How do you stay cool and stylish while wearing a suit in the summer? When is the perfect time to take a European vacation? Why do the collars of my dress shirts bend and fray? Do my pants fit? The Tailor is here to answer your questions once again.
I have several formal events this summer in warm climates. How do I make sure to stay cool?
– B.J. in Alexandria, VA
Have a suit made from Crispaire, a traditional plain weave from Holland & Sherry. It’s lightweight and perfect for a summer fabric suit. You may also ask about Mohair, another light wool that’s excellent for summer. Both of these suits are wrinkle-free and they come in vibrant patterns and colors for suiting and jacketing.
Communicate with your tailor and ask for a lighter fabric and skip the lining. Or you may want to do a “half-lining” to keep it lighter. One rule of thumb says that if you can’t hold the suit up to a light and see through it, it isn’t light enough for the warmer months. Another tip: choose light colors so you look cool too.
I see that the cost of a European vacation has become more affordable. When’s the best time to visit Europe?
– Reggie in Leesburg, VA
The strength of the U.S. dollar has made it much cheaper to travel to Europe this year. There’s never been a better time to go there. I last visited a few years ago when Mrs. Tailor and I shared a fun trip through Poland and Slovakia.
To answer your question directly: go when you can afford to go and don’t worry about the season. Europe has much to offer. Like to ski? Visit the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Want to bask on sandy beaches? Hop a plane to the Mediterranean and visit Spain, Italy, Greece, or even the island of Malta. There’s something for every taste, and speaking of taste, the goulash is delicious in Hungary.
Every dress shirt I have ends up with bent, warped, or frayed collar. What’s going on?
– Dwayne in Wytheville, VA
I think I know what your problem is, Dwayne. You aren’t caring for your shirts properly. Are you tossing your tailored shirts into a warm or hot dryer? Shame on you, my well-dressed friend. Low tumble dry if you must use a dryer, but you should be taking your prized shirts to a dry cleaner. There are three primary reasons for this: (1) it safeguards the investment in your wardrobe, (2) your clothes will look better (no frayed colors or iron marks), and (3) you’ll forge a close relationship with your dry cleaner. Don’t you want to know what his favorite books are?
Is it true that the hipster is dead?
– Charles in Newport News, VA
He is? I didn’t even know he was sick.
My husband would like a bracelet but he wants it to be “manly” and versatile enough to be worn to work or in casual situations. Any suggestions?
– Becky in Chesapeake, VA
A manly man, is he? Good for you. I’m partial to the hand-crafted jewelry collections from Vitaly. The stainless steel versions are probably manly enough for your fella, and they’re durable too. I get compliments on mine all the time. The price won’t break the bank either. By the way, there are general guidelines when it comes to choosing jewelry: cool skin tones should select metals such as silver, platinum, and white gold. Gold, pewter, and copper are more suitable for warm skin tones. More info like this over at our Guide to Being a Man.
How do I know if my suit pants fit properly?
– Byron in Washington D.C.
If you can still sit comfortably after a big lunch, you’re good. Seriously though, you need to make sure those pants are properly fit or you can look like either a clown or a boob. The choice is yours.
First, select pants that suit your body type. If you’re lean, choose a slim cut with long flat lines. If you’re huskier (like The Tailor), select roomier pants with a more gradual taper to accentuate a muscular build. Choose a flat front for a trim build and have the hemline clip the top of your shoes so it doesn’t bunch up. Cuffs are nice with heavier material and for longer, slim builds. To ensure a perfect fit, wear your favorite dress shoes when you visit your tailor and have them hemmed to match.