They say history repeats itself—and nowhere is that more evident than in todays ’60s-inspired men’s fashion. Just as the tides of couture ebb and flow, so does popular style. That could explain why we’re seeing a resurgence of slim fits, textured fabrics, and vibrant shades that made the “Flower Power,” Vietnam, and civil-rights era one of America’s most dynamic decades. When dressing for Bloom this year, these suits highlight the best styles of the ’60s, especially when considering fabrics ideal for this spring and summer.
Gentlemen, are you debating what to wear to this year’s Bloom Air party? We’ve got some groovy suggestions and ideas courtesy of some local menswear fashionistas. They’ll be sure you’re dressed to the nines—1969, that is.
What are the advantages to using fabric blends like wool/silk/linen?
Tom Paolini, owner/haberdasher, Paolini Garment Company:
“Think of it like Destiny’s Child. They are great individually, but there’s a magic when they are all together. (Of course, Beyoncé would be the silk in this scenario.) Any of these fibers are brilliant, you just need to have a lighter weight and loose weave to allow air flow. Many people don’t like linen because of its wrinkle factor, but when it’s blended with wool and silk, you have a perfect confluence of drape and performance (wool), light weight and breathable (linen), and luster (silk).”
Joey Mendez, co-owner Ulah:
“Lighter, breathable fabrics. Also, don’t be afraid of lighter colors. Wearing light gray, tan, or even a bold blue suit is a great way to be stylish in the spring/summer.”
What should people look for from a spring/summer suit?
Nish de Gruiter, vice president of Suitsupply:
“First and foremost, something comfortable for the warmer weather. If you’re looking for something relaxed, opt for linen—it’s lightweight, it breathes incredibly well, it wicks away moisture to keep you dry. Make sure its half lined or completely unlined. If you want something you can get more use from, a linen/cotton blend is excellent as it will not wrinkle like pure linen does and can be worn with more versatility. Next, I’d say color. Spring and summer are about keeping things light and carefree—go for a light brown, light blue or tan suit; save the dark grays and navies for professional settings and the cooler seasons.”
Are there fabrics guys should specifically avoid for warmer weather?
Jeffrey Covitz, owner, Houndstooth KC:
“While we love making linen suits, we always provide the caveat that after a few wears the garment is gonna look a bit disheveled. If you like that vibe, great! (We do too.) But we generally recommend a wool/silk/linen blend that will provide some of the airy-ness of linen, but also have some of the properties of wool, such as wrinkle resistance and durability. We often extol the virtues of a tropical-weight wool, which is just a very finely woven, lightweight wool. It might not breathe quite as much as linen and cotton, but it is usually lighter weight. Thus, it doesn’t feel as heavy, and also has the resilience and quality that only wool provides.”
What is your preferred fabric for spring/summer and why?
“Performance fabrics have made their way to tailored clothing. We have a lightweight breathable wool-blend suit that’s anti-wrinkle, moisture wicking, and has stretch. And who doesn’t love a little stretch!”
“If I had to choose a fabric that embodied these seasons, it would have to be seersucker made from cotton. It features a recognizable puckered texture that traps air extremely well. It’s a great way to stay cool. If the occasion allows it, though, you just can’t beat the comfort and character that pure linen gives you in warm weather. It gives some flair within traditional styling and is very comfortable to wear at any occasion.”