The Very Versatile Casual Suit
I love suits, but being that I don’t work in law or finance, don’t live on the East Coast, and am (what I’d like to think) a relatively young guy in his mid-30s, I don’t get to wear them very often. So, I buy most of mine these days in causal materials, such as cotton, linen, and corduroy. That way, I can have a casual suit for social occasions, or break the pieces up and wear them separately. In the above, for example, the brown sport coat is actually a suit jacket that’s part of a cigar linen suit I bought last year.
With a casual suit, even the trousers can be worn separately. Corduroy, linen, and cotton suit trousers just become … well, corduroy pants, linen pants, and chinos. And since these pieces came as part of a suit, the jacket’s length will be a bit longer than most sport coats these days (which often look too short anyway) and the pants will have a slightly higher rise (which I think looks more flattering anyhow).
The only downside, of course, is the cost. A good suit – whether made from a fine worsted wool or a more casual material – can run you $1,000 or more at the retail level. Depending on how you break up that price, that’s a lot more than what you’d typically pay for a casual pair of pants and a sport coat. Those won’t match up to form a suit when you need them to, but they will be less expensive.
If you can afford them, however, casual suits can be great, and they’ll give you a lot of versatility in your wardrobe. You can find them at most places that sell tailored clothing (try our suit buying guides here and here). No Man Walks Alone also has a rare Minnis Fresco option this summer. Fresco is an open-weave, worsted wool (which makes it breathable on hot days) and it has a bit of a texture (which means you can wear the jacket as a sport coat). Remember: the rule of thumb for wearing suit jackets as sport coats is to avoid anything that’s made from a very silky or finely woven wool. It should never look like you’re wearing a suit jacket by itself, even if you are.
Pictured above: tan linen pants from Hickey Freeman; cigar linen suit jacket by Napolisumisura (made from W. Bill linen); light blue shirt by Ascot Chang (made from Simonnot Godard chambray); dark brown loafers from Edward Green; dark brown belt from Brooks Brothers; and white cotton pocket square from Simonnot Godard

The Very Versatile Casual Suit

I love suits, but being that I don’t work in law or finance, don’t live on the East Coast, and am (what I’d like to think) a relatively young guy in his mid-30s, I don’t get to wear them very often. So, I buy most of mine these days in causal materials, such as cotton, linen, and corduroy. That way, I can have a casual suit for social occasions, or break the pieces up and wear them separately. In the above, for example, the brown sport coat is actually a suit jacket that’s part of a cigar linen suit I bought last year.

With a casual suit, even the trousers can be worn separately. Corduroy, linen, and cotton suit trousers just become … well, corduroy pants, linen pants, and chinos. And since these pieces came as part of a suit, the jacket’s length will be a bit longer than most sport coats these days (which often look too short anyway) and the pants will have a slightly higher rise (which I think looks more flattering anyhow).

The only downside, of course, is the cost. A good suit – whether made from a fine worsted wool or a more casual material – can run you $1,000 or more at the retail level. Depending on how you break up that price, that’s a lot more than what you’d typically pay for a casual pair of pants and a sport coat. Those won’t match up to form a suit when you need them to, but they will be less expensive.

If you can afford them, however, casual suits can be great, and they’ll give you a lot of versatility in your wardrobe. You can find them at most places that sell tailored clothing (try our suit buying guides here and here). No Man Walks Alone also has a rare Minnis Fresco option this summer. Fresco is an open-weave, worsted wool (which makes it breathable on hot days) and it has a bit of a texture (which means you can wear the jacket as a sport coat). Remember: the rule of thumb for wearing suit jackets as sport coats is to avoid anything that’s made from a very silky or finely woven wool. It should never look like you’re wearing a suit jacket by itself, even if you are.

Pictured above: tan linen pants from Hickey Freeman; cigar linen suit jacket by Napolisumisura (made from W. Bill linen); light blue shirt by Ascot Chang (made from Simonnot Godard chambray); dark brown loafers from Edward Green; dark brown belt from Brooks Brothers; and white cotton pocket square from Simonnot Godard

Fall and Winter Gloves

Depending on where you live, it may be time to start wearing gloves. When buying a pair, I recommend you avoid cotton, acrylic, and synthetic leathers; they’re neither warm nor durable. Wool or cashmere can work if they’re tightly knit. I wear Filson’s fingerless wool gloves when I go jogging (they also come in a full fingered variety). For people who are always on electronic devices, there’s also Freehands.

For something a bit sharper looking, try leather gloves. These can be made out of any number of animal skins. Peccary is luxurious and soft, while hairsheep is finer and less bulky. Deerskin has a “tacky” surface that’s good for gripping, but it’s a bit more rugged in appearance. There are also hogskin gloves, which are very hard-wearing.

Additionally, there are the linings. If you plan to use these in cold weather, you’ll want the inside of the gloves lined with cashmere or silk. Cashmere will be softer and warmer, but also a bit bulkier. If you’re going to wear them in a cool climate, opt for a pair that’s unlined. They won’t be as warm, but they’ll be more durable and fit better.

Colorwise, black and brown are the most versatile, but like with shoes and suits, I find black to be overrated. I have a few pairs of gloves that match the range of colors in my shoes - merlot, dark brown, mid-brown, and tan. When I want to add a bit of texture or visual interest, I wear dark green capeskin or grey suede lambskin. I also recently ordered some yellow chamois, which are the classic gentleman’s gloves, but they’ve yet to arrive.

As for where you can buy a a good pair, I recommend Dents and Pickett. American retailers such as Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Paul Stuart, Hickey Freeman, and Ben Silver also sell very good models. The upside to buying from them is that they often hold seasonal sales. For something a bit more affordable, Nordstrom’s house brand is a pretty good value. Finally, remember that the most important part of a glove is the fit - you want something that fits and flatters your hand. If you’re not able to find a proper pair, try getting custom gloves through Chester Jefferies or Madova. Both will make a glove for you if you send in a tracing of your hand, but I find that photocopies or scans work best.