Fabrics for a black suit for summer/Central America

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by GrenfellHunt, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. GrenfellHunt

    GrenfellHunt Member

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    In Central America, weddings & funerals both require black suits. I'd be grateful for input from the Forum: how do you construct the ultimate black suit for a humid/tropical climate? What fabrics do you recommend for the suit?
     


  2. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    A silk and linen blend of around 50/50 composition (maybe from Loro Piana or Dormeuil), unlined trousers, half line the jacket. Cotton and linen shirt and a cotton and linen or silk and linen tie.
     


  3. GrenfellHunt

    GrenfellHunt Member

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    Thanks, Mr Reeves!
    Any thoughts on fresco wool? Some of what I've read suggests that's the best way to go.
    "Half-line the jacket"--I've seen some suggestions of leaving the jacket unlined, but that sounded more than a little bold. What do you recommend for the lining? Bemberg?
     


  4. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Why do you consider unlined bold? The fact is that lining material is tightly woven and therefore much less breathable than whichever tropical fabric you select for the shell.
     


  5. GrenfellHunt

    GrenfellHunt Member

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    Hmm. Perhaps lack of personal experience! Can't deny that it sounds logical for Central America, although I don't remember noticing it.

    If you had to line a suit for a tropical climate, what would you recommend?
     


  6. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Supposedly ermazine is cooler than Bemberg. I never noticed a difference.

    I read once somewhere that linen was historically used (apparently that where the word "lining" comes from?). NO idea if this is true or myth. It would certainly be a lot cooler than any lining fabric used today (although i'm not sure if you could find a tailor who could do this).

    And just FYI, lining is not supposed to be "noticed." It's on the inside, like people wouldn't notice what color boxers or undershirt youre wearing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016


  7. GrenfellHunt

    GrenfellHunt Member

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    Well, I have to say, you've really got me thinking. I've never owned a suit w/o a lining, and I suppose I just assumed that a suit w/o a lining by definition would be too casual for a wedding or a funeral. But it's certainly a logical idea, and weddings in Managua (90 degrees/stifling humidity + social custom that the jacket will actually be on for most of the night) make it an appealing idea as well.

    Any preferences for the jacket fabric itself? I'm looking up the references suggested Mr Reeves re: silk/linen blend (Loro Piana/Dormeuil).

    Thanks again for your suggestions. :)
     


  8. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Silk/linen is good. So is wool/linen. Keep the percentage of linen under control if you don't want too much wrinkling. Fresco would be ideal if you want to stick to 100% wool. "Tropical" wool comes in all grades, so you'd want to be careful if that's where you're going.

    And no, lining has nothing to do with formality. I believe traditionally suits were made half-lined. In your case, I would say definitely half-lined or less: having a tightly woven layer of lining defeats the purpose of a summer fabric. And, as always, humidity is more of a killer than heat, so breathability ranks just above heat conductance in the fabric selection criteria.
     


  9. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    Being half lined will make no real difference to the look of the suit, you can still style it formally and sharp or go more louche and softer looking with the tailoring. Fresco is well liked online and I am liking it a lot more (I did an MTO run of fresco suits at the start of the summer) but I do not think it cuts it in the same way as silk/linen or wool/linen blends. Having said that theres not much around in black in silk linen blends right now as we are in fall/winter season.

    Minnis Fresco quality 104335 is probably the way to go, Id say half line it, but the lining you use should be black and the tailor should use a dark canvas so that lining or canvas doesn't show through.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016


  10. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    You would use a dark charcoal cloth.
     


  11. GrenfellHunt

    GrenfellHunt Member

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    Guys, thank you for your input on this.
    I can't find a link on-line to Minnis Fresco quality 104335, so I'm not clear on the advantages and disadvantages.
    It's been easier to find info on Loro Piano Tasmanian, Summer Tasmanian, and Loro Piano Super 120s/130s. I presume that Summer Tasmanian is the logical choice, but it's not clear to me that the differences are really very great.
     


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