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29. May 2020

The Fabric of the Month – June

by

Noah Werner Winslow

It seems like just a few weeks ago I was reaching for the flannels and sweatshirts. Then, it’s as if someone flipped a switch and the weather jumped straight to summer. Now, I know the vagaries of my local weather so I can count on just a few more days of cool. But, there’s no mistake: warm days are coming.

People seem to have difficulty dressing in the summer- a whole topic I have some thoughts on- but to me nothing is better than the joys of a season-specific wardrobe. Just like seasonal foods, certain clothes just shine through at their own time of the year and make each month superior for its uniqueness.

To that end, I’ve been thinking about summer fabrics. Shirt fabrics are first to mind (seersucker, anyone?) but there’s one idea about summer I hear time and again I’d like to put an end to: that it’s impossible to wear jackets in the summer.

Well, let me introduce you to this little number: Fox Brother’s Fox Air Char Blue cloth. I first laid eyes on it while idly flipping through a fabric bunch, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Let me give the specifications:

The cloth is made from merino wool, woven with a high twist which helps prevent wrinkling and gives the cloth a bit of a ‘spring’ to it. The cloth isn’t dense, either, letting air to pass through easily and which goes a long way to stay cool in the heat. The weight meanwhile, at 315 grams is enough to maintain a nice drape and shape, something that often gets lost on lighter weight fabrics.

It’s a delightful alternative to navy blue; still quite smart, but without the visual weight that navy can have, which lightens it up nicely for summer. It also means it can be used in just about as many combinations as you can think of.

And, if I may, a few suggestions on how to wear it that I can think of:

First would be as an odd jacket. My personal preference is two patch pockets and a standard chest pocket, in a 3-roll-2 configuration- but, in a nod to my fellow guest authors, I have to admit a one button configuration would be impeccable. The trousers to pair would be very light grey (the lighter the better for summer, I say) in an adjoining high-twist wool. Finish off with loafers- perhaps deerskin, or an unlined calf- but undoubtedly something soft and light.

Or, for those who prefer a more dressed up look, the fabric could easily be made up into a full suit. Being only slightly lighter than navy, the char blue works well in many of the same settings but brings a quiet elegance for its subtle difference. I’d recommend something single-breasted and single-buttoned- more tolerable in the heat, you see- but in terms of styling, it could easily be dressed up or down. I could imagine well: a full suit, semi-draped with notch lapels, a light blue shirt (perhaps a cotton-linen mix) and black oxfords. Or, alternatively, the same suit in a slightly more trim cut, with peak lapels, one button, worn with a pocket t-shirt and soft moccasins.

And those are only three suggestions! The possibilities are practically endless, so scroll back up and take another look at that cloth. There’s something for everyone. NWW/MM