How to Stay Chic in the Heat
No matter the occasion, the Middle East is home to a fashion-conscious population that loves to dress to impress. Yet with temperatures that fluctuate between warm, hot, and quite literally scorching, we fine gentlemen mightn't be as flexible with the choice of fabrics as our European counterparts. Nevertheless, it needn't hinder our commitment to style and with a few tips and tricks, staying chic in the heat is easier than you may have thought.
When it comes to introducing comfort and experimentation into your everyday style, all it takes is a little knowledge about the right fabrics, fit and structure, to have yourself dressed to impress for any season - and most importantly, during the UAE's steamy six months of summer. After ten years in the business, we have mastered our craft, consulting gentlemen across the Middle East and the UK on how to dress beautifully, practically, and for their respective climates and needs. Below, we offer our top style tips on how to keep chic, even in the face of relentless heat.
Best Be Breathable
When it comes to weather, fabric, or the weight of it, isn’t everything. In reality, the fabric worn will vary by a matter of ounces for each piece, with minuscule differences that will rarely affect your temperature. Of course, cooler climates summon the use of thicker materials than do regions where the mercury soars, so whether you are looking to dress in a formal suit or going for a more casual style, those dressing for summer should opt for fabrics such as linen or lightweight cotton. Linen is a great fabric as it is breathable, so select clothing that has a cotton blend for added comfort.
What About Wool?
There is a common misconception that wool is only appropriate for cooler climates, yet is actually an insulator and therefore naturally keeps you cooler in hot climates, and warmer in cold temperatures. Of course, it wouldn’t be advised to wear a 14-ounce fabric or a flannel for example, as this would be reserved for winters in Europe. A lighter weight wool is however beneficial, and we’d suggest investing in 8 - 9 ounces (220 - 255 grams) that can be worn all year round and has a lightweight construction, deeming your suit wearable during both winter and summer while remaining durable. For the fashion-forward yet environmentally conscious gentleman, organic cotton is the ideal choice. Grown using methods that are kind on the environment, one of the lesser known benefits of organic cotton is that it is actually produced at a better quality than standard cotton, not to mention it boasts a better look and feel.
To Fuse or Not to Fuse?
If you are required to wear a suit, whether for work, a wedding or a gala event, the construction is actually the most essential factor when aiming to keep cool. A fused canvas adds weight to a jacket and does not allow the suit to breathe, trapping in the heat so you will end up feeling hotter, with higher levels of sweating which could also increase the chances of the glue coming away and the fabric rippling. Our suggestion would be to stick to a floating canvas, a much lighter option that allows the wearer to breathe. At Benjamin Siggers, lightweight construction in the shoulder padding and canvassing is our specialty and we do so to ensure comfort for our clients. The lining is also important, as Cupro, also know as Bemberg, is a natural material and, again, an insulator so will keep you cooler, opposed to cheaper acetate linings, which will trap heat. Another option is a deconstructed jacket which has no lining at all and currently Benjamin Siggers is the only brand in the UAE offering this as an option.
White Shirt Warriors
Choosing the right button up is also crucial to staying cool in the heat. Benjamin Siggers’ ‘perfect white shirt’ is made from a blend of organic cotton and a material called Tencel, a sustainable ingredient that is derived from the pulp of the eucalyptus tree. Known to absorb moisture, it has an added advantage to keep you cool and comfortable in the blazing heat. The organic cotton is also grown without fertilizers, pesticides, or ‘wrinkle-free’ chemicals like formaldehyde, which trap heat.
Who Wears the Pants?
When it comes to trousers, pick something light and breezy. The style of fit you choose will determine the extent to which the heat will affect you. The skinny fit is not a suitable style for hotter climates as it tends to trap air and moisture between you and the material. Adopt a cut that is slim enough to flatter your form, but loose enough to not restrict ventilation. In recent months, tailored chinos have become a rising trend amongst men. Coined ‘the sockless look’, this type of trouser is becoming increasingly popular for both casual and formal styles. Team your style with a lighter color palette, as darker colors are known to attract heat, so no matter what you’re wearing, you are looking stylish and on trend while keeping sweat to a minimum.