Every gentleman’s wardrobe should have a wool suit in it.
Wool is quite popularly used as fabric for men’s suits, and rightly so.
It has a multitude of benefits and can be worn throughout the year.
Besides, it’s suitable for every occasion.
If you are out there looking for a new suit, here’s why wool is one of the best options.
Choosing the Right Wool Suit – The Basics
Wool is a naturally occurring fabric that finds its origins in the fleece of various animals like sheep, alpacas, goats, and llamas.
It offers excellent durability alongside an elegant look, making it a highly desirable suit choice.
More importantly, wool is as good to wear in winter and summer if you get the right wool type for each season.
In general, you must follow all standard suit basics that apply to any other suit.
No one can look their absolute best if their wool suit doesn’t have a flawless fit.
You don’t want to throw off your carefully curated style with droops, sags, and hemlines in all the wrong places.
Worsted vs. Woolen Wool
Woolen and worsted wool are two separate classifications of spinning wool yarns.
Their difference lies in multiple factors, such as the length of the fibers.
For example, fibers used for woolen wool are shorter in length, around 1-3 inches. On the other hand, fibers used for worsted wool are relatively longer, usually measuring 3 inches.
Similarly, coarse or medium wool fibers are used for woolen crafts, whereas worsted wool is spun from fine-diameter wool fibers.
Both types of wool are carded, washed, and scoured. However, worsted wool is also drawn and combed.
Moreover, worsted wool yarns have higher tensile strength than woolen wool yarns.
You will also feel that woolen wool yarns are uneven, bulky, and soft to the touch compared to the smooth and fine touch of worsted wool.
Worsted wool is also lighter in weight, so it’s better for the summer season than heavyweight woolen wool.
Wool Number Classification
The super number written on any wool fabric indicates the fineness of the material. The finer the material, the higher the number.
For example, the term “super 120’s wool” means high-quality wool.
For a more complex understanding, the number indicates the number of hanks of wool you can spin from a pound of raw wool.
As a result, the higher the super number, the more hanks of wool you get per pound.
This simply equates to a finer wool fabric for every additional hank you get.
However, it is interesting to note that as the super number increases, so does the fragility of the wool.
As a result, don’t aim for the highest super number. Instead, work with wool fabrics that have a super number within the 120-140 range.
The Benefits of the Wool Suit
The wool suit has numerous benefits, which is why it is such a well-liked choice for many men.
You can comfortably wear a wool suit all day if you choose a lightweight construction.
That’s because wool has breathable fibers that help regulate the heat during hotter seasons and insulate during the colder seasons.
You also won’t face any mildew or mold issues with a wool suit since it isn’t an absorbent material.
But out of all its benefits, I love how wool is a naturally occurring fabric, free from any harsh chemicals used in synthetic fabrics.
This is incredible for your skin, especially if you are sensitive to chemical irritants.
And finally, the graceful drape of a wool suit is unmatched, combined with the soft feel and the highly versatile color and style options.
Different Types of Wool & How to Choose the Right One
Each type of wool has its own pros and cons, depending on the animal it comes from.
Here are some of the most common wool types described to help you choose the right one:
Coming from the native Spanish Merino sheep, merino wool is one of the softest wool types out there.
It has an incredibly fine and shiny feel to it and is perfect for body temperature regulation in both hot and cold weather.
Cashmere falls more on the luxurious side, given how difficult it is to obtain.
Its fibers are combed instead of sheared from cashmere goats and are scarcely produced.
It is incredibly lightweight and soft but lacks the level of durability found in sheep wool.
This type of wool is highly versatile with its medium weight.
It has a soft, warm, and durable feel, making it a solid fabric for a suit.
The mohair wool is sheared from the angora goat and is often termed lustrous.
It provides a good drape alongside high durability and decent insulation.
Fresco wool is known for having a natural stretch and comfortable breathability.
It offers excellent anti-wrinkle characteristics making it a suitable choice for suits that you have to wear all day long.
Thanks to its lightweight construction and high breathability, tropical wool is ideal for warm and mild climates.
Wool is often blended with other synthetic and natural fibers to achieve different appearances, performances, and textures.
As a result, wool blends offer great versatility depending on the blended fabrics.
For instance, cashmere wool blended with silk has the warmth and softness of wool and the smoothness and strength of silk.
How to Wear a Wool Suit in the Winter
Wool suits are a popular choice for winter wear, thanks to the insulation properties of the fabric.
However, you have to get the correct type of wool for your winter suit.
Mohair wool and merino wool are the top warm choices for protection against the cold.
If you are willing to spend some extra money, cashmere wool works as well.
Pick a Dark 100% Pure Wool Suit
Since it’s winter, the suit must be dark. Lighter suit colors are too lively for the natural, gloomy vibes of the cold season.
Therefore, your best options are dark grey and navy suits. Black works for highly formal events such as winter funerals.
Make sure the suit is 100% pure wool; otherwise, you won’t get to enjoy the warmth of the material to its full potential.
Light Dress Shirt that Matches the Suit
A light dress shirt commendably contrasts the deep tones of the dark wool suit.
If it’s navy wool, go for either the crisp white or light blue shirt.
Daytime events call for a bit of warmth in the ensemble, so a light pink shirt is a way to go.
Similarly, you can wear either a crisp white shirt with a charcoal suit as well.
Light blue also helps emphasize the cool blue tones of grey.
Picking the Right Tie & Pocket Square
When picking the tie and pocket square, make sure they are both contrasting with each other.
But what’s more important is the texture. Since wool is a textured fabric, it wouldn’t be as great with plain ties as other materials.
Instead, opt for textures that are similar to wool. I think it makes you come off as someone who takes attention to detail very seriously.
Again, that doesn’t mean plain ties don’t work. I just feel like they don’t complement wool as well as textured ties.
Dress Shoes for Winter
Usually, formal dress shoes such as Oxford- or Derby-style look good under a wool suit.
However, more informal settings also make room for dress boots and Chelsea boots.
Just make sure you match the belt with the shoe color and keep them both in a shade darker than the suit.
Oh, and wool socks are a worthy addition to complete this ensemble.
How to Wear a Wool Suit in the Summer
Since wool comes in so many different types, there are multiple options that you can comfortably wear in summer.
Tropical wool and fresco wool are two ideal choices for warm and hot climates.
However, the most popular choice is often something from the blended wool category since wool in itself is often too hot for summer.
Light Wool Blend Suit
A light wool blended suit, preferably with linen, is a solid look for summer.
Linen is lightweight, soft, and breathable, making it a perfect addition to the drape of wool.
Similarly, a cotton and wool blend is another great option, but I recommend you opt for linen since they sit well together.
Get the suit in a lighter shade to go with the summery vibe, especially if it’s a daytime event.
Beige is also good. But if you want something more standard, go for a light-grey suit.
Match it with a Dress Shirt
Dress shirt options for a summer wool suit are the same as they are for winter.
The usual light blue, light pink, and classic white shirt do the job pretty fine.
In addition, you can add a light linen shirt under your wool suit for a more casual look and a featherlight feeling.
Skip the tie when wearing a polo shirt or a t-shirt.
Adding a Tie & Pocket Square
Again, the tie and pocket square are a must if it’s a formal event.
Just make sure the pocket square contrasts with the tie; otherwise, it becomes noticeable and ruins the look.
Shoes for Wool Suit
Since summer calls for lighter suits, you also get to wear lighter shades of shoes.
As a result, you can opt for a medium brown shoe with a light grey wool suit for a daytime wedding during the summer.
Nevertheless, black still stays the classic shoe choice, especially in the standard formal Oxford or Derby shoe style.
But since summer suit outfits allow for some relaxation, a solid pair of black or brown loafers will work too.