Are suits made from tropical wool acceptable to wear during the winter, or are they only designed for cooling you down in hot summer weather? And how does the suit color factor in? Reader P wonders…
I bought a dark navy colored suit last year from J. Crew in tropical wool, and I am wondering if it is okay to wear during colder months (I live in New York City). My gut is that since it is very dark with brown buttons, that it can look wintry and also be worn in summer, as it is light weight and breathable.
However, it is my first suit in this kind of fabric and I don’t to seem gauche if there is a rule about seasons in which this fabric is appropriate, and when it is not. Any suggestions?
Interesting question, reader P — and I’m curious to hear what the readers say. My initial reaction here was, OF COURSE you can wear tropical wool suits in the winter! They’re seasonless! But then I second guessed myself and did some Google research.
So here’s my more researched answer: tropical wool suits are often intended for year-round wear (see, e.g., Pendleton, noting that their “lightest weight wools are appropriate for year-round wear.”)
Because they are also acceptable for summer wear, they can be lightweight and breathable — so while they aren’t inappropriate for winter wear, they may be a bit chilly on the windiest or coldest days.
Particularly when you factor in the fact that so many women’s basic suiting is seasonless/tropical wool, though, I would say they’re acceptable for most winter days — particularly for the person who only has to wear a suit once a week or less. If you’re one of those people who wears a suit four days out of five, you may want to buy heavier suits in worsted wool or tweed — but I don’t think you have to.
One great way to make ANY pair of pants warmer in winter is silk long johns — they block the wind, don’t add bulk, and honestly don’t feel that much warmer if you’re inside.
Psst: here are some of our favorite basic suits, many available in tropical wool…
and our favorite investment suits, many available in tropical wool!
Ladies, what are your thoughts — is there a difference to you between tropical wool suits and “seasonless” suits? Would you think someone was odd if they wore a tropical wool suit in the dead of winter?
(Pictured: Ann Taylor Tropical Wool One Button Jacket, $198.)