The Only 8 Suits You Need to Know about and How to Wear Them

The Only 8 Suits You Need to Know about and How to Wear Them

It can be a hard decision, choosing what fabric suit to get as there are so many choices. Check out our definitive guide on different suit materials and how to wear them. 

Check out more Mens Style Guide features.

Tweed to mohair, linen to silk, where do you even begin when buying a suit? What fabric is suited to what event? And not to mention the weather and season, what fabric is suited to Summer or Winter? There's a lot to consider when purchasing a suit.

But fear not. we've got it covered. This is the a to z low down of everything you need to know about each fabric, so you can go straight to the season you need your suit for, see its pros and cons and get tops tis on how to wear it. *sigh of relief*.

Autumn/ Winter Fabrics

Wool

different types of suit and how to wear them- david gandy wool suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Pros

  • The most popular material so easy to find
  • Comparatively cool
  • Resistant to creasing
  • Durable

Cons

  • Has to be dry cleaned
  • Odour isn’t eliminated when dry cleaned, you must air it out

Formal

Wool is a formal fabric so if you want to keep it this way, why not wear a three piece suit with a crisp matching shirt? Finish off with a chunky black brogue.

different types of suit and how to wear them- wool waistcoat,  Dr Martens Made in England Classic Steed 3 Eye Shoe Black
SHOP: Dr Martens Made in England Classic Steed 3 Eye Shoe Black

Casual

Dressing it down is also quite easy. Particularly with trainers or plimsolls. So mix up your outfit with a black oxford shirt and coordinating shoes.

different types of suit and how to wear them- wool suit, Converse Jack Purcell Jack Leather Trainer Black / Nudie Henry Black Oxford
SHOP: Converse Jack Purcell Jack Leather Trainer Black / Nudie Henry Black Oxford

Tweed

different types of suit and how to wear them- tweed suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Pros

  • A more informal fabric, used mostly for bespoke suits, so is infrequently used in a business context.
  • Relatively thick and sturdy material, great for colder weather. (Warmer than standard wool)
  • Comes in a variety of colours and patterns.

Cons

  • Not flattering for heavyset men
  • Does need to be broken in

Formal

Another formal fabric, so keeping up this appearance is a good shout. Keep the classic style with suede loafers and a black shirt.

The Idle Man Smart Shirt in Black / Hudson Piere Suede Tassle Loafer Tan
SHOP: The Idle Man Smart Shirt in Black / Hudson Piere Suede Tassle Loafer Tan

Casual

It can be difficult to dress a tweed suit down, but with chukka boots and a long sleeve polo, you're half way there.

Selected Shane Polo Grey/ Hudson Houghton Suede Chukka Boot Black
SHOP: Selected Shane Polo Grey/ Hudson Houghton Suede Chukka Boot Black

Mohair

different types of suit and how to wear them- mens mohair suit
PHOTO CREDIT: STYLE JOURNAL

Pros

  • Tough and durable
  • Takes dark dyes well
  • Breathes well and stays cool
  • Has a natural sheen and luster

Cons

  • Can be a little coarse on the hands.
  • Some 100% mohairs can feel sandpapery

Formal

The mohair suit should be accompanied with full formal attire, consisting of a tie and leather loafers. Make the most of this traditional image.

The Idle Man Classic 6cm Tie / G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns Tassle Loafers Tan
SHOP: The Idle Man Classic 6cm Tie / G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns Tassle Loafers Tan

Casual

Teamed with a quirky, casual shirt and suede boots, you'll be able to dress this suit down, no problem. You could even mix it up with a brighter shirt if the suit is a neutral colour.

Levi's Long Sleeve Commuter Workshirt Grey / Clarks Originals Wallabee Black
SHOP: Levi's Long Sleeve Commuter Workshirt Grey / Clarks Originals Wallabee Black

Flannel

different types of suit and how to wear them- mens flannel suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Pros

  • Incredibly warm
  • Very durable and hard wearing
  • Resistent to creasing

Cons

  • Needs to be dry cleaned
  • Quite a heavy fabric

Formal

Going for a suave slick look? Pair with a bow tie and shiny black formal brogues, for a classic luxe suit look.

The Idle Man Classic Bow Tie / Base London Steam Hi Shine Derby Black
SHOP: The Idle Man Classic Bow Tie / Base London Steam Hi Shine Derby Black

Casual

If you're sticking to a grey flannel suit, then pair it with a patterned white shirt and matching all white Converse for a chilled vibe.

Publish Stanely Shirt White / Converse Chuck Taylor All Star SPC Trainer White
SHOP: Publish Stanely Shirt White / Converse Chuck Taylor All Star SPC Trainer White

Spring/ Summer Fabrics

Cotton

different types of suit and how to wear them- mens cotton suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinguino

Pros

  • A natural fibre so breathes well
  • Absorbs moisture well (good for the heavy perspirators)
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • It has very little flexibility and no natural stretch so can feel a little tighter and more restrictive
  • Depending on the colour, cotton can easily show water marks or moisture.
  • If the cotton fabric wasn’t properly pre-shrunk, you could experience some shrinkage after having it cleaned and pressed.
  • Will show wear and tear more than wool

Formal

Pair with a matching or clashing waistcoat for instant added formality and brown brogues.

Base London Waltham Brogue Brown mens cotton waistcoat
SHOP: Base London Waltham Brogue Brown

Casual

The easiest fabric to dress down, stick to the all white theme and team with a plain white tee and chunky white sneaks for a cool street vibe.

The Idle Man T Shirt with Crew Neck White/ Asics Gel-Lyte III Trainer White
SHOP: The Idle Man T Shirt with Crew Neck White / Asics Gel-Lyte III Trainer White

Linen

different types of suit and how to wear them- mens linen suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Pros

  • Lightweight so great for keeping you cool

Cons

  • Due to it being so lightweight, it creases easily
  • Stains easily.

Formal

Clash with a brightly coloured shirt, stick to a crisp white if you're not feeling risky enough, and finish off with a patent black brogue.

The Idle Man Smart Shirt in White / Dr Martens Made in England Classic Brogue Shoe Black
SHOP: The Idle Man Smart Shirt in White / Dr Martens Made in England Classic Brogue Shoe Black

Casual

Suited solely for Summer, this suit is great to dress down, with high top Chuck Taylors and a striped long tee.

Selected Mel Long Sleeve Striped T-Shirt Grey / Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Mono
SHOP: Selected Mel Long Sleeve Striped T-Shirt Grey / Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Mono 

Silk

different types of suit and how to wear them- mens silk suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Pros

  • Especially comfortable and breathable
  • Cool to the touch and feels great on the skin

Cons

  • Reacts poorly to excessive perspiration

Formal

Despite silk being better for hotter days, it can sometimes get a bit chilly, or you might want to mix it up in the colder months. Team your shirt with a jumper for extra layers and another dimension to the outfit. For the shoes, opt for a slick black brogue boot.

Lee Mele Crew Neck Jumper / Hudson Sadler Boot Black
SHOP: Lee Mele Crew Neck Jumper / Hudson Sadler Boot Black

Casual

Keep the cool vibes with slip-on plimsolls for a laid back look and a plain white tee.

The Idle Man T Shirt with Crew Neck White / Vans Slip-On Plimsolls
SHOP: The Idle Man T Shirt with Crew Neck White / Vans Slip-On Plimsolls

Seersucker

different types of suit and how to wear them- mens seersucker suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Pros

  • The crinkling effect is permanent and as a result no ironing is required
  • Comes in various colours
  • Apparently, the crinkling is also supposed to help air circulation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable in colder climates

Formal

You can find this fabric mostly in blue and/or white, so keep it all the same shade with a blue or white shirt, and loafers to dress it up further but keep you cool.

The Idle Man Smart Shirt in Pale Blue / Hudson Augusta Suede Penny Loafer Navy
SHOP: The Idle Man Smart Shirt in Pale Blue / Hudson Augusta Suede Penny Loafer Navy

Casual

Again keeping to the blue and white theme, team your suit with a blue polo and mix it up with brown boots.

Farah Vintage Short Sleeve Jersey Polo Shirt Blue | Clarks Originals Wallabee Brown
SHOP: Farah Vintage Short Sleeve Jersey Polo Shirt Blue | Clarks Originals Wallabee Brown

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