Every time I am intending to buy an outfit I always look at its label to check what the piece I am looking at is made of. The very first thing I will go for is natural fabrics as they let your outfit breathe and, hence, make it more comfortable and…odourless. How many times one of your work colleagues or a regular on your train, tube or bus journey had the same suit that, let’s be honest, smelt. It does not necessarily have to mean that the person has problems with their hygiene, but it could mean that their suit is made purely of artificial fabrics such as viscose or polyester that do not allow your body to breathe through the fabric.
|Shirt: River Island|
Unfortunately, viscose and polyester suits have dominated high-street shop as they seem to be cheap to produce and consequently making them affordable. However, I often come across suits that are purely made of polyester and the price tag is so hefty that I find this a complete rip off. What some companies are actually doing, is to offer you a suit that is effectively an elegantly looking plastic bag that you are wrapping yourself in.
So what should you look for when thinking about buying a comfortable, practical and wearable suit? The quality of wool is determined by type of crimp, fiber diameter and weight.
Type of crimp
Wool fibres can be woven in two different ways; loose and tight. What it effectively means is the way fibres adhere to each other. In case of a loose crimp, the suit fabric will be light, allowing air to pass through, making it ideal for spring and summer. In case of tight crimp, the fibres will be so close to each other that they will not allow much air to pass through – perfect for autumn- winter suits to keep you warm.
Each single thread consists of many microfibers and their diameter is measured in microns. The thinner the micro fibre, the more delicate and expansive the fabric is. Suit fabrics are usually around 12-19 microns with the most popular types of wool around 17-19 microns.
Weight of fabric (g/m²)
The heavier and thicker fabrics will crease less and will be more durable. In spring-summer suits, the weight of fabric is usually around 200-280 g/m² and 250-400g/m² in autumn-winter ones.
These days high-street brands will hardly ever include this information on suit's label so one should rely on their touch. To check whether your suit is ideal for warm or cold days, you need to put it to breathability test which, to some of you, may sound hilarious. I definitely found it amusing, but it does work… So, what you need to do is to take a piece of fabric the suit is made of and try to breathe out and breathe air in through it. If the fabric stops the flow of air, it means it is tight crimp fabric, ideal for cold days. If the fabric lets the air in and out easily the suit will be ideal for a warm day.
Pocket -square: hand made
Shirt: River Island