When the temps rise and you’ve got to keep cool while looking still looking sharp, here are the fabrics to turn to.
Cotton. Crisp, clean and comfortable, cotton is a go-to year round. But especially so in the summer months. Tees and chinos are the classics, but warm weather calls for cotton suits, ties, OCBDs, and much more.
Linen. Renowned for its lightweight breeziness, linen’s tendency to wrinkle only gives the fabric more character. Traditionally used in more tailored apparel, these days it’s almost as ubiquitous as cotton, found in everything from suits to t-shirts.
Seersucker. A ribbed weave on this southern classic helps keep the air flowing. A seersucker casual shirt belongs in every man’s wardrobe, but you can take it head-to-toe with trousers and suiting as well.
Madras. Whether you’re talking the fabric or the classic pattern, madras has come a long way from its namesake region in India to become a menswear summer staple used widely in casual shirts and occasionally adapted into blazers or shorts.
Hopsack. A textured fabric with a loose weave that allows cooling airflow, hopsack is used pretty exclusively for suiting and blazers. It’s a great choice if you need to keep your business attire on point but don’t want to live in a pool of sweat.
Silk. Silk is actually probably the lightest natural fabric out there. It tends to be pretty pricy, but if you can snag a silk-blend suit you’ll take your summer wardrobe to a whole new level. If you can afford it, it’s a great option for polos, t-shirts, and other knitwear as well.
Tencel. We’ll round out the list with one artificial(ish) fiber. Unlike polyester and other cloth made essentially from plastic, tencel is made from a wood pulp, and is lightweight, breathable, and oh-so-comfortable. More present in womenswear, men’s designers are starting to use the fabric as well, mostly in casual shirting.
Any combination of the above is a smart choice for these swampy summer months, so pick your favorite!