Australia plays host to a summer season that likes to play nasty. The sun beats down and makes everyone sweat to kingdom come, and this brings suffering to those who wear tailoring for their profession or those who just want to be able to wear it in the summer. The limited options provided by ready to wear brands here don’t help either.
We’ve already covered the ideal fabric selections for summer, but fabric isn’t the only the only consideration when it comes to ensuring our clothing is summer sensible.
So what else can we do to survive the summer in style?
In tailoring: Do away with linings!
Perhaps the biggest issue in Australia is that ready to wear suits available in stores are almost all fully lined. You might occasionally come across an unlined sport jacket but for the most part, everything is fully lined.
And lining keeps you warm.
Especially the cheaper polyester and viscose linings. You’ll get a little more breathability out of cupro (also known as Bemberg silk) or silk linings, but they’re still designed to keep the warmth in for the most part.
If you’re getting your tailoring custom made, the best thing to do is specify an unlined suit or jacket (have the sleeves lined though, an unlined sleeve makes it a lot harder to put on and remove your jacket). Half lining is an option if you want a bit more seasonal versatility – unlined might be a bit too breathable for the cooler parts of autumn and spring.
Be aware though, specifying less lining may make it cost a little extra.
Why does unlined suiting cost extra?
It’s easy to wonder why taking away the lining would bring the price up, instead of knocking it down. However, when you remove the lining it means all the stitching is on show. This means that the maker has to ensure that every seam is neatly done and presentable, while the presence of lining allows for a laxer attitude to neatness behind the scenes.
You simply pay for adding extra work, and reap the benefits – both practical and visual – as a result.
Opt for a looser fit with better air flow.
Something I learned very quickly when I started to take men’s style seriously was that overly tight fits aren’t the best way to do things. I learned that a looser – not baggy, still smart – fit is not only more flattering but is a much better way to get airflow to your body during hot days. Because of the airier fit, you can do away with stretch fabrics and opt for natural, breathable fabrics for maximum summer cool.
The effect of simply going for an airier fit was so revolutionary for me that I went from being restricted to wearing shorts in summer to not only being able to wear trousers instead, but my trousers were cooler and more breathable than the shorts I used to wear.
Conclusion: less lining, more flow.
While the unlined jacket will help immensely, some Australian days are simply going to warrant the omission of a jacket in your outfit. When it’s over ~35 degrees, there’s no chance I’m wearing a jacket outside: lining or not.
But I’m still wearing trousers! A good breathable fabric is the key. My linen and seersucker trousers are cooler than my cotton shorts, since they breathe better. Because of that, they’re my staple summer day items. Which is great, because I hate how I look in shorts…
‘Til next time!
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