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Choosing a Suit: Getting Acquainted with Fabrics and Thread Counts

Style Guide

Choosing a Suit: Getting Acquainted with Fabrics and Thread Counts

Hemant Varshney

If you are in the market for a new suit, the first thing you might think about is what style would be best for you or the occasion the suit is needed for. But something you also need to consider is the suit’s fabric. The right fabric will not only be appropriate for the season, but the fabric’s quality can really give the suit that special flair. This article will give you a well-rounded understanding of what constitutes a seasonal and high-grade fabric for your suit. 


Wool: Wool is the most common suit fabric. Contrary to popular beliefs, wool is a versatile fabric that can be worn year round. Its ability to absorb moisture will keep you cool, even when you have to sport a suit on the hottest of summer days. Wool is also comfortable, wrinkle resistant and a great investment as it tends to hold up longer than many other fabrics.

Cotton: Like wool, cotton is also a durable fabric that can absorb moisture and sweat making it an excellent choice for any season, not to mention a great way to control body odor! It is also easy to maintain and machine washable. It comes in second to wool only because of its lack of ability to appeal to European sensibilities. 

Linen: A linen suit is a great looking and light-weight choice for summer months. Unfortunately, its tendency to crease easily does not make it the most practical option. 

Flannel: A flannel suit will keep you nice and warm in the winter but the fact that the fabric doesn’t breathe much makes it almost impossible to wear in warmer climates. This, combined with the fact that the fabric tends to peel, may explain why it has fallen in the ranks of popularity.

Thread Count (What’s your Number?):

So what exactly is thread count anyway? Well, it’s actually the number of threads woven together in a square inch of a fabric. The threads are counted lengthwise and widthwise. Though some may associate thread count with linens, they are key in determining the quality of a suit’s fabric, and, for the most part, the higher the number the better.

The number given to the thread count is called the Super number. An ideal “Super” might range in the low hundreds assuring comfort and quality. A higher number will result in a higher price tag, but beware…When numbers start getting up around 400, the fabric will be thinner and may cause the suit to fall apart faster and be harder to clean.

Now that you have a good general knowledge of suit fabrics, you are ready to move on to the fun part, color, style and fit. To be sure you get the most out of all your suit’s features, you may want to consult experts like the fashion design team at custom clothiers Astor Vance. They will see to it that you are in a comfortable, durable, quality suit no matter what the occasion.