As we begin the transition to Spring, we naturally also begin the transition of our closets - packing up the heavier pieces opting for much lighter weight clothing. One of the most important garments we recommend updating during your transition this year is your sport coat.
We know a lot of you might be thinking you don’t need a sport coat in the Spring or Summer because your office transitions to business casual attire (no coat required) or you simply refuse to wear a sport coat in the summer heat of good ‘ole Alabama. However, we all have those special occasions that arise (sometimes unexpectedly), and then you're stuck wearing that year-round weight sport coat, feeling warm, sweaty and simply uncomfortable. But that doesn't have to be the case!
We feel confident that if you follow the guidelines we have outlined below in selecting your seasonal sport coat, you will not only be comfortable but also enjoy wearing it!
First Focus on Weight
The weight of a sport coat is definitely the most important aspect to consider when selecting the perfect seasonal garment for warmer weather. But, what does this really mean?
Ideally, you want to look for a fabric that’s in the range of 7.5 – 9 oz. in weight. Most fabrics lighter than this tend to wrinkle quite easily and not hold their shape after a season of wear. However, we are beginning to see more and more innovative fabrics on the market (especially from Hickey Freeman) that are the exception to this rule. Hickey Freeman has some amazing lighter weight options of blended fabric that feel weightless without compromising the integrity of the garment - drapes beautifully and sure to hold its shape!
Don’t Overlook the Fabric Weave
The weave of a fabric has an impact on the airflow of that garment. The tighter the weave the more restrictive; a more open weave fabric will allow for better airflow. Fabrics such as tropical wools, fresco and linen blends are normally great options here. Hopsacks (although technically not a fabric but rather a method of weaving) are great for the spring/summer months. This broad weave makes the fabric more breathable and also adds a woven texture to the fabric giving it a natural wrinkle resistance and a very nice drape.
Consider the Lining
Although nothing drapes better than a fully lined coat, the lining will definitely impact the breathability of a garment. Although linings are considerably lightweight, they are tightly woven thus reducing airflow. We recommend going half-lined or even fully unlined (particularly in a soft coat).
Half-lined refers to the two-piece curved lining that overlaps across the back of the shoulders on the inside of a coat. Half-lined will provide you just enough structure through the back without restricting the breathability of a garment.
Fully unlined refers to a garment that is completely bare on the inside – no lining at all. We reserve this for casual soft coats you would wear with a great pair of five pockets.
Last but Certainly not Least…The Interlining Construction
To start off, let us explain what we mean by a coat’s interlining. We are referring to the “guts” of the coat’s front panel. A coat can be canvassed or fused (there’s also half canvassed, but we are going to stick to the two types for now).
A canvassed coat has layers of canvassing material generally made of horsehair that sits between the outer coat fabric and the inner lining. Canvas plays a big role in the shape of a coat – it basically gives the coat it’s structure and over time molds to the body.
A fused interlining is a composite of various materials which are fused or “glued” together. This is cheaper to produce and will slightly “stiffen” the cloth. A fused coat will not drape very well because it will not transform to the body as does canvas.
A floating canvas will breath better (and certainly look better) as opposed to a fused coat in which there is basically no breathability left in the fabric.
Still Don't Believe Us?
Still don't believe us that a sport coat can be breathable enough to wear in this Alabama heat? Feel free to stop by the shop any time and try one of our spring sport coats out for yourself and see what you think! We have a wide range of spring styles in the shop right now from some our favorite brands like, Hickey Freeman, Southwick, Culturata, Hardwick and Q By Flynt! Don't see one in a fabric you love? We can special order a made-to-measure coat for you as well (just in time for Easter too!)