While a cotton suit may not be your first fabric choice, it can easily become your favorite once you experience the comfort of wearing it.
Consider the cotton suit in summer like a wool suit in winter: comfortable and stylish.
The fabric’s high breathability and absorbent qualities make it a pleasure to wear on humid summer days.
What is Cotton
Cotton is termed the “fabric of our lives,” and rightly so.
It is a prominent part of any man’s wardrobe and has been around for more than 5000 years.
However, cotton suits only gained popularity after the British Armed Forces shifted from their redcoats to khaki cotton suits in the 1900s.
The next spark in the cotton suit’s popularity came in America after World War II.
Since then, cotton has shifted from a military suit fabric to a civilian staple and gained a reputation in our wardrobes.
The Benefits of the Cotton Suit
The cotton suit comes with a myriad of benefits which include:
- Moisture Control: Cotton helps keep you naturally dry thanks to its absorbent characteristics.
- Comfort: Cotton-rich clothes are non-itchy, breathable, and absorbent, making them a pleasure to wear.
- Breathable: Cotton has better breathability than oil-based synthetic fabrics, especially if it’s moisture-wicking cotton.
- Odor Resistant: Cotton tends to release bad odors better than most fabrics.
- Durable: A cotton suit will last you a long time thanks to its tough and strong fibers.
- Sustainable: Cotton is one of the oldest fabrics and is biodegradable and renewable.
- Hypoallergenic: Cotton does not make you prone to allergic reactions like other fabrics.
- Non-Clingy: If you want a non-clingy suit, cotton is the material to go for.
Best Colors for a Cotton Suit
The most trendy suit colors for cotton are navy, khaki, and tan.
Khaki was how cotton suits were introduced to the world and remain the fan-favorite.
However, a cotton navy or tan suit is equally good for different settings and occasions.
The Khaki Cotton Suit
Cotton suits don’t always look the best if you are too bold or fancy with color choices.
A cotton suit in khaki reflects the fabric’s truly timeless signature look.
The classic white dress shirt under a cotton khaki jacket allows the suit color to pop.
However, the light blue and light pink shirts look equally sleek and modern with a color taste to the outfit.
As for the shoes, it’s best to go for a medium brown shade. Oxfords, derby, and loafers are some acceptable dress shoe styles.
The tie is optional, but I would recommend you wear one. A dark brown with subtle patterns will help accentuate the look while keeping things minimal.
Navy Blue Suit
Opt for the navy-blue cotton suit if you want a comfortable go-to outfit for the office.
You can wear the same shirt colors with a navy cotton suit as you do with any other navy suit: light blue, light pink, and white.
Navy always calls for darker and formal shoes, so your best bet is either black or dark brown Oxford or Derby shoes.
Since cotton is a slightly more relaxed suit fabric, monk strap shoes match navy cotton suits perfectly well, too.
Since the darker shades make it a more formal ensemble, I recommend you wear a tie and match it with the shirt.
A navy tie on a light blue shirt or a black tie on a white shirt are some solid options.
Grey Cotton Suit
A grey cotton suit makes for a wonderful casual look, especially in a lighter shade.
Add a crisp white shirt to accentuate the cool blue tones of the grey suit.
You can skip the tie with this combination and add a pair of white sneakers to keep up with the casual outlook.
This is easily a great look for anyone going for a casual hangout with friends or even a date.
Olive Green Suit
Most people consider olive green to be an unordinary suit color choice.
However, it has a lot of potential, especially when you get olive green cotton for your suit.
On top of it, a darker shade of olive-green suit sits incredibly well with a pastel green dress shirt.
It is an exceedingly contemporary look that only the confident and bold can pull off.
A dark green tie, either in solid or subtle patterns, will complete the ensemble.
As for shoes, black is a sleek yet sophisticated choice that keeps up with the seriousness of the outfit.
How to Wear a Cotton Suit in the Summer
There is no better season to wear a cotton suit than in summer.
The fabric is light, comfortable, and breathable, ideal for high summer temperatures.
On top of it, a cotton suit offers all the benefits to counter the hot weather with no compromise on style.
Find a Cotton & Linen Blend Suit
The cotton and linen blend suit is a summer favorite because both fabrics are naturally air-permeable.
This means it is highly breathable, keeping you cool and comfortable even if it’s a closely cut suit.
Moreover, both cotton and linen are lightweight and skin-friendly materials, meaning you won’t have to face any irritations.
Anyone who has to wear a suit for a long day at the office must consider this blend of summer fabrics.
Not only is this blend comfortable, but it also drapes pretty well.
However, one major drawback of this combination is that both fabrics are naturally prone to wrinkling.
As a result, you will have to bear a few creases here and there, but it won’t look that odd unless you haven’t ironed the suit before wearing it.
Choose Light Color Suit
Just as dark colors sit well with the Winter and Autumn vibes, light color cotton suits are meant for summer.
Moreover, the darker the suit, the more heat it will absorb, so lighter shades automatically become the right choice for summer.
Your best bet is a well-fitted cotton suit in khaki, light grey, blue, or beige.
However, do keep in mind the formality of the event. If it’s a more formal event, you obviously cannot wear a light shade.
But if it’s a more casual event, light-shade cotton suits work best both in terms of comfort and style.
How to Match the Cotton Suit with Other Clothes
When matching your cotton suit with other clothes, you have to keep one thing in mind: it is best matched with light-colored dress shirts.
I wouldn’t recommend dark color dress shirts unless you aim for a highly casual look with a light color suit and dark color shirt.
Apart from that, cotton suits are best worn with brown dress shoes because they accentuate cotton’s earthy and natural feel.