Staying cool on the Terrace this summer is easier if you are wearing the right suit.
When it comes to men’s work attire, being comfortable while looking stylish and professional — even on a 40C day — depends on four key elements of a suit: fabric, construction, technology and colour.
Natural, lightweight cloth created to beat the heat and “breathe”, such as superfine wool and silk, is ideal for the West Australian climate and looks sensational, says high-end menswear fashion expert Christian Tana from Parker & Co.
Mr Tana says the top brands are using luxurious silk-wool blends, up to 90 per cent wool, in their suits this summer, which ensures polished tailoring, even in unlined jackets.
Luxury fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna uses Cool Effect fabric made from “Australian wool fibres worked with an innovative technique to make them repel the sun’s rays”.
Make a suit “pop” on sunny days with colourful accessories. Team up turquoise accessories such as ties, cufflinks and shirts with bright, iridescent blue suits; red with navy blue suits; and orange and yellow with light-grey or beige linen and cotton outfits.
On-trend accessories are a cheaper and effective way to update a suit as fashion changes.
A top-notch suit designed to withstand a harsh West Australian summer does not come cheap. At Parker & Co, which boasts the world’s top menswear labels such as Zegna and Pal Zileri, a summer suit will set you back between $1000 and $5000.
Consider it a timeless investment piece. And, like any valuable asset, maintenance is a must to ensure it lasts long enough to get value for money.
“Anyone who works five days a week in a suit should have at least five suits in their wardrobe, ” Mr Tana says.
“If you’re going to buy good quality you want it to last, look good and feel good so you really should have a suit for each day of the week because all the natural fibres need time for airing.”
You should have three to four pairs of shoes to ensure the leather has time to dry out perspiration.
As soon as you go home, hang your suit in the wardrobe. This should get rid of creases within a couple of days.
Mr Tana says you should avoid sending your suit to the drycleaner because it can affect the fabric. Once a season should suffice, unless there is a stain, in which case, leave it to the professionals.
“The more you dryclean the superfine wools, the more you take the oil out of the fibre — and that’s what makes the wool such a beautiful cloth, ” he says.
“Every time you take the oil out of wool it becomes more brittle, it wears through and it gets shinier.”
Use a cold-water wash for cotton shirts (starch is optional) and let it hang on a hanger to minimise creases.
“It’s better to press your shirt just before it has dried, ” he recommends.
© The West Australian
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