“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” These are words uttered by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s infamous character the “Great” Jay Gatsby. While he isn’t referring to fashions or styles of the moment, it certainly fits. This mysterious main character had a penchant for dressing well and exemplified the East coast aesthetic. Between expensive cars and lavish parties, he also donned a near forgotten look that could soon be making a comeback: The Summer Suit.
In a time when air conditioning was in it’s infancy, gentleman had to consider the fashion as well as the functionality of their clothing. That meant flannels were worn in the winter, with the spring and summer saved for lighter weight fabrics. Tropical wools, linens and cottons are certainly cooler, however only the wools provided the formality necessary for the office and most social occasions. Yet, the lightweight wools of yesteryear pale in comparison to the hand and character of today’s.
Summerweight wools from the likes of Holland & Sherry are weighing in at a mere 7.5 ounces. They embody the color palette and finesse of the standard weights between 8.5-9.5 ounces. That means that not only will it be more comfortable to wear, but it can be dressier. A dark suit made of a lightweight fabric is necessary for the office, but something in a lighter tone is a little more traditional and practical.
This leads to the penultimate summer suit: a tan or khaki pinstripe. When paired this way it becomes a quintessential summer style. It’s perfect with pastels for a country club wedding. Or wear it with saddles shoes for the Kentucky Derby. However you wear it, the tan summer suit is a nod to the days of when men dressed thoughtfully. Surely Mr. Gatsby would agree.