Staying Cool While Looking Hot – Men’s Summer Fashion Tips

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Mary Zarob men's fashion stylist

Meet Mary Zarob, a men’s fashion stylist and clothier who got her start studying men’s fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. After designing for big name brands like Macy’s and Calvin Klein Jeans for over 10 years, Mary decided she wanted to work with men’s wardrobes on a more one-on-one client basis. That decision brought her to Phoenix, AZ where she is now working with Brothers Tailors to create custom ensembles to help men look & feel their best. Enjoy her industry insight to the world of men’s fashion.

As the temperatures rise, men get the urge to lose layers in order to stay cool. And I can’t blame you. Who wouldn’t want to dress in shorts and a t-shirt every day when the temps surge above 100 degrees? However, when you need to impress your boss, clients or even your date, no guy wants to sweat and be uncomfortable in what he wears. There are simple and easy tricks to know when building your wardrobe this spring and summer to stay cool and still look polished.

The Fabric

Let’s start with the base of every article of clothing…..the fabric. You want to wear light weight fabrics made from natural fibers such as cottons, linens, and even wools. Natural fibers tend to breath better and dry faster. I would also highly recommend avoiding heavy twills and cottons usually found in jeans and khakis. Make sure the fabric feels light.

But, don’t get me wrong, even in the denim department designers these days are making lighter weight jeans (and I would highly suggest those over heavy twill jeans). Many times, these lighter weight jeans even have a small amount of stretch to help keep you comfortable.

If light weight jeans still aren’t keeping you cool, look for linen and wool blend slacks or linen and cotton blend slacks. The blend of these 2 natural fibers give the fabric body and breathe well however, they do not wrinkle as much as 100% linen slacks do. Many of my clients don’t like 100% linen slacks because after 20 minutes, they are full of wrinkles.

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When shopping for dress shirts, stick with 100% cotton shirts. They breathe the best and will help you stay cool. Majority of dress shirts are made of 100% cotton but be sure to double check the content label because, some designers add polyester to help make the hand feel silkier (this blend may make you sweat more).

I advise my clients to select shirts that are not too heavy or textured. Linen shirts are another great option, however, again, they tend to wrinkle more quickly. I also encourage my clients to wear custom made dress shirts. This way, I help them ensure they fit is right and they feel comfortable.

On days you can dress more casual or are going out with friends, polo shirts and t-shirts with wicking or a performance feature is great to wear to keep you cool. Wicking is the official term for a performance feature that pulls moisture away from your body. Many knit tops have other performance features to help you stay cool and comfortable.

Custom mens clothing phoenix arizona mary zarob

Suit Up

Now let’s chat about suits and jackets. You can still dress dapper and polished in a suit when the temps rise above 110 degrees. There are 3 things to keep in mind:

1 – Wear suits made of natural fibers (Are you noticing a theme here?) such as 100% wool or wool blends such as wool and linen or wool and cotton. Natural fibers will breathe better and keep you cool.

mens fashion summer light weight fabric for men arizona mens custom clothing jack 2

2  – Make sure the fabric weight is around 250 gsm (definition of gsm here). These lighter weight fabrics will breathe better and keep you comfortable.

When I make custom suits for my clients who live in warm weather climates, I recommend wool and linen blended fabric with a fabric weight of 250-260 gsm. I love Dormeuil fabrics. They make the most luxurious fabrics and perform the best. They are woven in England and use two ply yarns. This gives the fabric a wrinkle resistant feature while still giving the fabric body. They have tropical weave fabrics which allow air to pass through.

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3 –  Some jackets are constructed with half or no lining. Lining is usually made of poly or rayon and this doesn’t breathe very well. Eliminating the lining in the jacket helps keep you cool. The synthetic fabrics that linings are usually made of keep moisture in and as a result warm you up.

Of course, the more layers you add to your look may get you hot but picking the right layer can help keep you cooler. We can’t avoid the heat this summer but these are some tricks to hopefully help you stay cool while you look cool.


To see more men’s fashion inspiration, follow Mary on Instagram @Qcontrary.mary.


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