Cotton is the all American fibre. No wonder that suits made of cotton play an important role in American businesswear — not only in the warm states of the south. The conservative New Yorker will also wear cotton suits in colours like khaki, putty or olive to keep cool in the heat of summer. The typical American style is the half-lined sack suit with natural shoulders, only slightly tapered waist.
The Neapolitan Linen Suit
There is a nice story about a count from Naples who had seven new linen suits made by Rubinacci each summer. One for every day of the week. The suits were totally unconstructed and washable. After each day of wear the suits were washed by hand and then pressed by the count’s valet. After one year the suits were discarded. The linen suit as such is not a Neapolitan invention while the extremely light, softly tailored, almost shirt-like linen suit is.
The Dark Navy Suit
Business men who travel the whole world must wear a suit that looks right in every country and culture. The navy suit is somewhat like the internationally accepted uniform of businessmen. But only the very lightweight version will serve the purpose of making its wearer comfortable in high temperatures. Yarns spun of the finest and longest fibres and twisted before weaving will offer excellent performance. The finest wool fibres may be at least as expensive as Cashmere but they are the best choice for summer suits.
The Silk Suit
Who wears silk suits? This is very hard to say because most silk suitings look like lightweight cotton or wool fabrics. Most silk suits are bespoke and the majority of men who commission them don’t want everybody to see what they wear. Silk jacketings are a completely different story as are white silk dinner jackets. Have a look at silk suitings for business suits next time you visit your tailor, you might be surprised how understated they look.
The Seersucker Suit
The second American classic summer suit. Narrow blue and white stripes are the most typical pattern but there any more to find in the fabric bunches. In fact the stripes come in most colours including pink, green and red. A nice change are checked seersucker fabrics. The most discreet option are solid coloured seersuckers and the most luxurious ones are woven of silk or cashmere. Seersucker suitings made of pure cotton, or cotton and polyester blends, are the most traditional choice and probably the best for summer wear. In the 1960s 100-percent polyester seersuckers were all the rage among American businessmen. These wash-and-wear suits were very useful for travelling salesmen because they could be washed in the bathtub and dried overnight on an inflatable hanger. These suits have damaged the image of Seersucker but in recent years it has made a big comeback all around the world. In northern Europe seersucker is nevertheless a very unusual choice for business-wear.
The Glencheck Suit
Prince Charles is considered one of the best-dressed men of our time, his suits are really not typically English. Most Brits are as far from elegant as the average male in any other country and they wear the same type of nondescript business suits that can be found anywhere in the world today. In summer we can nevertheless still see one suit more often worn by Brits than by others — the light grey Glencheck suit. Usually sb and with belt loop trousers when bought off the rack, while db glencheck summer suits are often bespoke. In the Anglo-American menswear tradition Glencheck is a fabric for business and travel, although it is originally a fabric worn on sporting events. Prince Charles frequently wears lightweight Glencheck suits in summer, usually topped by a Panama hat.