Keeping Cool in Classic Summer Suits

Summer is approaching and that means that temperatures are going to start rising. For men who wear suits every day to work, the rising temperatures will probably not be greeted with applause. In fact, when it gets hotter outside, wearing a suit can often become a tedious and uncomfortable task.

Unless, of course, you choose your summer wardrobe wisely.

Traditional suits are usually made from wool or tweed — while lighter materials such as seersucker and linen suits are available, they may not sit well with men who prefer the traditional look. So if you stick with 100% wool suits, are you doomed to sweat the entire summer? Not necessarily.

Here are some of our tips for keeping cool while wearing your classic suits:

Choose light colors. Darker-colored suits absorb the heat of the sun more. Instead, opt for lighter-colored suits that won’t make you feel like you are absorbing every ray of sun on earth.

Wear 100% cotton dress shirts. Cotton keeps you cool, so even if you are sporting a heavier material over it, your body will be able to air out through the cotton. And when you wear a cotton shirt, you can take off your suit jacket if you need to walk outside and remain cooler than you would be wearing a shirt made of synthetic materials.

Choose suits without lining. While lining can sometimes add structure to a suit’s shape, in the summer, it’s worth the sacrifice to go without. Eliminating that extra layer can go a long way toward not overheating.

Ditch the tie, if possible. If you can get away with wearing a suit without a tie to work, we definitely recommend it in the summer. Not wearing a tie will leave your neck open, which means better ventilation and less stuffiness. The only caveat is: Once you ditch the tie in the summer, it might be so comfortable that it will be hard to bring it back in the winter!

Wear lighter, cotton socks. While we might want to go sockless in the workplace, professionally, it’s not really an option. We can, however, opt for socks that are both cotton and less thick — hopefully minimizing the feet heat.

It’s not easy staying cool when the temperatures get really high, but when you work in a professional environment, managing your comfort is simply par for the course. Hopefully with these tips you will be able to maintain as high a comfort level as possible when you’re suited up during the summer.

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Originally published at on April 27, 2016.