Whenever I flip through fabric bunches trying to choose my next suit or shirt, there’s often at least a little amount of aspirational fantasy involved. Considering, say, a new tuxedo for that rare black-tie event I might attend I picture myself wearing it to the opera in Vienna or, if my imaginary self is particularly rakish, perhaps to a casino on the French Riviera. Wearing it somewhere, anyhow, that is recognisably not the hotel convention room I’ll probably be in.
It’s ridiculous, of course. But, I have found these last few months that these aspirational fantasies now strike closer to home. Instead of imagining a trip to Rome, I now imagine a trip to the bar down the street, or even to simply go on a mask-less walk again. As my fantasies have scaled down, so have my clothes.
My latest pick fits into this pattern: all the function and versatility for that fantasy night out on the town or, in my case, for the reality night sitting on a couch watching a film.
Dugdale’s Tropicalair bunch comes through once again. Here’s a sandy 11oz, i.e. 300g for our European friends, taupe-coloured wool woven in the characteristic high and open twist that defines tropical wool fabrics. As we get into the dog days of summer, the open weave lets the garment breath much cooler than conventional wool, or even than some more densely woven cotton fabrics. The high twist, meanwhile, helps prevent excessive wrinkling which is perfect for traveling or, more likely, for a long day wedged in your chair at your home office.
Unsurprisingly, I find that lighter colours like this are a natural fit for summer. Warm neutrals in particular are a workhorse for the season and can serve as a tonal base to support more adventurous shirts or accessories.
This fabric would work well for an odd jacket, with notch lapels, patch pockets, and a one-button close, or as a pair of odd trousers. But I see this shining in a two-piece suit. The jacket as a one-button, peak lapel number and the trousers made without turn-ups. This could be finished off very casually with no tie and soft leather loafers. More formally (but not too formally!) the same suit could be worn with cordovan tassel loafers and a knit tie. Or, if your current reality is like mine, worn barefoot while lying on the couch. NWW