During summer, you likely liked the look of linen. It’s a lightweight fabric, perfect for summer suiting. And, even if linen didn’t catch your eye, there were plenty of other warm weather wardrobe options to choose from. Perhaps you fancied a fresco suit, or even shrugged on a seersucker number. Of course, whatever material you chose, we’re sure your suit did a handsome job this summer — but we’re equally sure that it won’t see you through winter.
For the colder snap, you’ll have to flick a little further through your swatch book. Heavier weights for winter and transitional textiles for autumn are the key to sartorially surviving the dark days to come. Here are the best winter suiting fabrics to keep you comfortable and stylish for these shiver-inducing, misty breath months.
Flannel is wool as you’ve never worn it before
Let’s begin fairly simply. Flannel is an untreated take on the woollen suit you’re so used to during winter. But, whereas worsted wool fabrics are sleek and smooth, there’s a texture to flannel that will add interest to any outfit. It also introduces a shade of the casual; allowing you to mix up your suit and wear it as separates or layering pieces on particularly chilly days.
Drake’s has embraced both texture and pattern with its chalk stripe suit which is made in Italy from English fabric and delicately tailored. For a quieter option, opt for Harvie & Hudson’s grey flannel suit, single-breasted and crafted from 100s Super Wool. Or, for a classic look, Ralph Lauren has delivered with its navy flannel suit — complete with a hint of helpful stretch.
Drake’s Light Grey Flannel Suit
Harvie & Hudson Grey Flannel Suit
Ralph Lauren Stretch Flannel Suit
Corduroy will keep you both snug and stylish
What do you mean, you don’t own a corduroy suit? Reliably ridged and heavy enough to keep you warm during any colder weather, this fustian fabric is the perfect option for a seasonal suit. An added bonus? It never ever creases.
So, if you’re looking to jump on the corduroy bandwagon, turn first to Richard James. The British brand’s velvety needlecord offering is impeccably constructed, and comes in a dark green perfect for a Christmas office party. Clements & Church will tailor you a double-breasted offering in mid-grey corduroy or, for a splash of bold colour, button up Paul Smith’s neat teal-toned two-piece.
Richard James Slim-Fit Suit Jacket
Clements & Church Grey Corduroy Suit
Paul Smith Corduroy Suit
Tweed is the traditional suiting material of the season
This is the classic country gentleman’s material. A more natural take on wool — with an open weave and unrivalled weather-resistant qualities — tweed is ideal if you’re heading to any opulent country piles this winter, or planning to take on the fun challenge of a shoot this season.
The key to pulling off a tweed suit is to keep your colour choice traditional. This jacket, from Ralph Lauren, is subtly checked over a rich brown base for a suitably rural feel. Drake’s takes things monochromatic with this Harris Tweed offering; unlined and unstructured for a more laid-back look. Or go to shooting stalwart Purdey for the real deal — this three-button design with genuine horn buttons and a ticket pocket.
Ralph Lauren Tweed Jacket
Drake’s Harris Tweed Games Blazer
Purdey Classic SB3 Tweed Blazer
Twill is a breathable — but comfortable — autumnal option
With its singular stepped weave and pattern of parallel diagonal ribs, twill tends to drape very well when it hangs off the body. This makes it the ideal candidate for those looking for a more elegant, sleek silhouette this season — without sacrificing any of the warmth or comfort you want from a winter suit.
The Italians should be your go-tos for such functional chicness. Brunello Cucinelli has a suave army-green twill suit; lightweight but lined for warmth. Ermenegildo Zegna, too, has turned its hand to twill with this midnight blue suit — impeccably tailored and with shoulder padding to broaden your frame. Or, if you want to stick with British brands, Richard James’ navy suit has a full lining and felted undercollar to help retain a smart press.
Brunello Cucinelli Army-Green Suit
Richard James Navy Twill Suit
Ermenegildo Zegna Midnight Blue Twill Suit
Vicuña is soft, warm — and incredibly expensive
Simply put, vicuña is the most sumptuous fabric in tailoring. Named for the creature from which the wool comes, vicuña is made up of incredibly fine hairs — even finer than cashmere — which interlock, trap air and give the fabric its simultaneously smooth and ultra-insulating qualities. But you’ll have to have deep pockets to invest in the best.
Just look to Loro Piana’s Madrid design. Available in two colours, these single-breasted suits are woven from fibres collected from the “Dr. Franco Loro Piana” Reserve in Peru. Or, turn back to Ermenegildo Zegna, whose Milano design has a notched lapel, chest welt pocket and a slightly more affordable price tag…
Loro Piana Madrid Vicuña Suit Jacket
Ermenegildo Zegna Milano Classic Jacket
Loro Piana Madrid Vicuña Suit Jacket
Wanting some casual kicks for the winter months? Here are the best seasonal sneakers…