• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 8: Cuir de Russie card case from Equus Leather

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 8th auction is for a Cuir de Russie card case from Equus Leather. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.


    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Heresy: Great synthetic suit fabrics


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
Reaction score
This is guaranteed to raise hackles here, but I'm curious to see what experiences others have had with "alternative" suit fabrics and blends. I'm not talking old-school 1960/70s poly suits here (some things are best left for retro parties or the garbage), but rather the recent work designers have done (fantastic in my mind) with rayon and other synthetic microfibers.

I have some fantastic worsted wool suits (including an Italian Super 150's as smooth as a cube of butter on the skin) but have had great success with synthetics of late. There are any number of stodgy websites proclaiming that wool is the only acceptable suit fabric, and that your fiance's dad won't give his blessing and you'll never land a proper office job wearing something other than this. Thank God in the last couple years several designers have started to give lie to this (and forgive me if some have been doing it for many years without my knowing), using synthetic blends and sometimes nearly pure synthetics in runway-grade suits.

Ralph Lauren (incl their BL line) in particular has challenged the wool-only dogma: I have a BL suit that's a wool/rayon blend that looks damn sharp, breathes great (unlike the nasty reputation associated with poly suits of the past), and stays clean better than a pure worsted wool suit would. I've also worn some cotton/microfiber warm-weather suits as well that frankly looked as classy as fine Italian-spun fabric without the weight or the heat. Curious as to others' experiences with similar.

Also wanted to ask: How is silk sitting with you all as a suit fabric these days (its popularity seems to swing back and forth). I have a great silver, pure silk 3-piece I had made in Hong Kong, and as a warm/medium-weather suit I like it as much as my Canali and better than my Jack Victor Super 130s, both of which are sharp. I've also seen some silk/rayon blends that looked great, kinda a throwback to the sharkskin suits (a la Michael Corelone in his office in the 1st part of GFII) that had been out of style for a few years.

So, what's the popular verdict on synthetics (generally and specific fibers), and on silk vis a vis the "conventional wisdom" on wool?


Distinguished Member
Sep 26, 2008
Reaction score
Well my first suit was a microfibre that was actually quite nice. The fabric is a bit slinky though, I've moved on to crisper wool.


Distinguished Member
Jul 30, 2007
Reaction score
Alot of microfiber are of very decent quality and will only get better with time with the application of modern science and nanotechnology. Some of the new materials breathe very well and have a silky soft hand, however if there was one complain I have right now, it is that they don't drape as well and are prone to nicks and can have too much sheen. Blends attempts to combine the benefits of both and some, inspite of protest from more traditional sectors of the population, are indeed much better than 100% natural materials.

Better synthetics would be a great/ cheap alternative but they will not usurp the place of natural materials any time soon.

Regarding silk suits, I don't prefer them over wool. Personally because of the humidity, I feel really uncomfortable in suits made from silk and for that matter, even suit linings made from silk.


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
Reaction score
I totally agree on silk re: humidity. I'm in a "dry heat" climate and for me the silk keeps me cool at least as good as most of my wools, and (ok, this is purely subjective personal foible and a bit pathetic) I kinda like tlhe "bureaucrat gangsta" look that a well-tailored silk suit delivers sometimes, looking like the middle-management Godfather of the office cube farm.

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 31 3.7%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 143 17.2%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 276 33.1%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 130 15.6%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 71 8.5%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 49 5.9%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 25 3.0%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 22 2.6%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 7 0.8%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 9 1.1%
  • 100+

    Votes: 53 6.4%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Latest member