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Thread: Linen Suits

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    Linen Suits

    Tis the time of year when all of the Spring/Summer linen suit options start appearing from various retailers. Every year, I obsess about purchasing one (particularly a light grey version). Every year I talk myself out of pulling the trigger.

    On one hand: They are such a cool, laid back look. In theory, they keep you cool during the hot summer months, and set you apart from the crowd.
    On the other hand: They're not particularly business appropriate (especially in more conservative industries - I'm an attorney). They obviously wrinkle readily. And the quality seems to vary wildly, from stiff/scratchy, to almost wool-like smooth.

    The bottom line is, I am just not sure I would find enough situations where I'd actually wear it (I'm mostly working in the office, not heading to the Bahamas). I wanted to get others' thoughts on the linen suit. Is it worth it for the occasional summer wedding? Or will it become a closet decoration?

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    i don't think it's worth it unless you live far south enough to need the extra cooling.

    it's a bit of a one trick pony. maybe if you have like 10 summer weddings to go to?

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    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    I have a few summer suits -- ranging from tropical wool, linen, seersucker. As an attorney in NYC. Trop wool gets used the most for biz; linen some (but not for formal meetings), and seersucker never gets worn to the office. But I love having them for summer weddings and other suit events in the city or otherwise. They definitely don't get used "enough" to "justify" the number I have, but I also have been starting to move toward fairly seasonal wardrobe more generally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hornsup84 View Post
    I have a few summer suits -- ranging from tropical wool, linen, seersucker. As an attorney in NYC. Trop wool gets used the most for biz; linen some (but not for formal meetings), and seersucker never gets worn to the office. But I love having them for summer weddings and other suit events in the city or otherwise. They definitely don't get used "enough" to "justify" the number I have, but I also have been starting to move toward fairly seasonal wardrobe more generally.
    How would you compare the tropical wool suits to the linen ones in terms of breathability and staying cool?

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    I got lured in by one of the JCF linen suits. I assume it is not that cool given the backing but it’s mostly closet decoration. The wrinkling bothers me and outside a Friday just doesn’t always fit in for work. I have taken it for a summer vacation to a resort that needs a jackets and did get some use out of it.

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    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burner View Post
    How would you compare the tropical wool suits to the linen ones in terms of breathability and staying cool?
    All depends on the quality/heft of the linen and tropical wool--which IMO can vary drastically for both. Tropical wool I can wear as a business suit still (my main one is a light grey, so works); linens are much more casual looking of course. Tropical wools breath much better than my other wool suits, and I have them with partial liners which helps a ton. Linen I have either partially lined or unlined. The lack of lining frankly matters more than the trop wool vs. linen, from what I can tell.

    IMO, unless its a summery color/pattern, tropical wool won't "look" summery vs. normal suiting (good for biz). Linen will look summery/casual. From there, it's really more of a question as to which is more useful--both will be superior in terms of staying cool relative to wearing lined/3-season type suiting that is likely your norm.

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    Varsity Member Dun's Avatar
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    Light colored linen will appear more wrinkled as well.

    For business-y things maybe dark colored linen, navy or a deep brown, would work for you. Especially if those business-y things will be indoors and out of direct sunlight.

    As mentioned you have to go unlined to really get any usefulness out of the breath ability of linen. Also a breeze/active AC. Without airflow it will still feel like multiple layers+body heat.

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    Dappered Veteran shad0w4life's Avatar
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    Linen blend is a must

    I have a Linen wool one from SS, doesn't wrinkle even close to say my linen shirts from S&M, which are completely unwearable except around the house they look so disheveled.

    Only behind the knees really has some lets call them deep wrinkles, was super impressed with how presentable it was during a wedding in 30C temps, everyone remembered that suit as well as "That really nice blue suit" so must have held up quite well and didn't look out of place.

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    Super Moderator DocDave's Avatar
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    I have a linen suit from SS. It gets worn in the summer. I just embrace the wrinkles.
    I have a searsucker suit. I didn't take it out of the closet at all last summer. Maybe this year(?) if a wedding pops up or some kind of fun outdoor activity.
    No tropical suits. Makes me think I need to pick one up now...

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    The J Crew unstructured cotton-linen (linen-cotton) suit seemed like a nice compromise between the linen's heat moderating, and a bit of wrinkle resistance from the cotton. I only wish I had talked myself into getting their brighter blue color when they had it last year.

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