Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cool down your material

 It’s almost the middle of July, and the heat index will only be increasing for the next month or two.  Depending on what geographical area you reside in, summers can be brutal not only on your skin, but also on you wardrobe decisions.  The last thing you want to be doing is sporting a gorgeous suit that does the opposite of making you look good, because it's out of season due to the type of material it is.  Now, let me make this clear for those who do not know the difference between seersucker and linen. These are two different materials, which give off two different looks. 

* Linen is woven from the stems of flax, a vegetable fiber.
* Has twice the strength of cotton.
* Absorbs and releases perspiration quickly, thus allowing the fabric to "breathe". Linen is one of the most breathable fabrics, making it especially cool and comfortable to wear in the heat.
*Lightweight and absorbent.
* Not stretchy.
* Wrinkles easily.

* Seersucker does not refer to the fabric, but to a certain structure of fabric.
* It is usually made of cotton, but can be made from rayon or other synthetics.
* It has a puckered style so that it lifts off your skin and lets air circulate.
* Cotton seersucker is very breathable and cool in the summer.

Now that you the difference between the two, let us continue on with how to wear either one. Here are some suggestions on how and what to wear with both materials.

(1) Depending on the color of your suit or blazer, I would suggest that you wear lighter colors.  Besides the fact that softer colors are worn during the spring/summer, harder colors will take away from the effect that these materials create. I say this because darker colors attract more heat and the purpose of these materials are to lessen this effect.  Basically you will just be looking like a walking oxymoron if you decide to pair up the two.

(2) It’s ok to wear wingtips shoes with either material, but you want to give of a relax look so loafers or a casual shoe would better add to the image your trying to portray (remember no socks are a plus also).

(3) If it’s imperative that your wear a dress shirt and tie, try to wear a dress shirts that is a lighter material.  This also helps to eliminate you sweating and adds to your “relaxed” look.  If you have a choice to wear a tie or not, go for the option of not majority of the time.  An oxford shirt is what I prefer to wear because the small buttons help to keep your collar from expanding out of your jacket or blazer (unless you want to give off the Tony Montana look).

(4) I can’t stress this enough, a pocket square is essentials in today’s fashion sphere.  Be creative; try different color schemes and designs.  Your pocket square is a reflection of your personality.

(5) You can’t go wrong with a color V-neck T-shirt.  If your suit or blazer is a different color other then white, a white V-neck is always a crisp look.  But other then that, colors such as light purple, blue, pink, yellow, green, gray and orange are great also (these colors should all be pastel or soft).

(6) If you’re wearing a more casual shoe, change up your leather belt and add some color into your ensemble.

(7) If it’s a requirement to wear a tie at work or wherever you will be wearing these materials, a “skinny tie” will suit you best.  Regular size ties give off a more powerful and bold image, again you’re “relaxed” and “cool” so make sure your whole make-up complements your style.

(8) If you are a person who is just getting more into fashion, pleated pants, shorts or any pleats in that regard have become obsolete.  Unless you’re going for a specific look, stay away from this style on pant.  Flat front plants have replaced the guy who likes to sport pleats (thank God).

(9) You can mix-match your linen or seersucker colors.  For example, a white color blazer with a light blue pair of linen shorts are a good combination.  Grab your watch, throw on a nice stripe or solid oxford shirt and a pair of navy blue suede or tan leather loafers and you are on your way to the roof-top pool party downtown for a night of cocktails and laughter.

(10) Both of these materials wrinkle fairly easy, so you may want to steam them every once in the while.  But, not too much because you will ruin the material.  Actually linen looks a little bit better when it has some wrinkles in it.  Remember the casual look is the goal, so don’t give off a look that you spent an extent amount of preparation on your attire.

Not only do you want to be comfortable in these materials, you want to wear them with confidence.  Even with this advice, if you don’t carry yourself with confidence these tips will only take you so far.  The man makes the suit, not the other way around.

Adios gentlemen!