As the temperatures rise this summer, it’s important to remember that style and comfort need not be mutually exclusive. It may be uncomfortable to slip on a suit during the warmer months — but that simply means you’re wearing one with the wrong construction, or cut from a too-heavy, unbreathable cloth.
But the good news is that great summer tailoring is out there. Often characterised by a softer construction, lighter fabrics and a relaxed, yet elegant silhouette, these are the five brands I deem worthy of a visit if you’re hoping to up the sartorial stakes this summer.
New & Lingwood will bring colour and character to your wardrobe
Originally a shirtmaker based on Jermyn St. — not to mention the official uniform supplier to Eton College — New & Lingwood offer a superb collection of suits and separates. Think boldly coloured checks, eccentric patterns and clothing with character. And, to keep you cool, the brand uses pure linens, seersuckers and silk-cotton blends.
Here you can see the British institution’s Douglas Sporting Jacket, worn with matching single-breasted waistcoat and trousers. Tailored with a soft Italian construction, unlined interior and natural shoulders, it is both lightweight and breathable — perfect for the warmer months. Not only that, the handsome hues of brown and olive green also make a statement by bringing traditionally autumnal tones into summer.
Gieves & Hawkes are the masters of light semi-structured, relaxed tailoring
With over 200 years in the trade, this Savile Row tailoring house has mastered quintessentially British style. Originally catering to the needs of the British Army and the Royal Navy, you can still identify these military references in Gieves & Hawkes’ clothing today; formal constructions and a gently roped shoulders.
Creative Director John Harrison has introduced a light, relaxed silhouette to the tailoring since he joined the brand in 2017, and this khaki green sports coat was my highlight of the SS19 collection. Completely deconstructed, unlined and made from an earthy, rich coloured cotton, this cut features notched lapels, patch pockets and is finished with buttons referencing the house’s ‘1771 Crown‘.
Yuri & Yuri are exciting new names in summer tailoring
Yuri & Yuri was founded earlier this year by Yuri Choi and Will Field; an alumni of the Savile Row Academy and a cloth merchant, respectively. It’s an exciting brand, setting out to provide handmade everyday garments with which modern gentlemen can tackle increasingly informal dress codes. And, though the style cues are taken from silhouettes of the 50s and 60s, every piece looks modern and relevant.
This cream button-down shirt is one of my favourite pieces from the first collection. Handmade from Japanese yarn, it is vegan, breathable and less prone to both piling and distortion than cotton. It is comfortable, it is stylish and the slightly-longer collar-stand is something I’ve never managed to find ‘off the peg’.
Edward Sexton offers iconic summer suiting
If you’re looking for a cocktail of rock-n-roll and sophistication, Edward Sexton is the brand for you. Although no longer based on Savile Row, when the brand first opened on the storied street they were the first new tailor to set up shop there for over 100 years. Introducing waisted, flared jackets with wide lapels and parallel trousers, they also boast a client list including Mick Jagger and Elton John.
Here are three summer looks by Edward Sexton for three different occasions. A bespoke power suit in a breezy silver silk-wool blend will keep you cool and reflect the sun with the fabric’s shiny finish. A safari shirt spun from 9oz Irish linen will give you a more casual look — particularly when paired with high rise Hollywood top trousers. And for more formality, this vintage double-breasted flannel cocktail jacket is finished with low-buttoning, pagoda shoulders and white grosgrain edge-tape.
DAKS will introduce retro styling to your warm weather wardrobe
Founded in 1894 by Simeon Simpson, DAKS is recognised for its quintessentially British tailoring. A little known fact, the brand also invented the self-supporting trousers, featuring an adjustable waistband that eliminates the need for belts and braces.
This year, DAKS are celebrating 125 years and, in their Old Bond Street store, you will find an anniversary collection — inspired by the traditional English garden, with a dash of unabashed 70s swing. Colours flit from lemon yellow to wood green to oranges and pinks. Here, you can see a pair of bottle green flared trousers paired with a lightweight mustard turtleneck and cream double-breasted jacket. Cut from a linen blend, it has a soft construction and the big check subtly injects some patterning to the piece.
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