When it comes to sewing, a certain dress theory prescribes wool for fall and winter, and lightweight cotton or linen for the warmer months. And while the qualities of these latter two fabrics will no doubt be appreciated during a peak of July heat, both are prone to creasing, creasing and other factors that might prove lovely but bring them down in polishing terms.
Wool, however, is a more versatile fabric than you might think and comes in tropical weights or high-twist constructions that are well-suited to summer temperatures. Combine that with a lighter jacket construction and it’s possible to look stylish and feel cool in wool tailoring all year round.
At the lighter end of the scale is the unconstructed jacket, in which the canvas that usually gives the garment its shape is removed, along with its shoulder padding and lining. In keeping with their casual nature, unconstructed jackets are often made from more casual fabrics. But Sid Mashburn chose a stretchy, high-twist English wool to make his “Ghost Blazer,” which works like a classic blue blazer without the padding.
“It’s literally just the fabric and the buttons!” Mashburn talks about the garment, which has sold out multiple times. “When you hold it up to the light, you can see through it and it feels like you’re not wearing anything at all.” Just as important as its airy construction is the fabric itself, which gives it far more versatility than a similarly made garment in a more seasonal fabric. “While we like linen, the Ghost has more range, in terms of looks,” Mashburn continues. “He can go to almost any occasion, except perhaps the most formal, and he’ll be equally at home with a polo shirt and jeans.”
Seeking a middle ground between fully unconstructed or fully constructed jackets, The Anthology introduced a “Featherweight Blazer” that is shaped by a specially cut piece of canvas that extends only from the shoulder line to the bottom of the lapel.
“While nearly every other unconstructed jacket forgoes the solicitation entirely, this is where we strive to make a difference by staying true to our couture roots,” says co-founder Buzz Tang. But The Anthology’s innovative outreach is only half the story. The blazer, semi-lined and with unpadded shoulders, is made in a wool and mohair hopsack, whose openwork weave ensures easy ventilation.
“When combined with Featherweight construction, breathability is inevitably on par with, if not better than, regular linen and cotton,” says Tang.
However, those who prefer a fully constructed garment are not doomed to a summer of sweat-soaked tailoring. As Paolo Martorano of the bespoke fashion house of the same name explains, it’s possible to make a full canvas garment in a softer construction.
“For our purposes, the definition of an unconstructed jacket is more properly called a lightly constructed jacket,” Martorano said. Robb report. “In the making of such a garment, we would use tropical weight English woolen canvas, horsehair chest cloth and, significantly, we would forego the domette cotton interlining.”
Additionally, its “soft” jackets feature minimal shoulder padding, wide seams directly to the canvas for greater flexibility, and a shirt-sleeve style. spalla camicie attached shoulders without the “frown” that often accompanies this typical Neapolitan characteristic.
“In general, we tend to advocate a clean, crisp jacket that never feels tight,” continues Martorano. “Wrinkled, wrinkled or broken, it’s not really for us or our customers.”
There is a time and place for linen or seersucker in every man’s life. But if you’re looking to stay cool this summer, you have a choice.