The Cotton Suit

Being part of this industry allows you to indulge more than most, and probably more than is really advisable. It allows us to don apparel that may not be functional to most men. However, sometimes the suit you thought was more a showpiece suit, actually becomes one of your most useful. This is the case with my cotton chino suit.

I got my first one 5-6 years ago. I decided I wanted a summer suit, something that looked cool in the sunlight and would also be cool to wear. After much thought, I went with a classic cotton in a stone colour. I loved it from the first moment I got it. It was great to wear whenever there was an event in the summer that required a bit of dress up, things like weddings, weekend getaways to wear to nicer restaurants and the sort. However, as time went on, I started wearing it as a jacket by itself with everything from jeans and chinos (watch the contrast), linen pants, and grey lightweight wools. I would also wear the pants on there own as they were a great colour and went with everything. In fact I loved wearing it so much between April and September that I eventually wore it out. I did not have it to wear last year and I immediately felt the hole in my wardrobe as the temperature climbed. I decided that before anything else entered the wardrobe, a new cotton suit had to be back in the rotation.

What I like about cotton suit is - while still a suit - they have none of the air of a common worsted suit. A cotton suit does not say business. It does not say “I have to wear this for work”. A cotton suit screams to the world that you like clothing. It's not a garment that you 'need'. Having said that though, it is one that I believe many men would benefit from. It is at the height of casual elegance and because many men no longer need a suit to go to work in, they have a lot more freedom about what they can wear. A cotton suit works great with a long sleeve polo as pictured. This look keeps you looking stylish when the temperature get unbearable. It looks great with a madras tie. It can also look quite serious when paired with a white shirt and a black tie (preferably knit). It pairs well with black shoes for a more formal look, excels with browns and coordinates well with burgundy/oxblood. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a shirt, tie, shoe combination that looks bad with it. That is a lot of different looks and this is not even taking in to account that it is very versatile when it is broken up and worn as separates!

Now, I would not recommend it to the first time suit buyer. It is not a suit to wear to the boardroom, nor does the suit work in the middle of February. However, it may be more useful then you think ;)

Jason Byron Reynolds

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