Summer Wool

I read, more than once this summer, a number of editorials stating that the beginning of summer was “time to put away your wools” and bring out the “summer” fabrics.  When thinking of warm-weather-appropriate fabrics, there are the usual culprits: linen, cotton, seersucker, etc. However, it is often overlooked how well a lightweight wool stands up to the summer heat.  I would even go so far as to say that wool is the absolute best fabric when it comes to staying as cool as possible during the hottest of days.

Wool, like linen and cotton, is a natural fiber that breathes very well.  In the same way a heavier cotton twill is more appropriate for the fall, but a lighter version is more suitable for the warm, applies in the same to wool.  An open weave, unlined and in an appropriate weight will be just at home in the heat as a linen.  Think hopsacks and frescos.  The type of weaves that will be translucent when held up to the sun.  In my humble opinion, an unlined fresco suit/jacket should be the number one choice when reaching for summer tailoring.  Cotton and linens are great, but the crispness of wool tends to work in my favor – especially at the office.

The example highlighted in this post, is an 100% wool, semi-opened weave, unlined and extremely light suit by MTM company Hockerty.  As mentioned above, you can almost see through the back of the jacket, and this suit will carry me through the rest of summer’s heat and well into the fall.

Wool can be and is one of the most versatile fabrics for tailoring, if not the most.  It will keep you comfortable from summer to winter, and everything in between.  So yes, it may be time to put the heavy Harris tweeds away and the fuzzy flannels, but be sure to keep the lightweight wools in rotation.