If cream linen is the iconic suit of summer then oxford gray flannel is its cool weather counterpart. Here it is, paired with a light blue shirt and a dark blue necktie by the late Gianni Agnelli.
Now when I first thought about gray flannel I questioned whether it met the criteria for inclusion as a clothing icon. I defined icons as things most men would recognize but few of them wear for one reason or another. But as I thought about it, familiar though gray flannel is, I couldn't recall seeing many gray flannel suits worn by other men. Chalk stripes of all kinds of course, as well as some checks, but few plain grays. Perhaps it's the feeling that every man has one, so few acquire them.
Whatever the reason, a properly mottled gray flannel is my favorite cloth, and my choice if I could have just one suit. My own is H. Lesser's Lumb's Golden Bale, about a 12 ounce weight of merino wool. It can be dressed up with a white broadcloth shirt and a solid navy necktie, or down with pink oxford cloth and a black grenadine.
I give you the gray flannel suit.