If you want to be as breezy and unflappable as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, you need to be considering Cool Wool for your custom summer suits. Yes Bogie had an undeniable, well, Bogie factor, but there’s a distinct possibility the guy also knew his tropical wools and believe us, that goes a long way.
What exactly is Cool Wool and why should you care? Essentially it’s a trade name used when talking about lightweight wools, like Merino. But under the skilled hands of Michael Andrews Bespoke, this is definitely not your Grandfather’s bespoke suit.
Astonishingly fine and light, these are natural fibres that can be worn across seasons, thanks to their versatile ability to keep you warm during bitter New York winters, yet fresh and cool during the spring and summer. Through its natural crimp, it creates miniscule air pockets, which help regulate temperature.
Having said that, the term “tropical” refers to a fabric’s weave as much as its weight. Cool Wool uses what’s known as an “open weave,” which, as the astute gentleman may have guessed, means it allows body heat to escape, while letting outside air in. For the same reason, it can also absorb moisture, which then evaporates, helping your skin stay fresh and dry under your custom suit, even during the most sizzling of New York afternoons.
Though naturally soft as it is, technological advances and efforts on the part of modern woolgrowers have resulted in wools that are even finer and softer than we’ve seen in decades past. In fact, Merino wool is often used in a number of lightweight materials, like Merino jersey, which is a no-brainer if you want your custom suit to be airy and lightweight.
As a bonus, the natural structure of wool makes it resistant to pilling, sagging and breakage, often outlasting its synthetic counterparts. It’s naturally elastic and tends to hold shape and crease less than many fibers, making it a somewhat dressier option and great global for traveling. The fabric’s unusual structure – that aforementioned “crimp” – also helps lock away odor.
We know that the savvy urban stylist gravitates toward materials that are equal parts luxurious and sustainable, and Cool Wool fits the bill on both counts. It looks fantastic on and feels like a dream next to your skin.
A few years, ago tailored suits made with Cool Wool started popping up on runways across the globe, particularly in hotter climates like the Middle East and Asia Pacific. It’s gained population on this side of the pond too, with both GQ and Esquire recently extolling the benefits of this versatile material. It’s also become a favorite for outdoor wedding attire. Surely you have a roster of those that require your presence this season.
For the retro enthusiasts among us, picture Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. Cavorting around the sultry French Riviera, equally capable whether he’s tending to obscure vineyard grapes or lurking on a rooftop (as one must, occasionally), our favorite cat burglar is always tailored, classic and stylish in his Merino wool jacket.
These fabrics come in a variety of shades and look equally sharp in a classic navy or charcoal as they do in pastels. As evident in some of our pieces for the season, the Michael Andrews Bespoke team loves the look of a tailored Cool Wool suit in a light, understated grey, for a style that’s equal parts trendy and timeless.
As the days grow longer and the heat waves shimmer against the skyscrapers, your thoughts turn to sneaking out to close your next business deal on a patio bar somewhere, iPhone in one hand, a cold beer in the other. Maybe you’re already on a plane, headed to your next long weekend rendezvous. Either way, you know what this picture needs? A bespoke summer uniform; breathable, fresh and always creaseless, no matter what kind of debauchery you may be up to.
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