I’ve seen two Atlanta summers since moving from the Midwest, and I am not sweating through a third. So it’s time to invest in a Southern suit. I asked Gary Modlish at Billy Reid to help me endure the swelter in classic cool.
No sweat This is the quintessential Southern look, in standard light blue stripes or bands of charcoal, light gray, or khaki.
Sweat it Head-to-toe seersucker can come off a little costumey.
Gary’s tip Try just an element of seersucker—a jacket paired with dark denim.
No sweat Also a classic look that’s far more versatile for a workday.
Sweat it It’s accepted that linen wrinkles, but unless you have it pressed regularly, it’s easy to look like you pulled your suit out of the glove box.
Gary’s tip A linen-cotton blend will better resist crumpling.
No sweat It’s much cooler than wool, and, um, it’ll draw attention.
Sweat it It’s loud, convoluted, and just a mess.
Gary’s tip Madras is common among the preppy crowd, but plan to steer clear of it in large quantities unless you’re fearless when it comes to color.
There’s a reason you only see kids and older men in seersucker, and even then, usually at horse races, weddings, and social events. For the twenty- and thirty something man who has to wear a suit to work instead of just on special occasions, practicality is key. Look for me in linen—unless my boss will let me by with a seersucker jacket and jeans.
Photo credits: Seersucker: Dreamstime; linen, madras: iStockphoto
This article originally appeared in our June 2014 issue.