It’s that horrible time of the year.
It’s so awful, it makes me want to reconsider my passion for wearing suits.
So you might be thinking: What could be so bad that would even make me think twice before wearing a suit?
I’ll tell you what it is. It’s the hideous weather that comes with Spring and Summer.
Maybe this is not the case where you live, but here in the Northern Hemisphere and more specifically, North America, the weather is reaching unbearable stages. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere enjoying your Fall and Winter, appreciate your climate while you still can, but don’t get too excited… I’ll surely see you here in 6 months!
Anyway, at this exact moment it’s 91° Fahrenheit (34 Celsius) outside. It is true hell.
So unless you are a big fan of sweat saturated suits and the accompanying dehydration, you would be crazy to even consider wearing a suit outside, no matter how passionate you feel about them.
Sometimes You Just Have To Wear A Suit And Heat Is Not An Excuse
The sad truth is, sometimes skipping the suit because it’s too hot outside is simply not an option.
Whether it’s because you have a meeting to attend, a client to see, a special event or even a job interview, there are occassions when first impressions matter and you will have to wear a suit no matter how warm the weather is outside.
I know, it sucks. But that’s life.
There are, however, several different things you can do to, at least, make the whole experience a bit less excrutiating.
Based on my experience living a very warm country and wearing suits regularly, these are some great ways to stay cool while staying dapper.
How To Stay Cool In Hot Weather When In A Suit
The following list is pretty much based on a few proved affirmations and then some anecdotal evidence. Also, I should mention some of the items on the list definitely work, while some of them I would simply classify as “yet to be confirmed“, but in any case, it really doesn’t hurt to give them all a try and see if they work for you.
Some of these methods are directly related to the actual fact of wearing a suit. The rest are more broad tips on how to stay “comfortable”, if that’s even possible when it’s 91°.
Cool & Light-Weight Fabrics Are Your Best Friend
Without question, this one has to come first on the list since many of us make the mistake of wearing the same suits all year long without considering the different weather that comes with the different seasons.
Warm weather calls for, ideally, linen suits. Why? Linen fibers are hollow, moving air and moisture naturally. There really isn’t any other suit fabric that comes close to linen when it comes to staying fresh.
Another option would be seersucker suits, that is if you are feeling confident enough to wear them (in my opinion, every man should feel brave enough to wear seersucker, but I will leave that to each of you).
Save the rich wools and tweeds (or any other heavy fabric) for the Fall and Winter seasons, when you won’t feel like they’re sucking the life away from you.
Light Colors Are Your Second Best Friend
I’ll say colors are just as important as fabrics when it comes to staying cool.
You surely have heard it before on many occasions, but the colors of clothes you choose are so extremely important that they deserve a prominent spot on the list.
The concept is very simple and well-known: dark colors absorb more heat, light colors reflect the sun’s rays and therefore, can keep you much cooler.
So break out the whites, the tans, the beiges. Even pastels are a much better choice under the heat than the common blacks, browns, navys and charcoals.
Wear Long Sleeves, As Crazy As It Sounds
“LOL Ed, you must be stupid. What do you mean long sleeves under the sun?”
Yeah, I might be a bit stupid, but stay with me. I know it sounds dumb, but really, there is a reason why you will feel cooler wearing long sleeves than wearing short sleeves.
Here’s why: long sleeves will keep the sun’s rays from directly touching your skin, while at the same time acting as a cover from the heat. Of course, this is assuming you’ll be wise enough not to be wearing any heavy or dark clothing (read list items 1 and 2 again if it’s needed).
Of course, if you are actually in a suit, the long sleeves are a given, so there’s not much to discuss here.
Quick recap: light-colored, long sleeve shirts in light-weight fabrics is your best bet.
Try An Open Collar For A Change
Not a favorite of mine because it entails not wearing a tie, but whatever, when it comes to being comfortable one’s gotta make serious sacrifices.
If you really, really, really need to wear a tie to an important meeting or event, then put it on just before the appointment and go tieless for the rest of the day. Just make sure your shirt collar has enough body to stand on its own. No floppy collars, I beg you.
Don’t be sad, though. Never forget Fall and Winter are coming in a few months and you’ll be able to rock those ties every single day!
And while we’re at it. If the situation allows, you might want to consider even losing the jacket and go for a very casual outfit (or how about replacing the jacket with a cool vest?), but this would go against the very premise of this post, so let’s keep moving.
Wear That Hat You Have Always Wanted To Wear
Have you been desperately looking for an excuse to finally break out the panama hat or the good old fedora?
Look no further – this is the perfect occasion to finally delve into the classy realm of hats. Not only will they cover your face from skin cancer, hats will give you serious dapper points!
You see, believe it or not, there are upsides to excrutiating heat.
Drinks Lots Of Water (And Then Drink Some More)
This should be common sense, but take this as a reminder: if you’re hot not only do you absolutely need to drink lots of water, it will actually make you feel cooler, regardless of what you’re wearing.
Ideally, of course, it should be cold water, not ice cold though, I’ve heard it can actually harm you, but who knows! (I did some research just to be sure, there happen to be many conflicting opinions, so again, who knows!).
Just make sure you stay hydrated. 2 – 3 liters should be enough in my experience, but feel free to go for more if you feel you need it. Listed to your body.
Ok, this was admittedly an obvious one.
Sun = The Plague, Avoid It
There is a reason why weather is measured in the shade: thermometers would melt under direct sunlight.
And so would you.
That might be a stretch on my part, but you should really avoid the sun at all costs, and not only for comfort reasons, there are also good health arguments to stay away from direct sun rays.
Carry Your Sunglasses
So now we enter the realm of simply anecdotical evidence.
As dumb as it sounds, I really feel that going outside without any type of eye protection device makes me feel a lot hotter than I would otherwise. I believe this to be just a psychological effect of not feeling the sun directly burning my eyes, but it works for me, so it might as well work for you.
Chew Mint-Flavored Gum
Might be completely far-fetched and you could accuse me of grasping at straws with this one. But trust me, I do feel at least a bit of improvement in the level of heat I perceive when I chew on mint flavored gum (or any other fresh flavor for that matter).
In any case, when the heat gets insufferable one’s gotta stay creative and keep trying new things. Ir surely can’t make it worse!
So in conclusion, those are a few of my best tips. Why not give them a try? There’s really nothing to lose.
How Do You Keep Cool In A Suit During Hot Days?
So now that I’ve shared with you some of my favorite tips for keeping fresh during the awful hot days, it’s time for me to ask you:
How do YOU keep cool and suited in a hot day?
Let me know in the comment section below and let’s help each other make these hot days at least a little more tolerable.
Ok, who am I kidding?! There’s no way to deal with this miserable weather!