Buck & Breck is based out of D.C., by all means a lovely town that’s known for its penchant for suits and more formal attire (a part of how this site came about). For those unfamiliar with the history of the nation’s capital, it was built on a swamp and was slowly filled in with dirt to create the city we know today. Despite the District of Columbia receiving a fair share of gorgeous weather throughout the year, the fact it rests on what used to be marsh land tends to result in a lovely microclimate of 100% humidity, soaring temperatures, and non-stop sweating for its denizens.
If you take into account the brutal heat, coupled with the fact that a majority of the workforce in the city is required to wear full suits or business formal attire to the office makes for a guaranteed disaster.
Like any animal put between a rock and a hard place, people in the city had to survive somehow - which is why many residents in the city have come to adopt a few life hacks for dressing for the weather while not sacrificing office attire decorum.
So we all know humidity sucks, but it helps to know why it's such a nuisance. High humidity means there’s more water vapor in the air, which makes it difficult for your body to sweat efficiently - hard to cool down your body with water when it’s already choking your pores out from the outside.
The trick to beating humid weather is to find fabrics that drape on your body which creates less resistance between your skin and your outfit, as well as materials that can breathe so you’re not suffocating or blocking water from leaving your body. As a suit-wearing DC-resident who frequently walks from one end of the city to the other, here are a few of my top choices for materials, and styles that can help you out.
LINEN: It's not just relegated to the caribbean or the more temperate climates of the world, linen is a great fabric to beat the heat. It’s incredibly light, porous, and breathes well in high humidity climates. It’s important to note that it does require extra attention in terms of washing, drying, and ironing (it wrinkles easily).
I’m a huge fan of SuitSupply’s Lazio Light Brown Check suit - it’s 100% linen, and comes in a classic 2-button style.
SEERSUCKER: I know this material is often associated with taking your best gal to the debutante ball, but seersucker is making a comeback in a fun way with many designers repurposing the fabric into more modern suits. It drapes well, and does a great job of wicking sweat away.
Mango, a men’s brand based out of Barcelona, makes a very chic and edgy modern seersucker suit that looks awesome.
Light Colors: Kind of a no-brainer, but the more obvious way to beat the heat is to avoid colors that absorb sunlight. Lighter blues, whites, and tan colors are all in style and help beat the heat. These colors also pair well, so you can have a lot of fun trying out different outfit combinations.
I love J. Crew’s summer picks since they do an incredible job with picking light color combinations that look great on any guy. Here is there short-sleeve irish linen shirt coupled with a few other light colors that really pop.
Higher Cuffed Pants: Say what you will about the Pee Wee Herman aesthetic, but it’s impossible to deny cuffing pants to show a little ankle is in. It’s also a great way to give some air to your legs, even rolling your cuffs just a bit creates some much needed breathing room for your skin. Pair this look with some fun shoes, and you’re in business.
Zara has a solid collection of Chino’s that cuff easily and look great for the aesthetic I was talking about -
Loafers: Easy to slip on, and if you pair them with low-cut hidden socks, you can capture that effortless summer look without looking too informal. Every guy should have a pair of these in his closet, here is one of my favorites from Cole Haan which has been the end all be all of loafers for me since I was a kid and raided my dad’s closet.
Deconstructed Blazer: Most offices require some sort of suit jacket or blazer as appropriate attire for men - you can circumvent the sweaty results of wearing a stifling jacket by opting for a deconstructed blazer. These have less structure, are made of lighter materials, and drape a lot easier on the body. You can feel the difference when you put them on too!
GANT makes a gorgeous unconstructed jersey blazer made out of cotton, letting your body breathe and move easily.