Five smart alternatives to a men’s linen suit

Torbay summer blazer from Samuel Windsor

Striped summer blazers have a smart, celebratory feel
Image: Torbay summer blazer from Samuel Windsor

A linen suit looks fantastic but if you don’t like the natural creases, what are the alternatives? Here are five crisp summer blazers and jackets that keep their shape, and offer the discerning gentleman an equally immaculate look.

1. Seersucker jacket and chinos

Originating in Persia – modern day Iran – seersucker has long been a favorite with gentlemen from the warm southern states. During weaving, alternate warp threads are placed under tension so that when the cloth is released from the loom, they pull the fabric, creating the unique dimpled finish we know so well.

It’s the dimples that prevent the fabric from clinging to your skin, maximizing air circulation and keeping you cool in even the stickiest weather.

No longer confined to the humid climes of the American deep south, seersucker has quickly become a favorite throughout the nation. A seersucker jacket twinned with a linen shirt, summer-weight cotton chinos, and loafers offers a preppy choice for dapper dressers everywhere.

2. Summer blazer and chinos

A jacket that owes its style cues to the varsity rowing teams of elite institutions in Great Britain, boating blazers were designed to be bright and colorful to make rowing teams easily distinguishable from one another on the water. At the time, it was thought scandalous to remove one’s jacket while rowing, so the jackets traditionally feature a roomier cut for ease of movement at the oar.

These days, bright stripes offer the wearer a touch of summer flamboyance, and the slightly looser fit gives you plenty of space to breathe under the sun’s hot glare. And while the tradition among Brits was never to wash or repair their summer boating blazers, we suggest you take yours to the cleaners once in a while.

If you’re thinking of wearing a summer blazer, go for bold stripes and pair with neutral chinos, crisp cotton button-down shirt and boat shoes.

3. Structured twill jacket and chinos

The perfect summer option for men who like a summer jacket with a bit of shape, a twill blazer is made using half-canvas construction, with comfortable double vents and enough structure in the shoulders to accentuate your masculine silhouette.

The way that twill is made results in a distinctive diagonal weave and, because it packs more threads into the weft than your average cotton jacket, this fabric drapes well and offers a good degree of wind protection making it a good option for outdoor events like summer weddings.

A jacket with British military roots, twill is smart enough for summer wear at the office and looks its best when paired with chinos or summer-weight wool pants. Avoid pants made from textured fabrics – twill has a subtle texture that goes best with plain cloth.

4. Summer tweed jacket and chinos

Not only is wool a fine insulator, it’s also breathable and moisture-wicking, making summer-weight tweed a great option for smart occasions. Choose season-appropriate colors and checks – lighter blues and grays, for example, look great and feel very comfortable on all but the hottest of days.

Again, half-canvas construction, structured shoulders and a nipped in waist lend your tweed jacket a smarter feel than linen. Complete your look with navy pants, or dress your summer tweed jacket down with indigo jeans. Attending a dinner at your club? A knitted tie is the perfect accessory.

5. Linen blazer and chinos

Linen is the ultimate hot weather fabric. It’s the flax thread that makes the difference. Not only is it water absorbent and moisture-wicking, it’s also far thicker than cotton, resulting in an open weave that allows plenty of air to circulate through it. Pair flax threads with cotton and you get the ultimate combination of cooling prowess and crease resistance. No wonder so many guys go for linen-cotton blend jackets.

Choose a natural stone-colored linen look, or brighten your ensemble by opting for a pastel shade. Pair with cotton pants, loafers or boat shoes, and top with an Ambassador or Panama hat for an outfit that’s cool, crisp and elegant.

Do you have any warm weather tips for smart casual summer events? If so, please do drop us a line via our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter

Posted in Men's Style Inspiration.

Leave a Reply