The One Suit Every Man Needs for the Summer

Summer is finally rolling around, and that means it’s time to open that side of your closet that hasn’t seen daylight for five months.

Once you have opened that door, it would behoove you to take account of what you no longer like or need and replace that with something newer and fresher. Perhaps your summer suit of years past has started to feel a bit stale as well; maybe it was the ever popular whipcord, or maybe you’ve always been a seersucker man. Fine options, sure, but this should be the year you introduce a new friend to the collection.

I like this suit for a number of reasons.Behn Watson

This summer, my favorite suit is the cotton khaki slim fitting suit you’re starting to see pop up more and more. I like this suit for a number of reasons, one of which is that is simply looks fantastic. There are other reasons too, so let me break them down for you thusly:

1. Works great as separates:

I’m a huge fan of getting as much use out of a suit as possible, and when you can break up the pants and jacket and utilize them on their own then you’re really on to something. A khaki jacket looks great with a number of different pants so long as you keep them to a fairly dark color palette. Try your jacket with jeans, dark colored chinos (navy, green, black), or a trouser in navy or black. The goal is to provide a strong contrast.


The third option, and this is for the bold…Behn Watson

Alternately, when you’re wearing the pants try a navy or dark colored jacket. Don’t be afraid to throw something patterned on as well to give the outfit a boost. The same idea applies here as it did with the jacket: you’re looking for a fairly stark contrast when you put this look together. You can also wear the pants causally, because if they’re cut right they can look great with a white t-shirt or an untucked white oxford and sneakers.

The third option, and this is for the bold, is to try on a tailored pair of shorts with the jacket. If the jacket is cut short enough (and it should be on the shorter side) this is a great look for all those summer garden parties and birthdays you’ll be attending.

2. It leans towards the casual side:

Casual SuitThis suit will be more versatile than just being able to break up the jacket and pants. One of the reasons a suit like this is so versatile is because you can make it work in a formal or casual setting. This is a perfectly acceptable suit if you have a business meeting and will obviously work with a shit, tie, and wingtips. It will pair quite well with all the business staples you expect to work with a black or navy suit.

On the other side of the coin, this suit is also going to work well for a summer wedding or a fine dinner date. You can ditch the tie, go sockless, and put on an oxford (tucked in this time), and look like a dapper, yet casual fellow.  The suit isn’t going to be overly structured or crisp so it will lend itself well to causal gatherings.

3. It’s comfortable:

A cotton suit is always a more comfortable option than its wool counterpart for a few reasons. Ideally, the suit is going to have very little structure to it (minimal lining, shoulder support, excess fabric) which means it’s going to be a lot lighter weight than something more traditional. Second, cotton always breathes better than wool so you’re going to have that working in your favor as well.

Comfortable Suit

Wear it how you want.Behn Watson

Depending on what type of guy you are, the frumpier nature of a cotton suit can be enjoyed as well. Some men like to keep their suits as crisp as possible and never lose that pant crease. Good for you for being so diligent but when you’re wearing a cotton suit you need to embrace the wrinkles; it’s part of its charm. Wear it how you want and don’t worry if it starts to look a little frumpy- it’s supposed to.

Those are the reasons you should be getting yourself into a cotton suit this summer. It’s definitely something that’s “in” for the season but it won’t be something that you’ll be embarrassed to wear years from now. Get out there, break it up, throw on some shorts, and embrace those wrinkles!

Behn Watson

Behn Watson


Behn Watson runs a men’s fashion blog over at Prior to starting Duck Soup Style, he worked at a local high end men’s fashion retailer as a consultant. For more style inspiration, check out Behn’s instagram account @behn_watson.

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