-washed-cotton-model-11a-suit?variant=17115981447239). I can see how the trouser can be a useful separate but I struggle to see how the top can be worn on its own. What trousers would you suggest pairing the jacket with, if at all?

Anonymous

Dark, preferably raw denim jeans would look really smart with that jacket as an off duty seperate. As we know navy and tan contrast really well together so it would definitely work.

Good luck.

Simon

I would advocate for mohair as a more suitable ‘eveningwear alternative’ due to the slight sheen.

In my view the characteristics which make linen unsuitable for office wear would further compound its unsuitability (literally!) for what should be a more formal evening setting.

Michael

Hello Simon,

What dress shirt material would you recommend to pair with a linen suit to be worn for a wedding in tropical weather? I’m tempted to wear my new linen suit with a linen shirt, but I think that’s overkill. However, I need the shirt material to be breathable. Thanks for writing about casual suits.

Martin Fang

Why would you prefer att different material in the shirt depending on if one is wearing a tie or not? Thank’s in advance!

Justin

A nice post. I would point out though that depending on climate, linen may in fact be more versatile than some of the other clothes you mentioned. Where I am in California, there are more months when a corduroy suit would be too hot than there are when a linen suit would be too cool.
Also a question: I have looked for a Neapolitan house that does trips to the west coast of the US, but have so far not had success. Any suggestions?

Stanford Chiou

Napoli Su Misura?

Ralph

Interesting article. May I ask which bunch the cotton suit from Caliendo is?

Alex

Great article Simon.
Slightly related point; do you have any rules about breaking up a suit to wear the jacket and trousers separately? I’m thinking mostly to do with not wanting to have them wear/age/need dry cleaning at different rates, but any other pointers appreciated.

Humph

Simon,
If one was choosing to have a summer cotton suit made up – which is the best fabric maker for the cotton – and would one get more use from brown (your Caliendo) or green would you say?

Cheers

Nigel C

I disagree a bit with the idea that the separate jacket is more modern – its been around for a while too. Wearing a suit casually is taking it out of its more usual business setting and being a bit challenging with it. It’s easier to mess up for sure, as you need to think about the accompaniments more so that your look is not veering in the direction ”dressed down business suit”. I have a few suits that I wear casually and I actually feel better at informal events in the suit than in a jacket and trousers. It’s nice when people are dressed for the spirit of the event but have, mercifully, not all decided to wear the same things. It’s always good for a compliment too for making the effort and not simply going for the obvious default choices! But you need to be comfortable in the look too. Best wishes N

Scott

I like the idea of a casual suit, but primarily, if not exclusively, during the Summer. Of course linen always works, but I also like a linen and silk blend very much because it doesn’t wrinkle as much and has a different texture.

Peter O

Dear Simon,

Sorry to ask this if you find evident, but what do you mean by a “warm” gray? (In Switzerland gray is seen often as automobile colour.) What would be in your view a “cold” gray?

RSH

Thank you Simon for yet another valuable article filling an important gap. This is something I have thought a lot about in the last few months. Having built up a capsule wardrobe of seasonal “risk-free” jackets and trousers for work and a couple of solid business suits for rare occasions, I recently took the plunge on my first casual suit. It has been bewildering. For me there are two parameters that have been very difficult optimise: versatility and understatement. Versatility is key because I can only bring myself to buy fine tailoring if I get plenty of wear out if. But the reality is, as you point out, that I will never get the same versatility out of a casual suit than my previous purchases so maybe now is the time to just throw versatility out of the window. Similarly understatement is important to my personal style but nowadays a casual suit, like a pocket square, is so atypical that it can very easily become a statement in itself. What’s been frustrating is that the casual suits that have inspired me are usually not very versatile or understated. Caution got the better of me and what I ended up commissioning was a grey flannel houndstooth from Caliendo. So soft tailoring, three season for London, two way suit (could wear as suit or just jacket), urban colouring, wool for “performance” and, most importantly, should be super comfortable. Clearly not as casual as corduroy or linen, but distinctly not a work suit. Use cases for me would be Fridays at work and otherwise its weekend lunches, dinners or whenever I feel like dressing up a bit. I have no idea how the suit will come out, probably a totally misstep, but it got me thinking that perhaps flannel, or wool/linen blends for the summer, are the modern day setting for houndstooth, glen checks, POWs and other old school patterns.

Ben

A bit thin of an article this. More of a list of some casual suiting materials than a capsule collection. Part of the reason I trust is that there are fewer restrictions on casual suiting, which is why I’d have been much more interested in a personal take rather than a prescriptive piece: which have been your favorite casual commissions or what five yet-unmade pieces would you design for yourself?

Personally I’ve been loving my gray fresco and an olive silk/linen/wool basket-weave this summer, both unlined single-breasteds. And I never wear ’em with ties. I don’t find the look either “incomplete” or “unbalanced.” Rather, the idea of wearing a tie with a casual summer suit in a non-business or formal event context strikes me as both stuffy and inconsistent. Lots of subjectivity on this point.

Anonymous

In terms of colour for a linen suit, I am looking for something that doesn’t stand out much while at the same time, keeping the charm of linen (so no navy / charcoal). I am thinking french blue / light grey. What do you think? Thanks

Falk

Hi Simon,

thanks a lot for another informative article in this series.

Do you think seersucker can play a role here?
Certainly this fabric is a bit rare on this side of the Atlantic ocean – which in my opinion is a shame.

I am currently thinking of commissioning a seersucker suit (in classic lightblue/white stripes) and I believe this can be very versatile. If well made the jacket and the trousers can be worn separately and as a suit it can easily go with or without tie.

Keith Taylor

“One last point on corduroy is that it is going through a ‘moment’ in terms of fashion. It certainly wasn’t fashionable when I was growing up, and may not be in another five years. So perhaps don’t invest too heavily in it.”

I’d humbly suggest that the safest bet would be to go for something with a narrow wale. I wasn’t aware that corduroy was having a moment (though I’m happy to hear it as I have a ridiculous five pairs of cord trousers I rarely wear), but once that moment is over I’d expect the first clothes to look dated would be those with an ‘old-mannish’ chunky wale you can see from a mile off.

It’s also probably worth erring towards the slimmer fit, especially on trousers. I had to take all of mine in – more around the thigh than anywhere else – to give them a more contemporary look.

Jason

Simon,
An interesting article. Having ploughed this particular furrow since 1973, there are a few points worth making:
First off, casual suits shouldn’t be cut quite as close as their business counterparts. They need to look relaxed and louche not trussed up or like a ‘smart’ suit cut from a different cloth. They should also look best when suitably aged and moulded to the wearer. The best example I’ve seen in this hallowed cyber hall is your A&S DB.
Secondly, cord has been having a ‘moment’ since 1973 when I bought my first grey fine wale from Newcastle’s finest sartorial emporium, ‘Marcus Price’. You can invest with confidence.
Thirdly, casual suits can, of course, be worn with ties but are best without but you need the right shirt. With cord, a vintage denim or flannel is perfect. The right roll-neck sweater also looks great. A Friday Polo looks good with both cord and linen.
Finally in terms of cloths and colours. Blue cords can look great. I have a mid blue A&S SB that they made up for me from a Loro Piana cord that I particularly love also, not so long ago, I was at an event were Bryan Ferry was wearing a midnight blue fine wale as an evening suit resplendent with a black foppish bow tie ! Cooler than that it’s difficult to get.
When it comes to other cottons, I think the only colour that looks really good is that slightly dirty off white and lastly, flannel can be a great option for a casual suit but only if cut in a really louche style.
All in all this is a great subject. I certainly don’t think anybody needs ‘five’ but it’s certainly the future of the suit .
Regards,
Jason

Lee

interesting and informative article. thank you. Would have been nice to see the other clothing you would match with the suits as a guide. You mentioned some in your answers to questions, but as a novice i would be interested to see what you would wear with the suits (different types of shirt, shoes etc) with pictures of them laid alongside each other. i realise that might make a big article though (and that perhaps many of your readers are more experienced than i and not needing that guidance)

Vincent

I would love to see an article addressing shirt tones and textures to match these casual suits. Appropriate, non-business shirt pairings can help carry the suit without tie.

Anonymous

Simon
What wale are your cord suits? Would 10 Wale be a good place to start?

Anonymous

Wow, much thinner than I expected. Is that what yours are? Hard to find a thin wale like that that isn’t also quite light?

Sam

100% agree with the comment about mastering separates. As a uni student I practically live in them due to the ease of picking up bargains on decent quality new and used pieces. It allows for so much more room in playing with combinations.

That being said I am just about to commission my first suit and am looking forward to stepping into that world. I will be having a lot of fun with casual suiting thanks to playing with separates first.

Gus Walbolt

Even if corduroy is having a “fashion moment” it’s been a cool weather wardrobe staple for me for many years in medium browns, mossy greens and medium heather greys. I mostly mix them as separates with denim, chinos, oxford cloth shirts or roll neck sweaters. I probably only wear them as a full suit 20% of the time. Paired with a knit tie, I can go to all but the most formal places so they are ideal for travel. A khaki cotton suit is my warmer weather favorite. I think it looks best to choose more casual details if you plan to wear them as separates with other fabrics and colors. I go for patch pockets, soft shoulders and a somewhat easy construction. For warm weather with a bit more dressy look I have a cotton /cashmere/linen blend suit in an inky navy. A crisp white shirt and navy and white rep tie can take me anywhere. Or, It can be worn with a tee shirt and espadrilles for a casual, luxury resort look.

ANM

Simon,

Assuming that a tailored, fitted jacket is a “platform”, if you could assign a percentage of those that are part of a suit, and those that are separates (the blazer, etc.), what would you estimate the current percentage be? (50-50?).

And as we move to a more casual world, what would you estimate the future percentages be? (80 jacket – 20 suit?).

I know at one time, a retailer would have multiple racks of suits, and a small number of racks for all the blazers, tweeds, etc. Usually, the same number of racks for jackets, as they had for formal wear.

Now? It is more difficult to get a fix on what the market will buy…Very often the racks are mixed – you grab a jacket, thinking it is a separate (owing to what else you have seen on that rack, as well, as perhaps the unusual material it is made of), and discover it has matching pants enclosed…

Marshall A

Love the site and the content. However. . .
People are not referred to as “that.” People are “who.” In these inhumane times, it would be nice for someone so concerned with human pleasure to recognize, in their usage, the humanity of the humans reading your human thoughts about clothing that brings great pleasure to, uh, errr, HUMANS!

Shoddy

Simon,
Thanks for a very interesting article. Sorry if I am being daft but I couldn’t identify the suit in the last-but-one picture. The modern evening dress topic is a very interesting; I think we’ve exchanged words about it and I hope to read more.
On another note I’ve noticed in myself that whilst I often wear separates and casual suits, I never sem to wear ties with them. The only rationalisations I can find for my outside work tielessness are that
a) Aside perhaps from Pall Mall clubs no one really has a tie dress code any more. A tie is really above smart casual and almost any tie now feels at a level of formality equal to dark suit (even if the tie would not itself match such a suit);
b) Alan Partridge.
This in spite of seeing lots of people from Andreas Weinås to David Beckham looking quite dashing in jacket and tie.

Luis

Hi Simon,

Do you think that a double-breasted suit can work as a casual suit?
And if yes, do you think it can work in all of the above mentioned materials?

(I noticed that you posted an image of your Musella-Dembech cotton DB, but you are wearing it with a roll-neck and I am curious weather you conceive of a DB suit worn with a shirt and no tie)

Congratulations for yet another great and very useful post!
Perhaps at some point you could make a post about “a jacket capsule collection”? Thanks!

Noel

Thanks for the article Simon.

I actually use my corduroy and linen suit far more often than the two worsted suits (one fresco for summer and a heavier one from lumbs for winter). The jacket themselves also get used separately a fair bit.

I have a cotton jacket, but i do feel it’s somewhat shinny, so maybe a full suit would work better like you say. Would cotton work in winter? I got a new linen suit because I used the other often but two corduroy suits (I have a dark olive) might be too much and I’m not sure I could pull off a tweed suit even though I have some tweed jackets.

Anonymous

Hello Simon. I am considering my first commission of a linen jacket or perhaps suit. I was interested in having a look at the green mentioned being made by Gieves. Could you kindly provide the bunching number and any advice on other colors and weight would be appreciated.

DE

Another very interesting post Simon. What part does fabric weight play in suit choice if you use a traditional SR tailor? I have ‘lightweight’ linen jackets made by my traditional SR tailor that weigh far more than a mid-weight tweed made by my Neapolitan tailor. I guess that this is down to all the chest padding, interlining, etc and does give my SR jackets a shaped (maybe even bullet proof!) appearance in comparison to the Neapolitan. However, it does mean that the official weight of the cloth becomes somewhat redundant, except when considering how the fabric will look and its wear over time.

DE

That’s great to hear Simon, I’m a big fan of Mr Taub and hope that others on SR may ‘follow suit’. It would seem to me that varying the weight of the canvas used is a sensible way that traditional SR tailors can appeal to a wider range of potential customers without damaging the reputation and look of their individual ‘house styles’.

Anonymous

Using lighter canvas with lighter cloth is hardly new. It makes little sense to use the same innards in a linen suit as would be used in a 20 oz flannel. If this is what your tailor does, find yourself a new one.

Matthew

Hi Simon – is it possible to know which grey-herringbone in the SherryTweed bunch is being used to make your suit (option 3)? And whether there are pictures of the suit that you mention, which inspired it? Apologies if you’ve already said elsewhere.

Bernie

Hi Simon,

For casual suits (let’s take linen, for example), what are your thoughts on patch pockets vs jetted? I’d like to be able to break up the suit to wear as separates but recognize that patch pockets on a suit ensemble may look unusual. Also, how do you feel about a suit jacket separate and/or sport coat with jetted pockets?

Anonymous

Cord suit trousers – would you get pleats or would they look funny with cords? Presume no turn ups?

Felipe McQuillen

Hello.This post was extremely motivating, especially since I
was looking for thoughts on this issue last Sunday.

Håvard

What are your thoughts on green seersucker? I’m debating between a green seersucker or a tan light-weight corduroy summer suit.

Håvard

I get what you mean about green being fashion-led, but how about a dark olive seersucker? Maybe it could be dressed up with shirt and tie, or down with sweaters, polos, or rugby shirts?

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

What are your thoughts on blue silk/linen/wool blend jacket / suit?

Anonymous

I’m thinking of sth like this https://therake.com/stories/style/chester-barrie-the-rake-blazer/

Thank you.

Anonymous

Would like to hear your thoughts on this as well.

Anonymous

I saw this beautiful navy broken stripe cotton trouser from BnTailor. Do you think it would work as a casual suit? Or would this still be considered as quite formal because of the stripes despite the casual nature of cotton.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxBq0xKB_1U/?igshid=qetd7d4zee67

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

I am contemplating on having my first made to measure suit in wool material preferably high twist. Could you recommend what would be the ideal weight to wear most of the year with the exception of extreme climate conditions for example when the temperature are souring. I have read many articles on your website and you mentioned the high twist wool is very practical and drapes better. In addition, which Italian tailor would you recommend if one has a moderate budget?

David

hi simon,

I’m having my first Attolini suit made this weekend in a grey/blue Ascot Fresco material. Probably with dark brown unpolished horn buttons, 3 roll 2 single breast jacket.

I want it to be a bit sportier, something I might wear with a white shirt no tie, with my LP open walks no socks in the summer, maybe to weddings or less formal days at the office.

Would you recommend cuffs or no cuffs, one pleat or no pleats on the trousers? Higher rise or mid rise? Would you do patch pockets not sides or not on the jacket. I’m 1m84 and fairly slim so typically a 48l jacket but with 50 trousers.

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts

Anonymous

I have wool suits in various color. However I found myself prefer the casual look of linen. As I still plan to wear them to the office (dress code is pretty casual), I am hoping to get something that’s on the mid to darker shade. would a navy Irish linen suit defeats the purpose of having an Irish suit as it is so dark that it hides all the wrinkles and would be too business-y? Would you suggest dark green over navy? Cheers

Anonymous

How much does a summer cotton suit wrinkles? Similar to lightweight wool?

And is a cotton gabardine suit less in need of care as a linen suit? What I primarly mean is the need for pressing.

Anonymous

Would you recommend cotton gabardine for spring and late summer/early autumn?
I like the look and casual appereance of a cotton suit and olive green is my favourite colour but usually I don’t wear suits in the summer heat (over ~25 degree celsius).
What weight would you choose? 9oz? Or higher?

Does cotton wrinkle less than irish linen?
Linen is only suitable for hot summers, or?

Anonymous

I have, but I think my question was too imprecise and maybe misleading. I apologise for that.

What I actual would like to know is if a cotton suit is the best choice for a casual suit for warm but not hot days when doing things like attending a casual event or watching tennis at wimbledon or a soccer match. The point is I don’t like corduroy and the only other casual cloth would be linen but there I’m unsure if it isn’t to summery for my needs. Moreover linen wrinkles too much for my taste. Therefore the question about cotton vs. irish linen.

Anonymous

I’ve seen a picture of your olive green cotton suit from The Anthology. I think olive green works particularly good in cotton. As I’m not a fan of cotton suits, any suggestions for other fabrics in which olive green has a similar appealing look?

David

Hi,

What do you think Simon,

These are all referred to as ‘casual’ because traditionally, in Britain, these types of fabrics were associated with country and sporting life, as opposed to dark worsted suits—the mainstay of city business life.
We strongly believe it should be recognized that the term casual suit is an oxymoron, or misnomer at the very least.
Indeed, whether we like it or not, the subtext of casual dress is anonymity. Casual dress is not meant to draw attention.
However, any outfit that draws attention is somehow considered dressier by today’s standards—not by virtue of the underlying formality of its constituent pieces, but simply by virtue of its overall ‘loudness factor’. Therefore, by some ironic twist of sartorial fate, the so-called casual suit (which was historically intended for casual country wear) is today at risk of appearing dressier than a classic plain dark worsted suit.Today, the dark suit is perceived as being so unremarkable and so anonymous that it has reached some newfound and paradoxical form of casualness — just think of a lineup of men in dark suits after 6 PM at a downtown bar, ties dropped and waiting to be served their next round of beer. Is any one of these guys noticeable by his outfit? Each plain dark suit seems to blend in against the backdrop of what everyone else is wearing in such a context. Yet, this is precisely why people buy dark suits: to be unremarkable.

Turning now to what happens when you wear a ‘casual suit’—the checked fabric, or slightly unusual tweed, or the less common shade of brown, immediately draws everybody’s eyes to the suit. These are the times when people stop and say ‘Hey, nice suit!’If the ‘casual suit’ were actually as casual as the name implies, people wouldn’t notice it nor feel compelled to make comments. It’s precisely because the casual suit is perceived as dressier by today standards that we need to find a new term to designate this style.

Philipp

Dear Simon,

I hope that you don’t mind me commenting on an older post.

I was thinking about commanding a cotton sports coat, lately, possibly in taupe, maybe even in black. I think that Willy Wong demonstrates how well this can be worn.
Then I came across this post of yours, where you mention that cotton would be “less likely to be wearable as separates” and if so, rather in moleskin. This comment made me a little unsure.
Would you mind, giving me a little explanation as to why you think so? I would really appreciate that.

Best regards

Philipp

That is very good to know. Thanks a lot for your reply!