One of the biggest misconceptions about menswear today is that the fabric is always going to be too hot. Many of us have memories of sweating through our suits during graduation or a wedding. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to keep your cool this summer and still dress sharp.
1. Choose a breathable fabric
Some years ago, I was a groomsman and was required to wear a rental tuxedo for the ceremony. The fabric was a poor quality wool and consequently, it was itchy and hot. During the ceremony, I literally had beads of sweat falling down my forehead.
Fortunately, not all wools are the same.
Some of our finest Australian and New Zealand Merino wools are extremely breathable, and a great way to keep your cool this summer. And for when it gets really warm outside, a cotton or seersucker is the ideal choice.
2. Skip the socks
Did you catch last week’s post? I explained what you need to know about wearing shoes without socks. Aside from a style statement, skipping the socks can help keep your feet cool, and therefore, you cool by improving ventilation.
During the warm months of summer, if I walk out onto a hot sidewalk in downtown Denver, the first place I tend to notice getting warm is my feet! And personally, wearing a cotton sock doesn’t help. But skipping the socks altogether does.
3. Go open collar
The best way to keep your cool this summer is to ventilate your upper body by skipping the neck tie. Leave the top one or two buttons (or 3, if you’re bold!) unbuttoned. This will make a world of difference in how your body regulates its temperature.
4. It’s OK to wear short sleeves (when it’s warm)
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a short sleeve dress shirt. Yes, it will be more casual and you won’t see the sleeves peeking out underneath your suit jacket sleeve, but when it’s warm outside, that’s perfectly OK. Wearing short sleeves will keep you much cooler, be it a polo shirt or button up style.
5. Casual shoes
Sometime leather shoes will just be too warm. Socks or no socks.
The smart move is to switch over to some of the fun canvas shoes coming on the market. Again, your overall look will be more casual, but that’s OK.
Keep your cool this summer: Wrap up
The 5 tips above are some easy ways to keep your cool this summer. Implement just one or two of them and I’m confident that you’ll see a difference in your level of comfort this summer.
What tricks do you use to stay cool in your dress wear?
By Ryan Wagner