What Suits to Wear When it's a Scorcher
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The business suit is a staple of what clients expect advisors to wear. However, with the oppressive heat waves of summer, just putting on a suit is a daunting task.
This is how you do it.1
During the summertime, it is important to keep your cool and stay cool even when it is a hundred degrees outside. In this article, I will share with you three ways to wear suits comfortably when it's a scorching hot day.
The first way to be confortable in a suit when it is extremely hot is don’t wear one. Just kidding – well kind of. Consider ways that you can minimize wearing the full suit as much as possible. When you’re getting dressed for the day and you walk out the door, put your jacket in your hand – not on, as we are used to doing. Then hang it up in the car or hold it while in route to your location. There is no need to suffer to fit the part of the so-called “financial-advisors-are-supposed-to.”
The same applies when you are actually walking into your office among colleagues. Most of them will get it as well. It’s hot and they know you and your personality so it’s not necessary to be unbearably uncomfortable just to fit the mold. The times that you should wear the jacket as a full suit is when you are actually meeting with clients or walking into a professional meeting. All the other times, ditch the jacket; it will benefit you throughout the day.
Another way to keep your professionalism when it’s hot is to invest in a vest. Or better yet, invest in three-piece suits. This is the best trick to being comfortable in hot weather. A suit-type vest will give you a complete professional image without you having to deal with the hassle of a full suit in the heat.
Many brands make just vest that you can buy alone without a suit. This is a great way to add versatility to your wardrobe without spending a bunch of money. Treat a vest just like a suit jacket. Ideally, you can have the exact matching pants as with the fabric of the vest or you can also mix and match your pants and vest as you would pants and jackets.
Additionally, remember a vest can be tailored just as your jacket. There’s no need to get a stand-alone vest and settle for an ill fit because it is not a suit. Take the vest to your tailor and adjust the sides and chest of the vest to fit you perfectly.
Lastly, wearing a suit in hot weather also comes down to fabric. The appropriate fabrics are the ones you can wear in hot spring or summer weather. It probably has been ingrained into your mind to opt for 100% wool fabric or perhaps wool and cashmere. That just sounds hot.
Wool is a good option, but it is not required or the only option. Fabrics that work best in hot weather are linen, cotton and lightweight wools. There’s no reason for you to always buy the same type of wool suit unless you're a superhero. And although some of you might be superheroes in your profession, it is okay for Superman to get out of the tight uncomfortable outfit to adapt to the environment. You can do the same.
Now when I speak of linen I’m not talking about your great-grandfather’s baggy short-sleeved linen boat suit. I’m talking about a full, well-tailored professional suit that happens to be made out of linen fabric. This will give you the comfort of a breathable fabric that can be worn in hot weather. Also, try cotton in a suit option. Again, I’m not speaking of a fifthf-grade my-first-suit quality; there are quality suits from the brands you are used to that are made from comfortable good looking fabrics.
To add to the fabric knowledge, you should consider suits in hot weather that are half-lined or not lined. If you are not familiar with this, rather than having a suit that is normally lined on the inside from top to bottom, in the back and front, there are suit options that have linings only in the necessary places. For example lining only shoulders, half of the back, and chest for example. Therefore all the other areas of your body are breathing more comfortably because you have less fabric. This will also make your suit lighter in weight.
You still can pull off a suit when its 100 degrees outside. The key is not compromising your comfort. You can do it with vest, by only wearing the jacket for less than an hour a day and even opting for suit styles that may be out of the norm. Stay stylish, my friends, even when it's a scorcher outside. It’s too important to your success as a financial professional.
Michael Ferrera is a fashion designer and image consultant who holds licenses as an investment advisor. Michael has a bachelor's degree in business economics from the University of California, Riverside and is an Amazon best-selling author. Michael Ferrera currently manages five different companies; one of which coaches financial professionals to strategically use style to enhance interactions. Michael also runs a fashion blog and YouTube channel at michaelferrera.com.
1 As has been noted previously on this topic, personal appearance is a sensitive topic, so let me start out with a couple of caveats. Implied in what I write here is the assumption that a certain appearance denotes success and that advisors should strive for this. You are entitled to reject that assumption. Second, while my recommendations are gender-specific, your gender is self-defined.