Spring Cloth Guide
Every good wardrobe starts with cloth. We love our cavalry twills, Shetlands, and corduroys in the fall and winter seasons, but come April, those go into storage in favor of more breathable materials.
Whether they’re in the dressy tones of blue and gray for business, or the creamy, citrus colorations of casual weekend jacketings, fabrics such as linens and tropical wools define comfort in spring and summer clothes. This season, we have dozens of fabrics available for our Ring Jacket suits, sport coats, and trousers. They range everywhere from your staple hopsacks and worsted wools to more unique weaves and patterns.
Spence Bryson Linens
Men are often looking for ways to dress down their tailored clothing. We think one of the best starting points is in the construction of a jacket. A half-lined linen suit, for example, will not only wear cooler than wool, but it’ll also have that natural, charming rumple that can make tailoring look casual.
There’s good and bad linen, however. Good linen will be made from a long-staple flax fiber, which means it’ll soften with age, but never pill. We particularly like these cloths from Spence Bryson, one of the oldest and best linen weavers in Britain. These mid-weight fabrics have a bit more heft and body, which means they’ll rumple more than wrinkle – useful if you appreciate linen’s inherent casual sensibility, but also want to maintain some semblance of shape in your clothes. After a long day’s worth of wear, these will make you look more carefree than careless.
AMJ07 Travel Jacket Fabrics
Some of the jackets we’re most excited about this season are our new AMJ07 travel sport coats. Produced in collaboration with Ring Jacket in Osaka, Japan, these are made without any kind of structure – no chest pieces, pads, or even lining inside. They’re easy to fold-up and pack into suitcases for travel, but also have a casual sensibility that works perfectly for weekends.
We’ve made our AMJ07 sport coats this season from three distinctive fabrics: a dusty pink, wool-silk-blend from E. Thomas for those who want to make a statement; then a lustrous, mid-blue wool-silk herringbone from di Pray, which almost looks like denim from a distance; and finally a springy, cream puppytooth linen from Fratelli Ormezzano that serves as a reliable companion for hot summer afternoons and evenings.
Wool-silk-linen blends are great for summer since they have the best of all three worlds – the drape and natural wrinkle-resistance of wool, combined with the strength of silk and breathability of linen. The best part is that weavers are often able to achieve more unique textures in this blend than they would with any one fiber alone. This E. Thomas fabric, for example, has a slubby, but subtle crosshatch weave – almost like a finer version of a painter’s drop cloth, but considerably softer and more breathable.
Vitale Barberis Canonico Tropical Wool
It’s hard to find a good, year-round cloth that you can wear from January to December, if only because no fabric will do everything. That said, our core 4-ply fabric created in collaboration with Vitale Barberis Canonico is about as close as you can get. Depending on your climate, they’re wearable for a good three seasons out of a year.
As worsted, tropical wools, they have a porous weave, which will allow heat to escape like an open screen door on a hot, July afternoon. At the same time, they’re also sturdy, mid-weight fabrics, coming in at 12/ 13 ounces per meter, giving you just enough insulation for all but the coldest days of winter.
The best part of VBC’s tropical wools is the fiber. Made with high-twist yarns, these fabrics have quick recovery and a naturally springy hand, which means they’re genuinely resistant to wrinkles. Just scrunch some up and see how the fabric quickly bounces back. They’ll still hold a sharp, pressed crease down your trousers, but won’t take on the finer wrinkles that come with sitting down for hours at a time. For that reason, these are a particularly good choice for travel suits.
Fox Brothers Summer-weight Worsteds
If you love flannel as much as we do, you have Fox Brothers to thank. The Somerset- mill was the first to weave flannel into a suiting – bringing the soft comfort of the material into fall/ winter wardrobes. Today, Fox is still a standard bearer for wool flannels. Theirs is a bit more mottled and napped than others, with a handsome finish that’s as insulating as it is stylish. To quote Esquire, “just as Harris Tweed carries the banner for tweed purists, Fox Brothers lays claim to the one true legacy of flannel.”
Fox isn’t just a specialist in flannel, however. They have hundreds of years of experience in weaving and an extensive design archive. We worked with them to produce this summer weight worsted wool – a navy suiting with a special and subtle stripe. For being a lightweight cloth, weighing around seven ounces per meter, it has a remarkably good spring back quality, which means it’ll hold it shape after a full day’s wear. An excellent choice for summer business suits, both in terms of design and performance.