Fashion trends have certainly changed in men’s clothing since our fathers’ generation. While the dapper dresser of the past always had his place, and men have always “dressed for success” to one degree or another, there is far a more aware and sophisticated approach to clothing today than ever.
As evidenced by the explosion of fashion magazines and TV programs aimed at the subject of men’s wear and even makeovers, men today are much more aware of how they’re dressed than they were in the past, when fashion wasn’t much more than an afterthought. Many men are paying more attention to their wardrobes than their cars or traditional male hobbies in an attempt to achieve the respect the business world bestows on a well-dressed man. The best way to achieve this look, of course, is with a “killer” new suit.
While style and cut is important, the deeper idea to be aware of is that the proper fabric is the most important component of the perfect suit. To decide which fabric is right for you, you’ll need to know how each will look, feel, and wear. The following descriptions of fabrics commonly used in men’s suits will point you in the right direction.
Linen: Probably not the best choice for a new suit. Linen is lightweight and has a look that will set you apart from everyone else, but it stains and wrinkles easily. It can create a suit with a nice line, but it won’t stay that way all day at the office.
Polyester: The only reason to consider a polyester suit is if it’s blended with wool in order to reduce the cost. Polyester is made from chemicals, not natural fibers, and suits made from it were in style about as long as disco in the 1970s. What you’ll save on a blended suit isn’t worth the look.
Microfiber: Fine for a Halloween costume but not much else. Stay away from any suit made from microfiber.
Teflon: The same comments that apply to microfiber also apply to Teflon. Unless you plan to fry an egg on your sleeve, stay away from it.
Tweed: Now we’re into the fabric of choice for men’s suits, but don’t get too excited yet – tweed is not the first choice. While it will keep you warm in very cold weather, the fabric is too heavy to flow on your body. You may very well see tweed suits on seniors; it has a very old-fashioned look. But it’s best to avoid tweed altogether, as it will tend to make you look heavier.
Flannel: Suits made from flannel are also pretty heavy, as they are made from corded wool. Although flannel is very durable and available in charcoal gray with pinstripes, it’s better suited for pajamas than suits.
Tropical: Because this wool crepe is very lightweight, it’s extremely difficult to keep from wrinkling. This is not the fabric of choice for your new suit.
Worsted: You probably figured out by now that we saved the best for last. Gabardines and mid-weight corded wools are Worsted fabrics that are durable and can be worn all year long. Make sure your next suit is made from Worsted wool.