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 Pendleton, noting that their “lightest weight wools are appropriate for year-round wear,” and BlueSuits, calling it “Seasonless European Tropical Wool Stretch”). 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 most Vortex-y days of the Polar Vortex. (Some of our layering tips for how to stay warm in a freezing office, or thoughts on unlined pants may be of help!) 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.
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.)
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