Evening wear from Summer
Evening wear is a broad term and can, as far as we are concerned, be defined as pieces that are too formal or festive for everyday office rotation. Depending on context and occasion that might mean a tuxedo, a dinner jacket, an evening suit or similar.
Summer is a season were these sort of garments gets a lot of use as it so happens to be a time of festivities for a lot of people. Beautiful as an off white dinner jacket or light taupe suit may be for a Summer wedding, it is arguably more versatile to invest in a piece of evening wear that will not feel out of place as season shifts.
In this fabric guide we decided to go over a few of our personal favorite fabrics that are dark in tone, yet still has an edge making them suitable for Summer wear.
Mohair high twist
High twists are a real go-to talking Summer wool cloths. Characterized by its breeziness and ability to keep its shape without wrinkling, high twist fabrics are perfect for formal or festive pieces and are wearable a solid three out of four seasons in a year.
The “Fresco” from Hardy Minnis is one of the realclassics in this category. It drapes beautifully and has a rich mélange effect to it. While the classic Fresco is great for Summer suiting there are alternatives that are more delicate yet still carries the preferable characteristics of the Fresco.
Pictured above is a black wool and mohair high twist fabric from Loro Piana. While high twist wools are often – as is the case with the Fresco – sturdy, mohair has a rich luster and a smoother touch. Adding a bit of mohair to a high twist cloth is a great way of getting both the shape and function of the high twist wool while still having something that stands out of that you might normally wear for a day at the office.
Linen has an unmistakably casual appeal and it is precisely for that reason we consider it a great alternative for evening wear pieces. Black linen is particularly favored by us in the atelier as it gently balances the line between formal and casual.
In similarity to high twist wools, linen is breezy. What separates linen from wool, however, is the fact that is does not keep its shape but rather wrinkles up as it is molded with use. A darker colored linen suit will look formal from afar, however, looking closer at it one will easily be able to tell the lived in character that linen gets after a few wears.
Depicted above is a black linen tuxedo jacket with a weight of 280gr. Double breasted with subtly grooved ottoman silk covering the lapels. The fabric is from Solbiati; a family owned fabric merchant based outside of Milan which specializes in linen and cotton fabrics. While the company offers a great deal on linen and silk mixes, this one is pure silk with a smooth hand touch and rich luster.
Few materials have the same distinctive luxurious appeal than silk. Silk is often used together with other fibers in fabrics to add shine and smoothness to the touch. In Winter, it commonly blends with cashmere and wool while it works perfectly together with linen in Summer. It can, however, be used in and of itself.
In the example above we have a midnight blue dinner jacket in a 100% silk fabric from Loro Piana. Looking closely you can see that the fabric is a plain weave which means that the warp and weft are aligned in the weaving process of the fabric, creating small diamond-like structures in the cloth. What is even more striking is the rich slub of the fabric, i.e. the irregular knots and knobbles that covers the entire jacket. These imperfections are created organically in the weaving of the fabric. Hence the placement of the clusters of slubs cannot be controlled in full.
The fabric is very light and delicate. Needless to say this is not a piece suitable for everyday use. On the contrary, this is something to wear for special occasions when durability is not your outmost priority.