Ah, the Summer Sunshine is not for the faint of heart, but the beautiful natural colorings of the Spring and Summer make a powerful statement about the charisma and aplomb of the people who wear them. If you want to try to pull it off this season, though, there are a few rules you might want to follow.
Here in Sunny, Florida, it feels like 108 Degrees. This will likely be the coolest summer of our lives. So, how can you prepare for a lifelong bespoke wardrobe that will hold up to the rising temperatures? What is a natural tone and why is my entire closet so blue?
Michael Armanno, Principal Designer of Kalypso Couture and host of Bespoke Jax, is here to share his nearly decade long experiences as a bespoke clothier.
Spring and Summer Only
What am I always telling you? Charcoal Grey, it is versatile, it is fly, and everyone looks good in gray. But not during the warm months! Especially not before 5pm! If you are still wearing your charcoals into the office, or to Sunday brunch, you're missing the mark!
Now hold on, I am not here to steer you wrong. Let's talk about bold pattern for a minute. If you have a charcoal suit with a dynamic pattern or texture, your summer wardrobe is not all a loss! You can break your elements down into new outfits. Take those pants paired with a lightweight linen shirt. The trick is to ensure, if you throw on a blazer or sport coat, it must be as dark if not darker than your pants. That can get pretty tricky in the summer. Etiquette suggests certain colors and styles are only appropriate for certain seasons, and this definitely applies to the in the warmer months (especially in lighter shades). Be careful to keep your summer styling light and airy in both the material and the styling. Have fun this season. The bright and bold florals and patterns shine in the summer should typically only be worn in the warmer months. Otherwise, its bright levity just looks out of place.
Now that being said, if you know of me at all, you know I will be the brightest and shiniest in any given room. Never let "rules" get i the way of what makes you feel golden. Knowing the rules is the first step in breaking them. Break them we shall to cultivate the aesthetic we please. Otherwise, what are we really doing?
Keep it Light
This seems like the most obvious thing to do to stay cool in the summer. Of course, here in the swampland we have pretty well stripped our into wardrobe into loose threads of cheap fabrics that suffice for Publix decency. To each their own. We all have our style, but it isn't mine, and it isn't yours. If you've made it this far, you clearly have an interest in the sartorial, so let's dig a little deeper into what a "light" fabric is.
Chances are, if you are not buying Bespoke, you likely don't know how much your suit fabric weighs. The All Season Champion suit ranges between 285 Grams per Square Meter upwards of 390. Here in the south, I rarely recommend a client go over 300 in weight, it just doesn't make sense here. The Goldie Locks zone is somewhere between 265 and 285 GSM. In broad terms, many would consider these very lightweight suits. In my experience, I have found the biggest fear of wearing suits is the feeling of being uncomfortable. Not only in the way the jacket's drape hugs your chest and shoulder, but the breathability of the fabric.
In terms of color, you could explore matching the weight of your suit with the weight of your accessory colors, so avoid anything too dark or heavyweight. Beige and light gray pair excellently with the summer colors. I won't dwell on shoes, though I will say to find a nice leather soled shoe, rubber simply does not hold up in the heat.
We covered your essential knowledge. If it is hot out, bright out, or school's out then it is time for your poppy and exciting wardrobe to thrive! We know about how much weight we need to look for in our fabrics. Generally, great rule of thumb when it comes to suit buying, an all wool suit is a quality that is hard to surpass. That being said, wool isn't as scary as its reputation. Many think of the thick, scratchy wool from military uniforms, or blankets and the thought alone makes me cringe.
While we pride ourselves on our handcrafted heirloom garments, our mills have just gotten so dang good at busting out gorgeous fine fabrics, in a variety of natural fibers and compositions. So, finding a lightweight open weave wool is simple as can be. Great for your capsule wardrobe, since it will be a strong quality fabric that can be utilized all year round.
But what of the summer suit? Should you be avoiding plastics? Short answer, yes! Poly this and Urethane that doesn't belong in your clothing. It is wretched for the environment. natural fibers break down natural and are sustainable. A good majority of the earth's pollution is a direct result of the fast fashion craze. That is why we specialize the way we do. If you need more of reason that that, try, it does not breathe. The polo you find much more comfortable, is nearly entirely made of plastic and your body heat has nowhere to escape. No wonder you're sweating so much in the pits, your forehead, nowhere else on your body can breathe.
Other natural lightweight fibers are stellar for the summer months, and especially here in the south. That means 100% Cotton, 100% Linen. Bamboo, Silk, and a number of luxurious blends and even finer fabric combinations are within your grasp. Some fashion houses opt for no shoulder padding or lining in these lightweight suits, but the reality is that your silk lining is moisture wicking and naturally cooling on its own and your horsehair or camelhair padding is not adding a whole lot of weight and again, actually encourages more airflow. Of course, these structural elements also mean longevity and form over the lifespan of your wardrobe.
We can go on for days with tips and tricks to formal summer fashion. For today, I'll leave you with this last bit of advice: Drink more water.
Bespoke Jax explores the behind the seams in Northeast Florida. Our host, Principal Designer Michael Armanno of Kalypso Couture Bespoke Tailored Suits, takes us on a journey into the secret life of a bespoke clothier.
Join us in our endeavor to find fancy fabrics, meet charming artisans, and we'll have some adventures along the way! Your monthly contribution directly supports the creative arts in a fashion that elevates our casual wear and gives us a reason, instead of a need, to look and feel our best.
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