Now that the summer season is rolling in, you are going to be in need of a summer suit that you can wear to occasions as diverse as a summer wedding, a business meeting, and a family brunch.
And once you start looking for options, only two types of suits stand up as potential candidates – linen suits and cotton suits.
So which one of the two is better?
That’s the question that I am going to go over in this guide. I have a bunch of linen suits and a few cotton suits (don’t judge me, I work in fashion) that I tested on various different parameters, and here are the results.
Difference Between Linen Suits And Cotton Suits
|Linen Suits||Cotton Suits|
|Very breathable.||Not as breathable as linen.|
|They don’t have any stretch.||Comparatively stretchy.|
|Wrinkle easily.||Not a lot of wrinkling.|
|Better for peak summer.||Better for spring and early fall.|
Although both linen suits and cotton suits are great essential pieces for any man’s wardrobe, linen suits have a slight edge between the two.
Why? That’s what I will explain in the next section.
Are Linen Suits Better Than Cotton Suits?
Linen suits are better than cotton suits for the summer season.
Now, this is a controversial statement, so let me explain myself a bit.
If given the choice, I would recommend you to buy a linen suit over a cotton one because of the simple fact that linen is going to keep you cooler.
Cotton is breathable, but it’s nowhere near linen in terms of summer fabrics. If you are looking for a summer suit, be aware that you are going to be sweating your ass off in a cotton suit.
It would be better if your suit is not very thick, but then that will impact the overall drape of the suit.
Linen suits are better because they don’t make you feel warm on a hot summer day. They might cost slightly more, they might wrinkle a bit, and they might be slightly stiff in the beginning, but they are going to keep you cool.
And in my opinion, that’s the only thing that really matters in a summer suit. However, if you live in a cooler climate where summers aren’t that strong, you should totally go for a cotton suit.
Pros And Cons Of Linen Suits
Like any other item of clothing, linen suits have a bunch of pros and cons. Let’s take a deep dive and talk about them in detail.
Advantages of a linen suit
Linen is probably the most breathable natural material to be used for clothing. Especially in terms of suiting, there’s no other clothing that is going to keep you as cool as a linen suit.
Made from the flax plant, linen has a lot of properties that supplement the flow of air. This airflow helps to wick sweat away from your body and keeps you cool.
2. Summer fabric
In terms of vibes, there’s no other garment that screams summer more than a linen suit. Synonymous with beach weddings, linen suits have become the preferred form of tailored clothing for the warmer months.
Linen suits have also become the clothing for choice in offices and professional workplaces in the summer.
3. Versatile, can be styled up and down
Linen suits have the unique ability to be styled up and down in a variety of different ways. This versatility is what lacks in woolen and cotton suits.
Throw on a t-shirt under a linen suit if you want to go for a family brunch, and switch it up to a white dress shirt if a business meeting comes around.
Disadvantages of a linen suit
Linen suits tend to be more on the expensive side of things. Let me correct myself, quality linen suits tend to be expensive.
It is very difficult to source quality, high-grade linen fibers and convert them into well-made suits. There are ways to cheat the system by going through blends, but still, quality linen is going to burn a hole into your pocket.
Here’s a sad reality of life – linen wrinkles. And linen wrinkles a lot more when it’s in the form of a suit.
Depending upon the quality, your linen suit could wrinkle less or wrinkle more. But it is going to wrinkle so you need to accept that reality. Again, there are ways to remove wrinkles from linen suits, but the degree of their effectiveness is debatable.
Pros And Cons Of Cotton Suits
Cotton suits also come with a few pros and cons attached. Let’s explore them in a bit more detailed manner.
Advantages of a cotton suit
Cotton suits tend to be on the inexpensive side. If you are willing, you might even find a couple of great deals in fast fashion stores.
And if you want something even cheaper, cotton blended with synthetic materials makes for even more inexpensive suits.
2. Can be worn in warmer occasions
While linen suits are pretty much restricted to the summer and spring season, cotton suits can be worn in a variety of different spectrums.
Cotton suits also come in a variety of different weight sets. There are a few cotton suits that do great in the fall, some that do great in the summer, and some that do great all year round.
Cotton suits are much less prone to wrinkles and shrinkage when compared to linen suits.
Cotton, especially blended with synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester, turns out to be very resistant to wrinkles. The addition of synthetic fibers to the mix creates a lot of stretch and reduces wrinkles at the same time.
Disadvantages of a cotton suit
1. Jack of all trades in all seasons
The biggest disadvantage of cotton suits is that they are a bit… meh.
They do a decent job of keeping you cool in the summer. But linen suits are much better.
They do a decent job of keeping you warm in the winter. But woolen suits are much better.
And both woolen suits and linen suits have an inherent vibe about them. They have texture, and they add more character to an outfit. Cotton suits on the other hand, just add another layer of clothes.
Linen suits and cotton suits are both excellent options for the spring and summer season, but if you have the money to buy only one, I recommend that you go for a quality linen suit.
And that’s everything you need to know about summer suiting. Wearing tailored suits is never going to go out of style, what matters is that you don’t fry yourself in the process.
However, it doesn’t mean that linen suits are the only piece you should buy. If you like the pros of cotton suits and don’t really care about their cons, then by all means, go and buy a cotton suit.
The purpose of fashion is to make yourself feel more comfortable and stylish. Both linen suits and cotton suits can help you in doing that. So trust your gut, and go with the one you like more.
Or you can be like me and buy both!
My name is Alex Higson and I am the founder of Magic Of Clothes. I have worked in the fashion industry for many years, and clothes and style are a huge part of my life.