A cotton suit makes for a delightful autumn uniform.
We’re not shy about our love of cotton suits. In fact – if you’ll pardon the unwieldy metaphor – you could say we wear our love of cotton suits on our cotton sleeves. Our Creative Director, Michael Hill, is a well-known advocate, and our friend David Coggins has extolled their many virtues in these very pages.
Nevertheless, it can still be a perplexing proposition for some. Neither smart enough for formal occasions, nor casual enough for those more relaxed affairs, a cotton suit can sometimes seem like it’s not one thing or the other. But therein lies its beauty. A cotton suit should not be the first suit you buy, and perhaps not even the second or third, but for the man who has the essentials covered – navy wool, grey flannel etc – a cotton suit is an indulgence and a sartorial joy, a garment that is entirely unburdened by ties to a particular occasion.
Therefore, a cotton suit speaks of potential, and of dressing for oneself. You can don a cotton suit because you want to, with no need for further justification, and as such it becomes a vehicle for self-expression.
That may sound a touch grandiose for what amounts to – as David Coggins puts it – “a pair of chinos with a matching jacket”, but as we know, clothes are always greater than the sum of their parts. And while a cotton suit can be worn at more or less any time of the year, besides the dog days of summer, they feel particularly right in the autumn time. A substantial cotton twill suit can feel like a reassurance, as it moulds and shapes to the wearer’s body, and will provide a quietly stylish uniform for the transitional weather.
If a cotton suit should be worn for one’s own satisfaction, then equally it should be paired with whatever the wearer feels like. If the day calls for a shirt and tie, then so be it. If a polo shirt feels like the wiser choice, then that’s just as good. Snuff suede loafers or canvas tennis shoes? When it comes to a cotton suit, there’s no wrong answer.