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Summer suits that can be worn in the winter?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    You have survived so far on a limited wardrobe. You have had to rotate items maybe a it more that you wanted to. All for maintain your tailoring style.

    You seem to have some winter items at hand, but zero summer.

    Get 4 suits that you need /want for summer on Fridays, rotating one item per week. Or start posting entertaining casual Friday fits.

    Once winter comes back a year from now, try your fresco in freezing theory. If and when you see it doesn't work, you will be either forced to order more suits for 2011 or rotate what you have.
     
  2. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    Hi,

    I've heard a lot about this fresco cloth. Can anyone give me the relative merits and faults of getting a suit made up out of this cloth and how it compares to crispaire, brisa, Finmeresco and mohair?
     
  3. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Foo:

    The 9oz fresco will probably look too summery unless you get the chalk stripes. Mid grey are OK, but navy or charcoal will likely carry better into colder weather. From even a slight distance, they will look like flannel. Brisa and Finmeresco will also work in the right colors.

    The very light fresco that makes summer in NYC somewhat liveable will be too flimsy on days like today. Lesser SFT will be more adaptable, Lesser 9/10oz (regular or the 120s with cashmere) yet more so. Harrisons Frontier would fit that last category also. You might not like it for the summer, but it will be fine all winter if you have warm offices and warm overcoats.

    In general, it's probably easier to find "summer" weight fabrics that won't look stupid in the winter than ones that will work in the summer. Experience of heat can be so varied. I hate humidity, so love 12+oz linen suits. I can somewhat tolerate very light tropicals. The more substantial frescoes, on the other hand (Minnis 9oz, Finmeresco, Brisa), I wouldn't put forth in the hottest or wettest summer days unless it were also blowing 25 knots. At the seaside, they would be terrific.
     
  4. braised

    braised Senior member

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    Foo, go back and look at the tropical worsteds. If I read your intention correctly, you need a suit that you can wear a lot. The louder or more particular the pattern, the more limited the wearing will be. Your discussion of the Scabal Glen Plaid with the wide windopane is a good case here. Going for the wider windpowpane makes the suit more of a specialist than a generalist.

    Look in the worsted books, pull a light nailhead or a cloth in gray with some visual texture. A mid to light gray chalk stripe is quite universal and I'd suggest you look at the window pane I previously mentioned.

    Buy a gray that you can wear a lot but remember that the lighter in weight you go, the less wear you'll get from it.

    Good luck and don't worry about the cloth being "boring". Simple is always boring one one context but can be elegant in another. Stick with your current guy, get the fit that you know and a suit with great versitility in where and to what you can wear it. If its your only summer weight suit, you'll wear it whether its hot or cold.

    B
     
  5. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    You might be right about being too big time for my budget, but I really don't want to switch to another tailor, only to hazard another adjustment period and winding up with a greater quantity of stuff which I don't like nearly as much. Anyway, I'm rationalizing less than you think. Even if switched to WW Chan and spent a fraction of Rubinacci's cost per suit, I'd still take the same approach. The only difference is that I'd be able to speed up the process significanty.
    Thank you for not taking my previous comment as snark - which it was not meant to be. I should have added a smiley - on re-reading it comes across as quite abrupt.

    Matthew, excuse me if I am barking up the wrong tree, but I suspect as you are patronising a superlative tailor and limited somewhat financially, you are trying to 'maximise' what you gain emotionally from this transaction by making something more 'exquisite' (appeals to the heart) than 'practical' (appeals to the mind).

    I should know, I'm speaking from personal experience. [​IMG]
     
  6. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    H&S Crispaire 9/10 oz wool.
     
  7. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    Crsiapire has space age absorbent qualities. [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael Ay329

    Michael Ay329 Senior member

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    Mafoofan, this might be the cloth you desire...
    http://www.thelondonlounge.net/forum...php?f=2&t=9208

    Its a 13oz cloth, but wears like a 10oz cloth...especially with a slight wind in the air to cool you off. I wore it yesterday in 90 degree heat. Walked around some distance and was not overwhelmed...in a 3 piece suit. Brisa is a Fresco like cloth. Once the temperature starts to drop below 50 degrees, then a different type and weight of cloth would be more appropriate...hope this helps

    I think Michael Alden noted some yardage might be left...contact him. It can also double as an odd jacket and of course your tailor is a "Certified London Lounge Artisan".
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    An interesting read. Switching to a cheaper tailor for the next 4-5 suits is a set back, but maybe worth it for a year or two. Working with another tailor will give you another experience. A way to learn something else about tailoring. If they are cheap enough you won't mind giving them away if you don't like them.

    Well, I have no problem buying three or four suits this year, just not seven or eight. That being the case, I feel that if I can get by with only three to four new suits, I'd rather stay with my current tailor and wind up with suits I'll enjoy and value over the long haul. Does that make sense, or do I still sound nuts?

    Besides, this is only going to last a year or two, not a life time. Don't sweat it!

    That's what I figure. It's a short term solution that I'm thinking of.

    You have survived so far on a limited wardrobe. You have had to rotate items maybe a it more that you wanted to. All for maintain your tailoring style.

    You seem to have some winter items at hand, but zero summer.

    Get 4 suits that you need /want for summer on Fridays, rotating one item per week. Or start posting entertaining casual Friday fits.

    Once winter comes back a year from now, try your fresco in freezing theory. If and when you see it doesn't work, you will be either forced to order more suits for 2011 or rotate what you have.


    This is more or less what I'm planning. I've survived on my current rotation because I haven't needed to wear suits on a daily basis and didn't need to wear tailored clothing at all during the summer. It's the fact that I may need to start wearing suits daily during the summer that is throwing me for a loop.

    Foo:

    The 9oz fresco will probably look too summery unless you get the chalk stripes. Mid grey are OK, but navy or charcoal will likely carry better into colder weather. From even a slight distance, they will look like flannel. Brisa and Finmeresco will also work in the right colors.

    The very light fresco that makes summer in NYC somewhat liveable will be too flimsy on days like today. Lesser SFT will be more adaptable, Lesser 9/10oz (regular or the 120s with cashmere) yet more so. Harrisons Frontier would fit that last category also. You might not like it for the summer, but it will be fine all winter if you have warm offices and warm overcoats.

    In general, it's probably easier to find "summer" weight fabrics that won't look stupid in the winter than ones that will work in the summer. Experience of heat can be so varied. I hate humidity, so love 12+oz linen suits. I can somewhat tolerate very light tropicals. The more substantial frescoes, on the other hand (Minnis 9oz, Finmeresco, Brisa), I wouldn't put forth in the hottest or wettest summer days unless it were also blowing 25 knots. At the seaside, they would be terrific.


    Thanks, C. I think you are right about the summer-to-winter transition being easier than the winter-to-summer one. I hear you on the limitations of fresco when there's no air moving, but would it work as well as tropical worsted under the same conditions at least? I don't think linen suits are a practical option for me.

    Foo, go back and look at the tropical worsteds. If I read your intention correctly, you need a suit that you can wear a lot . . .

    . . .

    Good luck and don't worry about the cloth being "boring". Simple is always boring one one context but can be elegant in another. Stick with your current guy, get the fit that you know and a suit with great versitility in where and to what you can wear it. If its your only summer weight suit, you'll wear it whether its hot or cold.


    Well, my ideal is a summery suit that can be worn without looking too terribly unseasonal in winter; assume freezing to death isn't an issue. For example, I imagine a light grey fresco could work well for his purpose. The fact that it is light in color makes it more summer appropriate, but the fact that it's grey ensures it won't look all that out of place during the winter. I want to stay away from suits that completely seasonally ambiguous because they'll wind up far less useful in the long term.

    In terms of pattern and color, I don't mind boring at all.

    Thank you for not taking my previous comment as snark - which it was not meant to be. I should have added a smiley - on re-reading it comes across as quite abrupt.

    Matthew, excuse me if I am barking up the wrong tree, but I suspect as you are patronising a superlative tailor and limited somewhat financially, you are trying to 'maximise' what you gain emotionally from this transaction by making something more 'exquisite' (appeals to the heart) than 'practical' (appeals to the mind).

    I should know, I'm speaking from personal experience. [​IMG]


    No worries. I wasn't offended--you hit on a salient point. In terms of heart versus mind, I'm really trying to balance the two while emphasizing the long term over the short term. In the long term, the two converge: seasonal, highest-quality and best-fitting suits will be the most emotionally and practically satisfying. It's only in the short term that there is potential for conflict. If I can act optimally in my long term interests while passably serving my short term ones, that would be the perfect soluton.

    H&S Crispaire 9/10 oz wool.

    Will look into it.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Mafoofan, this might be the cloth you desire...
    http://www.thelondonlounge.net/forum...php?f=2&t=9208

    Its a 13oz cloth, but wears like a 10oz cloth...especially with a slight wind in the air to cool you off. I wore it yesterday in 90 degree heat. Walked around some distance and was not overwhelmed...in a 3 piece suit. Brisa is a Fresco like cloth. Once the temperature starts to drop below 50 degrees, then a different type and weight of cloth would be more appropriate...hope this helps

    I think Michael Alden noted some yardage might be left...contact him. It can also double as an odd jacket and of course your tailor is a "Certified London Lounge Artisan".


    I like it. It's good to hear you were able to wear it in such heat. However, part of my problem is that I've never had to wear suits extensively during the summer, so I don't really know how sensitive I am to high temperatures and humidity. As such, I've been erring on the side of something more light weight, just in case. Maybe I need to be less risk averse.
     
  11. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Gotcha. Still don't like the stuff, but I'll give it some extra thought and see if I can examine some of the Lesser examples others have recommended. The issue is that I need more suits immediately, and a single summer suit won't cut it when it gets hot.
    If you plan to start with one and you need many, I would get one that you can wear for the next 7mo I really cant believe you're even entertaining the idea of wearing a summer suit in the winter in Manhattan.
     
  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If you plan to start with one and you need many, I would get one that you can wear for the next 7mo

    Yes, whatever I buy needs to be wearable beginning now.
     
  13. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    You're on the right track with a flannel.
     
  14. cglex

    cglex Well-Known Member

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    Given the OP's situation and NYC location, he should revaluate his distaste for 4 season suits. Rarely do we experience real biting cold in the North East nor do we have extended periods of hot muggy summer weather. When I lived in Chicago or Washington, D.C. I had wardrobe with summer and winter suits. Now that I live in Boston, I just have all season suits and fewer of them. NYC is not that different save a few more distaste full days in July/August.
     
  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Given the OP's situation and NYC location, he should revaluate his distaste for 4 season suits. Rarely do we experience real biting cold in the North East nor do we have extended periods of hot muggy summer weather. When I lived in Chicago or Washington, D.C. I had wardrobe with summer and winter suits. Now that I live in Boston, I just have all season suits and fewer of them. NYC is not that different save a few more distaste full days in July/August.

    I've lived in New England, Chicago, and DC, in addition to New York City. In each case, it's not uncommon for temperatures during the summer to reach well beyond 90 degrees. Maybe I'm just being too delicate, but that always feel pretty damned hot to me. Even if it's only 10-15 days during the summer where I have deal with that kind of heat, that's enough reason for me to pick cloth that will as comfortable as possible in it. I'm much, much less afraid of being cold.
     
  16. IndianBoyz

    IndianBoyz Senior member

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    It all depends on your body fat percentage I guess. Don't wear heavy tweeds.
     
  17. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    Manton's poasts in this thread are spot-on IMO.
     
  18. needshoehelp

    needshoehelp Senior member

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    If you're as worried about your finances as you purport to be, stop commissioning bespoke suits from Italy. It's just hard to take you seriously when you complain about the price of all this. And getting two or three custom suits instead of five or six does not make you thifty, sorry.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If you're as worried about your finances as you purport to be, stop commissioning bespoke suits from Italy. It's just hard to take you seriously when you complain about the price of all this. And getting two or three custom suits instead of five or six does not make you thifty, sorry.

    I don't understand. Are you seriously suggesting it's unreasonable to refrain from doubling my yearly expenditure on suits?

    First of all, I don't think it makes any sense to say that someone needs to be comfortable budgeting for five or six suits a year in order to make sense of buying two or three. Everyone must draw a line in the sand somewhere. For reasons that aren't relevant to the discussion, I'm drawing my line at three or four.

    Second, we each balance our long and short term objectives differently. In my personal opinion, too many people buy too much too quickly; a lot of time and money gets wasted on things that are less wanted and have less utility. So, you may think it's silly to emphasize quality over quantity in my way, but I think it's turned out perfectly sensible.
     
  20. greger

    greger Senior member

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    Well, I have no problem buying three or four suits this year, just not seven or eight. That being the case, I feel that if I can get by with only three to four new suits, I'd rather stay with my current tailor and wind up with suits I'll enjoy and value over the long haul. Does that make sense, or do I still sound nuts?

    No you don't sound nuts.

    Sometimes there are good buys at place like Good Will. But, you are probably not going to find anything there. If you could, $10-$20 and an alterations tailor would be fine for one year.

    In some ways it seems silly to borrow money for some suits (from a credit union), but if your pay is going up because of it, then it is worth it. The old saying, "Spend money to make money." applies.

    Good luck on whatever decision you decide.
     

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