Summer suits are one of the sexiest outfits a man can wear in warm weather, but a good design is hard to find. I’m sure you know what I mean. You can’t alter a winter suit to create a summer suit and you can’t simply buy a suit in the summer and be done with it. If you want to look classy, the details matter and you must pay attention. A great summer suit is lightweight, flexible, and colorful. It’s paper-thin wool with a satisfying texture you can imagine combined with either a button-down or T-shirt. These suits should be fancy enough to wear at a summer wedding while relaxed enough for officewear and casual nights on the town. Slip on loafers or white tennis shoes and the trousers still feel chic. Since these requirements are so specific, it’s vital you shop at a store that understands the treasure that is a good summer suit. Here are a few NYC shops we promise you can trust with your seasonal formalwear attire.
A Tribeca store catering to a fresh generation of tailoring obsessives, The Armoury is home to many a lightweight sportcoat and gaudy summer handkerchief. There are plenty of suits here too in every style from muted plaid to textured peach. Working closely with Japanese label Ring Jacket, this shop and its sister store in Hong Kong are perfect places to start your suit search. Browse the shelves for your favorite combinations and don’t forget to try on their micro-houndstooth pattern that’s so light you can see through it.
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE MEN’S
It can be easy to forget that Saks catered to gals and guys, but their new men’s store in Lower Manhattan will help put any remaining confusion to rest. Nestled firmly in the Brookfield Place mall after its high-profile opening in February, it carries a slimming sportswear collection including work by fashion houses like Dries Van Noten and Saint Laurent. There’s also a spacious shoe section if you need some trendy brogues to go with your new summer suit. Featuring more vibrant colors than The Armoury but still never venturing too far from the refined aesthetic, you’ll find plenty of fresh and wonderful outfits to try on here.
Famous for Italian silhouettes, this international company boasts six showrooms across the globe in Australia, London, and New York. This is the store to visit if you prefer suits with a unique texture. P. Johnson stock outfits from designers like Loro Piana who incorporate slightly rough fabrics and grooved hems into the classic summer suit. These finer details won’t make you stand out too much at that summer wedding, but they’ll give off an aura of sophistication you’re sure to benefit from.
This shop in NoHo is dedicated to displaying its top brand’s unstructured, garment-washed blazers. Wander here if you’re a contemporary style aficionado who appreciates modern lines and a sharp, clean structure. These jackets are especially good for destination weddings since they travel very well. Now you’ll know where to go when you get that invitation to your friend’s tropical overseas wedding.
It’s hard to beat the energy and allure of a spacious basement full of boutique menswear in New York City. You’re going to have to dig a little to find a summer suit here, but the extra time is well worth it. Browse everything from basic outfits to wild ensembles until you find your perfect match. C’H’C’M is also a good place to get a little risky and try something you wouldn’t normally attempt to wear. How about a shirt jacket for a semi-formal beach wedding and cutoff designer jeans for your everyday wardrobe?
This Midtown store is worth spending time in purely for the decorative contrasts. Wittily-dressed mannequins greet you at the door providing a measured amount of humor to kick of your Caruso experience. From then on things get somewhat serious thanks to the Italian designer’s exquisite work. There’s no doubt you’ll be drawn in by his varied seersucker suits and subtle safari jackets. You can feel the spirit of Italy literally oozing from each seam.
It may seem odd to visit a shop famous for its cashmere suits in the heart of summer, but Cucinelli has more up his sleeve than winter formalwear. His silk summer attire is flattering and unbelievably comfy. There’s a mysterious indestructible quality to each of his suits no matter what fabric they’re made of. Once again, the power of Italy triumphs in the summer suit category.
You need to browse summer suits at a few of these NYC shops at least once in your life. The layouts are fun to explore and you’re sure to find some formalwear that will elevate your wardrobe. Don’t be the guy that settles for a tropical button-down and khakis this summer. Do the right thing and find yourself some real beachwear that people will love.
— Timothy Vest