Your Summer Suit Solution

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 15, 2016.

Step 1: Understand What Makes You Hot

You’re Hot Blooded

We don’t mean you’re a song by Foreigner from the 70s, we mean you’re a warm blooded mammal who generates heat to keep your body at a steady 98.6 degrees (give or take a degree or two).

Foreigner Hot Blooded album cover illustration

External factors, like high temperatures of summer, can cause you to overheat. And of course, your body itself can make you feel hot when you engage in strenuous activity or as a physiological response to stress.

How You Release Heat

How You Release Heat

Heat escapes through the skin, so when we need to cool off we do it by A) sweating and B) enlarging blood vessels to move your hot blood closer to the surface of your skin to cool off. No matter what, there’s only one way out.

Step 2: Fix the Problem

Chill Out
Dress codes don’t take the summer off but neither does style.

Tip 1. Give Your Travel Time a Tip

Give Your Travel Time a Tip

When the temperatures rise, tack on an extra 15%-20% of travel time to your commute and any appointments that require going outside. The extra time ensures that you won’t be hustling, and heating up, to arrive on time and leaves you with one less thing to stress about so you can arrive feeling as cool as a cucumber.

Tip 2. Sweat Smarter

sweat smarter

Sweating is how we cool off, but it only works if sweat evaporates. Here’s how to make it work for you and your style.

  • The going line is to wear loose fitting clothes when it’s hot, but a baggy suit will ruin anyone’s style. The idea here is to put some distance between you and your clothes so your sweat can evaporate. As long as you’re not in anything skin tight, you’re good to go.
  • Choose your fabric wisely. Suits made with open weaves like the fresco fabric seen in the suit featured here, help air circulate so breezes get in and sweat can evaporate out.
  • While we’re big fans of suspenders (“braces” to the Brits out there), we stash them for the warmer months because they press right up to the small of your back and stop sweat from evaporating.
  • Today, socks are optional in all but the most strictly conservative environments where you’d wear a suit and going sock-less is a good way to keep your legs cool. Just be sure to avoid stinky shoe syndrome.
  • Adding a wicking undershirt can actually aid in cooling you off. The wicking qualities of an undershirt pull sweat away from your body (aiding evaporation) and protect your dress shirts.


Step 3: The Black Lapel Approach

Smarter Suits

At Black Lapel, we make a summer suit smarter through smarter weaving.


From left to right: Baltic Blue Fresco Custom Suit by Black Lapel. Light Blue Fine Stripe Fresco Custom Suit by Black Lapel. Light Gray Fresco Custom Suit by Black Lapel.

Contrary to many of the associations we tend to make with wool, like fuzzy sweaters and cozy blankets, wool can be made into breathable summer fabrics. Makes sense, the sheep that we get most of the world’s wool live in Australia and couldn’t survive the sweltering summers there if their fleece wasn’t breathable.In the hands of a master weaver, sheep’s wool can be made into a cloth that is, at once, porous enough to help circulate air yet looks great when made into sharply tailored suits. That fabric is called fresco. Italian for fresh, fresco fabrics help you stay cool without feeling thin and papery like so many lightweight fabrics do.


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