Originally Posted by gene
I'm looking for a "casual" suit, for "dressy"-optional events like college department theatre productions, the "fancy" martini bar (college town, not NYC), etc. How appropriate is a solid navy cotton suit for this purpose? Is this something that should only be worn in the summer, or can it be appropriate in the spring/fall? Is this a garment that I'll be ashamed to own in 3 years, because it's just a passing trend?
As long as it's a classic cut, it's not a trendy item you'll be embarrased by in three years. A navy cotton suit is a classic wardrobe staple. Traditionally you'd only wear it in summer, but you certainly could wear it year-round if the weather is suitable. Still, I think a lightweight, casual-styled wool suit will prove more versatile. I don't really think of the cotton suit as "appropriate" - although of course it's perfectly fine if you're comfortable with how you like in it - for evening wear. JMHO, obviously. A cotton suit is also more likely to pick up and retain wrinkles, which is another reason it wouldn't be my first choice for the circumstances you have in mind.