7 Great Alternatives to a Cotton Men's Suit

7 Great Alternatives to a Cotton Men's Suit

Cotton remains one of the most popular fabrics in which men's suits are made. Consisting almost entirely of cellulose, it's soft, fluffy, versatile and easy to maintain. For these reasons and others, cotton has become the preferred fabric for use in clothing, including suits. However, if you're looking to differentiate your style with a unique look, you may want to consider wearing a suit in an alternative fabric, such as one of the following.

#1) Linen

Perhaps the most popular alternatives to cotton suits is linen. Linen suits are made of delicate fibers from the flax plant. Linen is soft, absorbent and lightweight, making it ideal for use during the otherwise hot summer and spring months. If you're planning to attend an outdoor wedding when it's hot outside, for instance, you really can't go wrong with a high-quality linen suit. Its lightweight properties are simply unmatched in this regard.

#2) Wool

If linen is the most popular alternative to cotton, wool is a close second. As you may already know, wool is the fur found on sheep and other animals. It's soft, fluffy and particularly thick, making it an excellent choice for use during the cold fall and winter months. Wool suits offer a greater level of insulation and warmth due to their thick construction. The extra thickness helps to "lock in" your body heat, keeping you warm and comfortable even when it's cold outside. Keep in mind, however, that there are different types of wool, some of which are higher quality than others. Merino wool, for instance, is regarded as the world's finest quality wool. In order for wool to be labeled "Merino," it must be obtained from a special breed of sheep. This breed originated in Spain but has since been domesticated in other countries like Australia and New Zealand. Nonetheless, Merino wool offers a superior level of softness, strength and overall comfort. Because of this, Merino wool suits tend to cost more than other wool suits, but most men will agree that it's well worth the investment.

#3) Tweed

There are also tweed suits available, which is technically a type of woolen. Tweed suits are characterized by an soft and flexible texture that's usually woven with a twill or herringbone structure. It's available in countless colors and styles, all of which share these same defining characteristics. Tweed suits are often preferred for their modern look, which isn't found in other types of suits. Tweed's origins can be traced back to County Donegal in Ireland, where the fabric was originally created. Even today, however, County Donegal remains one of the world's leading producers of tweed. man-2585562_960_7203

#4) Corduroy

We can't talk about alternatives to cotton suits without mentioning corduroy. Corduroy is characterized by its "corded" pattern (hence the name). It's usually made of tufted cords, which may exhibit a channel separating the tufts. Another way to describe corduroy is a ridged type of velvet. It's soft to the touch, with ridges that you can feel on the surface. So, what makes corduroy suits a popular choice? For starters, they are incredibly strong and durable, more so than cotton, linen and other fabrics. Corduroy also boasts a unique style that blends classic and modern elements. There are several different types of corduroy, including standard wale, pincord and pigment. Of those types, pincord is said to be the finest and most prized.

#5) Polyester

While not as popular as the aforementioned suit types, polyester is still a viable alternative to cotton. It's made of long-chain polymers with dihydric alcohol and a terephthalic acid. Technical jargon aside, it's a synthetic, man-made fabric that's somewhat flexible and elastic. This, of course, is one of the reasons why polyester is commonly found in athletic apparel, including jogging pants and leggings. Its stretch-like qualities allow the fabric to bend without breaking. Polyester suits have this same quality, also bending without breaking (to a certain degree). With that said, however, polyester suits lack the high-end style of suits made from other fabrics.

#6) Seersucker

Seersucker is a thin cotton fabric that's characterized by a striped or checkered pattern. The term "seersucker" comes from the English and Persian languages, meaning "milk and "sugar." This is presumably because of its smooth texture that resembles milk and its bumpy texture that resembles sugar. Seersucker suits are a fun alternative to cotton that boasts an impressive style. And like other suits, you can find them in a wide variety of colors.

#7) Blends

Finally, you'll find men's suits available in a wide range of blended fabrics. Instead of featuring just one fabric, for instance, a suit may feature two or even three fabrics. Cotton and polyester is a popular blend that offers the best of both worlds. Suits featuring this blend are soft yet still somewhat elastic. Polyester is also found in other fabric blends, each of which has its own unique properties. Even if a suit is labeled as "cotton," it may still contain polyester or other fabrics. The only way you'll know what fabrics a suit is made of is by checking the care label (or the product description when ordering a suit online). Now that you know a little bit about the different alternatives to cotton suits, you might be wondering which fabric is right for you. Well, there's no single best fabric, as they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. When choosing a suit, consider when and how you'll be wearing it. If you plan on wearing it during winter, conventional wisdom should tell you that a thick fabric like wool will be a better choice than a thin fabric like linen. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of the different alternatives to cotton suits.