How to Buy a Summer Suit

The West Loop's BLVDier
The West Loop’s BLVDier

Whether you’ll be buttoned-up at work all summer or you’ve simply got a jam-packed wedding season, a summer suit is an essential part of any proper wardrobe. We tapped Zach Uttich, founder and fitter at custom clothier BLVDier, for his expert advice on finding the lightweight suit that will keep you cool all season long.

Start with a basic linen. 
If you own one summer suit, make it a linen one, says Uttich. The key to keeping it wrinkle free is choosing a quality textile. “There are different types of linen and the Irish kind can be denser,” he explains. “Give the fabric a squeeze before you buy it to give you an idea of how it wrinkles. The wrinkles in Irish linen are bigger and softer whereas lower quality linen will show more wrinkles that are sharper.” As for color, use your skin tone as a guide. “The paler you are the darker the fabric color should be, and vice versa. Chocolates, soft medium blues and creams are good places to start,” he says.

Dressing to impress? Try one of these. 
A linen suit is a summer wardrobe staple, but if your lifestyle demands something on the dressier side, Uttich has two suggestions. “For the guy who wants to step up his suit game, try a wool/silk/linen blend. It has been a favorite of the Italian mills the last few years because you get the benefits of each textile,” he says. Lightweight wool fabrics also offer a sleek look. “Zegna’s Cool Effect line and any traditional Solaro fabric (we like Ariston’s) actually reflect sunlight, keep your temperature lower and look much like a worsted wool suit,” Uttich explains.


Think versatility. 
Summer dressing is typically more relaxed and casual, and it pays to keep that in mind when shopping. “The nice part of a summer suit is that you can typically break it up as separates,” says Uttich. “Make sure to avoid business fabrics such as stripes and it’ll be easier to wear the jacket with jeans.” As for accessories? “You’re afforded more leeway with your accessories for summer suits,” he says. “If the suit is solid colored, you can have more fun with ties, pocket squares, shirts and shoes.”

Err on the slim side.
The best way to weather sweat and humidity without looking like a hot mess: try a slimmer pant. It may seem counter-intuitive to wear a more fitted style in the heat, but Uttich says it’s a must. “Know how your chinos and jeans can give a little bit?  Make sure your summer suit pants are a little slimmer than normal as the fabric will open up and mold to you,” he suggests.

For custom-tailored advice, check out BLVDier at 211 N Green St.