The summer wardrobe

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Dirk Wainscotting, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Dirk Wainscotting

    Dirk Wainscotting A-List Customer

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    I'm interested to hear what other people will be planning to wear for summer. I'll taking a few linen suits out of storage, some linen and cotton waistcoats and I also have a pair of cricket flannels I made to a 1930s draft a few years back.

    When I was younger (16 - 35) I didn't used to enjoy dressing for summer all that much. I always looked forward to colder weather for my heavy suits and overcoats, but now it's evened out and I like summer dressing as much as colder weather. I'm going to have some cotton waistcoats ready for this year in a lightweight striped ticking, which should go well with cream flannels and linen trousers.
     
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  2. Awesomest Guy

    Awesomest Guy Familiar Face

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    Although I live in a different climate, In the summer I frequently use my 60s linen suit. I also have a few light-weight conservative suits, a navy blazer (SB) , a few lightweight shirts, and a few pairs of thinner grey wool trousers.
     
    Hal likes this.
  3. Fastuni

    Fastuni Call Me a Cab

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    I like my 1930-40's summer wardrobe just as much as the heavy stuff for cold weather.
    Fresco/cotton suits or fresco/linen trousers with cotton sportcoat.

    Charmeuse polo shirts or light frottee cotton sportshirt.

    Whitebucks or Spectators and Panama hat.

    Tortoise-rimmed Sunglasses.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  4. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    I'll be watching this thread with great interest. I have an off-white linen suit that I wear once in a blue moon. It has got to be really hot and just the right occasion to wear it. The last time I wore it, it was about 95 degrees F (35 C) out. Where I work normal business attire is suits for men. Anyway, I figured, in that heat I could surely get away with my linen suit. Wrong. I practically stopped traffic. No one could pass without making a comment. (Usually complimentary "wow. quite a suit. You look like Paul Henreid in Casablanca.") Really? So much attention? Is it really only appropriate to wear a linen suit to a wedding in Palm Springs in August? Or perhaps the true answer is that no one wears linen suits anymore. Oh well. More casually, in hot weather I'm usually surrounded by a sea of people in shorts and t-shirts. My response is usually Khaki's and Aloha shirts or Khakis and guayabera shirts. My wife says I could show up for the queens coronation and still find a way to be over-dressed. :cool: So, yeah, summer is a challenging time for me. Am looking forward to hearing how you handle the heat!
     
  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    Suits and odd combinations in actual summer fabrics:


    1930s (US) jacket of a navy linen SB suit, unlabeled; 1940s powderblue with red windowpane worsted slacks

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    1930s (US) jacket of a navy linen SB suit, unlabeled, same as in previous image, with lightweight cream flannels

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    1947 (US) jacket of a mustard Palm Beach fabric suit; 1940s brown rayon slacks with self-pattern

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    1940s (US, UK) DB sportsjacket; 1930s (UK) lightweight cream flannels
    The jacket is cotton twill in tan with sage undertones. The lightweight flannels are interesting in that they wear very much like cotton as far the temperature range is concerned. I checked with a fiber burn test, it's wool. With the weight in mind (maybe 11oz or so) I guess it must be a flannelized worsted; it looks soft and dull.

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    Mid-late 1940s (US) orphaned suit jacket (or possibly odd jacket) by Garrison Gabardines; same lightweight cream flannels
    Tan-taupe gabardine. Note the shoulder padding.

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    Stuff for the dog days, unless I dispense with the jacket and switch to short-sleeves shirts and bandana:


    1950s (US) ivory Palm Beach fabric DB suit, very lightweight (unlike the 30s version)
    The reason I reserve "white suits" to the blazing heat (which up until now was usually, although not always, limited to high summer) is that it's the only part of the warmer half of the year where I feel that it's acceptable to wear one here in Germany (even though no one else in sight is ever wearing one).
    Otherwise I wear white jackets with light grey (blue, tan..) odd trousers which kind of tones them down a little.


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    WWII RAF Caribbean Air Crew Khaki Linen Bush Jacket (out of a tropical uniform, named); brown linen slacks

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    1940s leisure jacket by Park Lane; brown linen slacks
    Mustard extra-lightweight gabardine.

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    Suits and odd combinations in worsteds that are fine for shoulder season:


    Early 40s (US) DB sportsjacket by Town Clad; 1930s (US) heavier cream flannels
    Hard finished worsted, slate blue with gold/tan complex stripe.

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    Mid-late 30s (US) DB by Townleight Clothes
    Soft finished worsted, grey and blue multistripe with red and indigo.

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  6. Dirk Wainscotting

    Dirk Wainscotting A-List Customer

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    Blimey! What a tour-de-force of outfits Rabbit. Number 2 with boater and co-respondent shoes is splendid.

    I'm not afraid to break out a cream linen suit, but white would be a challenge. Last summer I was in a bar wearing white linen trousers and a vintage Hawaiian shirt, but the next day I found nasty black marks on the back of the trousers; many places are just filthy, but most people don't notice it on jeans.

    I'm fairly lucky that a fair sprinkling of people here dress quite decently in summer, so I don't suffer by being the only one in a linen suit
     
  7. Harrifer

    Harrifer New in Town

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    23
    That might be dependent on your location. In the UK lots of men of all ages wear linen in the summer, usually in beige but in other colours too. I get compliments on my Italian linen suit here and there, but it's certainly within the normal range of clothing, particularly in London.

    Last summer I wore nothing but Italian linen trousers in light grey, navy and brown. Whilst I got some compliments here and there, I think most people thought they were chinos (moleskin seems to induce the same confusion).
     
    Hal likes this.
  8. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    Spectacular summer wear, Rabbit. Really impressive.
    Where can I order one of those WWII RAF Caribbean Air Crew Khaki Linen Bush Jackets? I see one in my future!
     
  9. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    If you mean "where can I order a repro", then search the Lounge for a Safari jacket thread. There's at least one larger thread on the subject. Lots of brands make Safari jackets although I don't know of any that actually reproduce the WWII ones. Safari jacket, bush jacket, it's all the same. The modern ones that I've seen usually lack the complicated back pleats and have much simpler pocket designs, but I really don't know the market too well. Some are made of cotton, and long-sleeved versions are available, too.
     
  10. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Tour-de-Force indeed, I was thinking: "Wow, follow that!"
    Have to agree with Dirk and Harrifer, linen suits in the UK, although not common place, are out and about. I shall certainly be wearing mine.
    Like Tiki Tom, I wear Aloha shirts, which I team with a lightweight sports jacket, fedora straw and 'Oxfords,' long wide pants, but to get the hang and appearance just right, for me, Oxfords have to be pure wool. It can get rather warm.
     
  11. herringbonekid

    herringbonekid I'll Lock Up

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    Nik (Rabbit), you're an inspiration, you really are.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  12. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    Laurie, coming from you as an artist that really means something. Thank you. :)
     
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  13. herringbonekid

    herringbonekid I'll Lock Up

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    i never look as smart as Nik does in the summer months... i tend to look a bit rumpled.

    i go for a British early '20s sports look. i have a whole collection of photos of that period of men in cricket / college wear etc that i look at for inspiration.
    these are from last year but the look hasn't changed. i've just added more to it, e.g. ight grey flannels, white cap-toe buck oxfords, various other jacket options. it never ends....

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  14. herringbonekid

    herringbonekid I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    and even more casual '40s-ish look for slumming it:

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  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    That first photograph of you is really good. I like your outfits very much; they're toned down and vivid at the same time.

    I forgot about leather which I do wear in the warmer months, but not during the heat.

    30s two-tone halfbelt, 40s tan flannels (photo was taken a week ago)

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    late 40s suede by Scully

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    Shirt sleeves, bandana and no jacket - I do that often, but I have no pics beside these (it certainly doesn't always look that colorful).

    WWII USMC dress trousers with the red stripes removed
    Belt is an old silk tie with D-rings added

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    30s-40s Brit cream cotton trousers

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    I'm beginning to prefer wearing a second layer even in the hottest weather. Maybe it's just that I feel the effect of the sun (UV) more than I used to; the second layer often feels more comfortable to me, a bit like a built-in air conditioning. Unexposed skin does heat up a lot more, and more quickly. I'm not used to walking around bare-headed in the heat anymore, either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  16. Dirk Wainscotting

    Dirk Wainscotting A-List Customer

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    Looking good. The striped boating blazer is a look I also favour.
     
  17. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    Herringbonekid: Well done.
    That first photo captures both intellect and dash. Could be the cover image of a book about a talented young poet who tragically goes off to fight for the loyalists in Spain. (Sorry. It's the Romantic in me.)

    I also like the broad-striped boating blazer. For years I had the following (reproduction!) Cunard White Star poster on my wall. If I ever see such a blazer, I will snap it up.

    Cunard White Star.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  18. Patrick Hall

    Patrick Hall Practically Family

    Messages:
    541
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for these shots, Nik and HBK. I am honeymooning at the Four Seasons in Costa Rica in May, and have been chewing over what to pack. I have a number of summer suits, but I think they all fall a bit to the formal side of resort-wear. I had a set of pull-over long-sleeved polo shirts made by luxire with tall one-piece collars that look good under a jacket, I was figuring on packing all four of those, and my one silk ascot, and a couple unlined sport coats and two pair of flannels - light gray and cream. Your photos are really helping me think about what's possible.
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    Good choices, Patrick. Apparently it was common practice to pack a suit and a couple of flannels for holiday (you won't be needing the suit, I'm sure). But the interesting bit is that the suit could just as easily be a pinstripe, aside from the more usual choice of a solid. For example, this HSM suit has wide-spaced pinstripes which make it compatible with cream flannels. A narrow pinstripe on the other hand (which weren't too common back then, anyway) tends to look like an orphaned suit jacket, in my opinion.

    early 40s DB by Hart Schaffner & Marx
    Hard-finished worsted, marine blue (a couple of shades lighter than navy) with wide-spaced cream pinstripe. The color pops in the sunlight much more than navy does.

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    One of my favorite ways to make a cream suit less of a zebra and more of a horse:


    1930s DB with belted and pleated back by J.C. Penney Co., worn here with light grey flannels
    Palm Beach-ish fabric, unlabeled (i.e. likely some animal-and-plant fiber mix, like linen and mohair etc.)

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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  20. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    Keep looking at this trader, he has a high turnover of period dress, he might even contact you if you leave your details. He sold me this blazer a while ago.
    biltmore.jpg
     

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