Where to buy a suit that's comfortable when it's warm, in London or San Francisco?
May 27, 2008 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Where to buy a suit that's comfortable when it's warm, in London or San Francisco?

I'm looking to spend up to £400 (that's $800) on a suit that I can wear in summer for business occasions; I already have a good dark wool suit, but it's basically unbearable to wear when it's warm. What sort of fabric should I be looking for?

I'm based in London, but I'll be travelling to San Francisco in July, so I'm also wondering if I should take advantage of the strong pound... but I have no idea where to go in SF.

(BTW, I have seen the old thread where everyone recommended M&S - would people still repeat that recommendation, given the recent drop in quality in stuff like socks and underwear?)
posted by adrianhon to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Get one made! Raja Daswani - famed tailor from Hong Kong now services US, UK, Australia, and some other places. According to the FAQ - "Suits range from US $350 to US$5,000, also depending on the material." So your price range fits in there.

Anyway, it's an idea - have a look for yourself. The reason I suggested it is Raja Daswani is based in Hong Kong, which is a pretty hot and muggy place most of the year, so he'd have a fair bit of experience in making suits that suit warm weather / climates.
posted by awfurby at 7:26 AM on May 27, 2008

One of the HK/Shanghai roving tailors (Raja, Mohan, etc.) would probably be able to do you a wool/linen or cotton/linen blend. (Linen for breathability, the other to limit creasing.) I've heard mixed things about Raja, but you have to assume, as awfurby says, that SE Asian tailors know how to make warm weather suits.

Not everyone can pull off the white/cream suit, but poplin or seersucker give you some room to fit your style.
posted by holgate at 7:51 AM on May 27, 2008

Seersucker suits are awesome.
posted by phunniemee at 8:07 AM on May 27, 2008

I'm going to second phuuniemee and tell you to go seersucker. It'll make you look like a southern gentleman, and it'll really make a statement.

Oh, and look, JoS. A. Bank is having a sale on them. Time to restock my selection as well.

Seriously, go seersucker, never regret.
posted by SNWidget at 8:32 AM on May 27, 2008

Try Rohan - they're at 9/10 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8PS.

Their travel clothes are good. I've not had reason to buy one of their suits, but if I was in your position, I'd certainly consider them as their other clothes are excellent. You're not likely to inhabit the cutting edge of sharp tailoring, but they're nicely made.

They do the Envoy or Travel Linen jacket, and the matching trousers.

Otherwise, I'd recommend a linen suit. I've got an Austin Reed one that's great.
posted by dowcrag at 8:36 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Bonus: the Rohan jackets usually come with a zillion hidden pockets.
posted by dowcrag at 8:36 AM on May 27, 2008

The suits from Charles Tyrwhitt are supposed to be generally fine and they seem to be having a half price sale on cotton summer suits at the moment.

Austin Reed is always worth a look for a suit too. Linen is ok as long as you don't need to be too formal. Also, I'm sad to say, don't go for seersucker in England. Unfortunately you will look a fool.
posted by patricio at 9:52 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

You'll get a pretty nice suit with $800 in San Francisco.
A couple threads on this.

The Men's Warehouse is a local chain that sells semi-discounted suits. Your budget will not be a problem there. Macy's is about the same or maybe one step up, and again, you'll be able to buy most of what they sell for $800 or less. Nordstrom is a step up from there, but l'm guessing you can still get a nice suit within your budget. Nordstrom also has a reputation for good service, though my experience is that they can be snotty.

I don't live in SF, so I can't give you an opinion on the smaller retailers, but I'd definitely check with them as well.
posted by cnc at 1:08 PM on May 27, 2008

The only black suit I've ever worn that felt cool in the summer was Armani. But that was ten years ago, and outside your price range even back then. I'd go with a well-cut off-the-peg linen affair or similar.

I've had one of Travelling Light's sand-coloured travel suits for six or seven years, and it does what it says on the label: it doesn't crease in the case and all but the most major dirt and stains will wipe off it. Plus they're having a sale right now.
posted by Hogshead at 3:40 PM on May 27, 2008

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