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Cotton v Wool suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by stargazer, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. stargazer

    stargazer New Member

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    Hey all,
    Just wondering what your thoughts are on cotton suits in comparison with wool suits. I heard cotton suits are lighter but also wrinkle up easier. Is this true?
    Which one looks/feels better (more shiny) and which one takes more wear?

    Cheers
     
  2. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    Wool suits are the standard, but cotton suits have their place.

    Cotton works best during spring and summer, or year-round in tropical climates. The nature of the fabric (more of a matte finish, and the wrinkles that form) make them best for more casual situations as well.

    Wool is more formal/traditional, but this also depends on the styling and the color. You can get 'tropical weight wool' suits which will be nearly as good as a cotton suit for warm days, or warm climates.

    I prefer the way that wool drapes, and how the fabric looks in comparison to cotton. However, both definitely have their uses.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Cotton suits are a niche garment, nice for summer in hot climates, but otherwise not so useful. To be avoided until all the basics are already in your closet.
     
  4. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hey all,
    Just wondering what your thoughts are on cotton suits in comparison with wool suits. I heard cotton suits are lighter but also wrinkle up easier. Is this true?
    Which one looks/feels better (more shiny) and which one takes more wear?

    Cheers


    You are comparing apples to oranges. Wool and cotton suits are used for two different purposes. It is rare to wear a cotton suit in the winter, where it is cold. Cotton suits are considered a more casual, summer alternative to wearing a wool suit (and linen more so). Wool suits will, for the most part, be dressier and there are wools you can wear year round and some that are specific to summer and winter. There are also wools lighter than cotton. Cotton will wrinkle faster than wool but there are some high end men's manufacturers that blend cotton and silk which makes a wonderful fabric and year round suit. In a nutshell, wear cotton suits in warmer weather for less dressier ocassions. Wear wool any other time you need to wear a suit.
     
  5. stargazer

    stargazer New Member

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    Thanks for the tip guys!

    Much appreciated!
     
  6. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    I was going to get a cotton Kiton suit one time but the tailor at NM said that it wasn't a good idea to do any changes other than sleeves because the old seams would show.
     
  7. rabbimark

    rabbimark Well-Known Member

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    I have two cotton suits: one navy blue, one khaki. After three years in Manhattan as the rabbi of a synagogue without air conditioning (built in 1922) and now serving a congregation in Florida -- as well as numerous outdoor funerals in the sultry months of summer -- I can state unequivocally that there is definitely a place in the wardrobe for a cotton summer suit.

    I found a very nice one (the navy) at Lands End, actually, and had it pretty extensively reworked by a tailor in NYC. The fabric was great, and though the alterations exceeded the cost of the suit itself, total cost was about $300 and it still works well for me.

    The khaki was a end-of-season sale at Saks at the flagship store on Fifth. Did really well on that one, beautiful fabric with about 40% silk. Nice hand to it.

    Lately, though, I've bought two BrooksCool. Feels like sandpaper, but when you walk 2.3 miles (one way) to shul on shabbos morning, it's wonderful to have an ultra-breathable fabric. And it looks just fine. Great as a travel blazer, too, as it doesn't wrinkle at all.
     
  8. epa

    epa Senior member

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    Yes, I think that cotton tends to wrinkle more than wool (at least in the quality ranges that I am familiar with), but less than linen. I think that cotton suits serve more or less the same purposes as linen suits. Nice summer wear, with a more "casual" look than wool.
    I had a cotton&linen (about 50% each) Loro Piana odd jacket made this summer. I thought about a suit, but as trousers tend to wrinkle more than the jacket (as, in summer, you often take your jacket off at work, at least, I do), I decided that to go for an odd jacket and a set of different cotton trousers to go with it. The cotton/linen cloth feels wonderful during hot summer days. Also, the a bit "wrinkled" look is OK. At least at my job, we tend to dress more casually in summer.
     
  9. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    A light wool is good when you have air conditioning and aren't walking around too much outside even in California's dry heat. But I wear my black linen suit with a linen dress shirt in 110 degree heat and hardly sweat, amazing indeed. Love my cotton and linen suits.
     
  10. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Senior member

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    How about cotton and wool suits? I have seen some fabrics. I missed out on an excellent cotton cashmere ( 90 % cotton) or so that was amazing. Have also seeen some 50 % mixed that looked very interesting.

    Would be very interested in information from those who have such garments. How warm? wrinkle prone? wear? etc

    Thanks
     
  11. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    How about cotton and wool suits? I have seen some fabrics. I missed out on an excellent cotton cashmere ( 90 % cotton) or so that was amazing. Have also seeen some 50 % mixed that looked very interesting.

    Would be very interested in information from those who have such garments. How warm? wrinkle prone? wear? etc

    Thanks


    Too darn hot....[​IMG]

    I've got several variations of 90/10 cotton/cashmere coats and trousers. They are all either moleskin or corduroy and best suited for fall/winter wear.

    I've also got cotton/linen, cotton/mohair, and cotton/linen blends which are stpales for spring/summer.
     
  12. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Too darn hot....[​IMG]

    I've got several variations of 90/10 cotton/cashmere coats and trousers. They are all either moleskin or corduroy and best suited for fall/winter wear.

    I've also got cotton/linen, cotton/mohair, and cotton/linen blends which are stpales for spring/summer.

    Agree. I had a 90/10 suit and the few times I actually wore it, I felt like I was absolutly swimming.
     
  13. fredrik80

    fredrik80 Senior member

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    I just came home with a beautiful wool/linen mix suit (55/45) that looks amazing. It's dark blue with white pinstripes, and the linen in it gives the blue that nice almost uneven and vibrant color, reminding on denim almost.

    Anyway, the thing that amazed me most was how little it wrinkles, i was expecting it to wrinkle a lot but after two days of wearing it it has no wrinkles at all, comparable to all-wool suits in fact. Might be a good alternative to cotton suits for summer
     
  14. oscarthewild

    oscarthewild Senior member

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  15. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    Hey! I went dancing today, had my tango lesson in a wool suit, and from there we went to a salsa club and after some dances (merengues, salsas and bachatas) It was real hot in the pants... ( nooo the girl had something to do with it but this was because of the pants [​IMG] )

    I went dancing other times with wool pants that had 100% viscosa lining or 100% cotton lining (those are bespoke) and I didn't felt that... I saw that this particular suit has lining in 50% viscosa 50% acetate, maybe that was the problem...

    Anyway I'll do an experiment, next time I'll go with the same girl to the same place with a cotton suit and report on the difference... third experiment will be with a linen suit....
     
  16. epa

    epa Senior member

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    Regarding cotton/cashmere mixes: Zegna has this "cashco" cloth and I just ordered an MTM odd jacket made of it, for fall/winter. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I thought the fabric felt very nice. On its website Zegna says that "Ermenegildo Zegna has developed new fabrics that combine comfort and easy fabric care with particular "looks" and new mixes. For example, CASHCO, a family of fabrics made of cotton and cashmere for products that are lightweight but "warm", sporty yet elegant."; look under "seasonal fabrics" at http://sumisura.zegna.com/
     
  17. epa

    epa Senior member

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    I just came home with a beautiful wool/linen mix suit (55/45) that looks amazing. It's dark blue with white pinstripes, and the linen in it gives the blue that nice almost uneven and vibrant color, reminding on denim almost.

    Anyway, the thing that amazed me most was how little it wrinkles, i was expecting it to wrinkle a lot but after two days of wearing it it has no wrinkles at all, comparable to all-wool suits in fact. Might be a good alternative to cotton suits for summer

    Can you give us the details of the cloth? I was thinking of getting something like that, for next summer, but for a suit I really need something that does not wrinkle too much. And I love the linen look.
     
  18. PETERA

    PETERA New Member

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    When flying, which travels best wool or cotton suits?
     
  19. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Neither.

    Travel in jeans and change upon arrival. If it is a short trip, just accept that you will have a rumpled look.
     
  20. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    For travel, probably a mid-weight dark blue or dark gray wool suit that fits well would show fewer wrinkles than any other reasonable option (which cotton might not be for some professions anyway).
     

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