Wool suits are the mainstays of men's fashion. Find out what makes it so popular and the different types of wool available so you can make the best choice.
For decades, suitmakers have made wool the most popular fabric for suits. There are many reason why they go with this fiber.
Natural - Since the early days of Savile Row, countryside sheep have provided an easy access to great fabric. It doesn't need complicated manufacturing processes. Its easy to work with for tailors and clothspinners.
Breathability - Wool is breathable. Try wearing a polyester suit for a night out at the club! You would die of heat exhaustion!
Long-lasting - Properly, cared for, a wool suit can last for decades.
Good insulating - Wool is a good insulator and is excellent for cold climates.
Here are some of the types of wool that you may see:
Worsted - the most common for suits.
Tweed - Think of those old-school college professors. That's tweed. Its thick and generally reserved for older men.
Flannel - Also thick and fairly rare to find.
The quality of the wool can also vary greatly among suits. You can generally tell this by looking at the number. Super 80 will generally be of inferior quality to Super 100, 110s, or 120s. I've seen as high as Super 200s. The number refers to the fineness of the cloth. Keep in mind, while the cloth may feel finer, it may not wear quite as well over time as a more coarse cloth and will tend to wrinkle. Most guys should be fine with Super 100s or 120s.
Some manufacturers, like Zegna, don't use those numbers and just call their better wool "high-performance". Fineness is just one indicator of quality, as you also need to look at the color, strength, and the length.