Suiting 101: Fabrics

Recently we receieved an email from a reader about this modern BCBG dress the bride had choosen — asking for Inspired Goodness' advice on finding a suit for the groom that complimented her choice. For brides that have a paticular dress selected, how should the groom follow suit?

First, you want to take into account the time of day, season of the wedding and find a suit that fits both. Color, style and fit are also key ingredients in finding the perfect match. To aid all the curious grooms out there and to help demystify this process, here's a little Suiting 101.

Non-Wool Fabrics:

example of non-wool fabric choices

  • Linen is lightweight, great for outdoor spring, summer or daytime events. Although it creases and stains easily.
  • Cotton allows for good breathability, is lightweight which makes it ideal for summer/spring events. Cotton suits have a nice feel since they are made from natural fibres. They can crease easily, although not as much as linen.
  • Polyester offers the most budget-friendly option. A synthetic fibre, it doesn't wrinkle but the breathability is very low. May be uncomfortable being worn for long hours.
  • MicroFiber is another synthetic fabric option. It can breathe better than polyester due to its finer fibers. Cost-wise, MicroFiber tends to be the most inexpensive choice.
  • Silk is breathable, organic and provides an elegant look. It comes in a wide variety of weights, but tends to be expensive.

suits (from L to R): JCrew Linen, JCrew Cotton Searsucker, Topman Polyester Brown Pinstripe, Topman Black Microfiber and Gianfranco Ferre

Wools allow for the largest array of options. They can be cool in summer and warm in winter, depending on the weight. They can also be blended with silk for a nearly perfect combination. Wool blends (with Polyester) can reduce overall cost and tendency to crease, but it does not allow for good breathability.

wool suiting options

  • Tweeds are generally heavy and warm, avaiable in many patterns and colors, for a wedding, it's a more casual look. Typically found in sports coats.
  • Herringbone offers a zig-zag pattern that was popular in the 1940s. Usually seen in sports jackets rather than full suits.
  • Flannel is most suitable for the winter-time. Offers a long-lasting, rich look with a soft feel. Classicly found in dark grey.
  • Worsted Wool offers a wrinkle-resistant option that is made of fine and long fibers with a tighter weave. It offers a light, non-bulky look and can be worn year round and wears extremly well.
  • Graded Wool: Good quality wool comes in grading of Super 100’s, 110’s, 120’s, and 150’s. Higher numbers represents better fineness of the fiber, lesser crease and wrinkles. The higher the grade, the more expensive the wool will be.

suits (from L to R): Tweed, photo by The Satorialist, Herringbone, Flannel by Paul Stuart, photo by Paola Kudacki and unidentified

Stay tuned for more Suiting 101 Lessons in the coming week!

Posted on May 8, 2009 and filed under Bridal Party, Fashion + Beauty, Suiting 101.