I don’t know about the rest of the country but here in Boston it’s getting hot. The midday sun is already fierce and the humidity isn’t any better. If you’re used to wearing a suit and tie to work everyday, the heat can become tiresome fairly quickly.
Just think: it’s not even the end of June yet and things are going to get hotter very soon.
What are some ways you can cool down while keeping your tailored wardrobe intact?
The first thing to consider is fabric. Depending on where you work, you’re probably used to wearing a wool suit. Worsted wool is the best, most comfortable fabric for suiting – except, that is, in the summer, when it can leave you feeling like you need some room to breathe.
Of course, you can always choose a light-weight wool (A Suit That Fits has a few of these in its fabric range), but if your work environment will allow it, fabrics like linen, cotton and seersucker make great summer suits, too.
One of the most popular “hot weather” fabrics is “fresco,” a wool with an open weave that lets in a lot of air (be warned though: the openness of the weave can make it almost see-through when held to the light, so a fresco suit is usually warn in a dark color).
One obvious tip for staying cool is to wear lighter colors: a dark navy blue, black or dark gray suit will literally soak up the sun-rays like a sponge and leave you boiling inside your garments. If your workplace allows it, try a light gray, tan or light blue suit.
Another tip to consider is leaving your buttons, jacket and tie undone until you get to the office. This doesn’t mean wearing an untucked shirt, haphazardly rolled-up sleeves or a shirt open to your sternum – do it with class and it will have a style all its own. Besides, you don’t have to look completely “finished” while commuting (depending on your sensibilities, of course).
If you’re a big sweater, there are a few things you can do: wear an undershirt, keep shirts at work, freshen up in the restroom and (this is a strange one but…) a big “sweater” once swore to me that keeping his underarm hair short helped a lot with his sweat problem. Finally: drink lots of water! Happy summer.