A cotton suit can actually fall into many different categories. They are a little bit non-traditional, but are a good way to change things up a bit in your wardrobe.
It seems like every few years they go into a cycle where they are trendy. Maybe people get tired of wool all the time and start looking around for alternatives!
Many people associate cotton with a summer or warm weather fabric. Some people argue that it tends to be hotter in the summer though. The problem I’ve seen with them is that when you do sweat in them, it’ll go all the way through in certain cases. Not exactly what you want on a hot summer day!
In general, they tend to have lighter colors, like tan and brown, that are more summer friendly than a black, gray, or navy blue. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more popular varieties:
Poplin: Very common in the South
Seersucker: Has a checkered or bumpy pattern. Also popular in the Southern regions.
Linen: Can be hard to handle and tends to wrinkle
Khaki: Most khaki and khaki-colored suits tend to be cotton
A big argument against cotton is the fact that it tends to wrinkle. I don’t have a big argument there. You’ll want to have an iron handy if you haven’t had your suit hung properly.
Many manufacturers are also using blends, such as cashmere or polyester. Cashmere can tend to wear warm, so be careful with using it for summer wear. Polyester can add a little defense to the wrinkle issue but is not quite as soft, in my opinion. You can also go with a cotton/wool blend, which helps again with wrinkles, and is a little more comfortable.
You can order cottons in certain weights, usually marked as ounces. This is an indicator on how thick the fabric is. 7 or 8 ounce fabric is pretty standard.