Tuesday, March 27, 2012
It would not surprise to hear you ask to be spared from yet more praise for tan, light blue and gray but spring is in the air and tan or stone jackets like Mr. Grant's come into their own in the sunshine. As do light gray (the light blue suit is thankfully rare but a jacket in that color can work as a blazer).
The rest of my own tan came out of storage last week, though as of yet only the Solaro has been pressed into service. The weather this time of year calls for heavier weight worsteds as often as it does mid-weights, but ten to twelve ounce (300-360 gram) things are about to come into their season. And of those it is the tan suit that gives the most pleasure, for it is a color that is not terribly useful in winter but brings a new look to spring.
There are a few other suitings that are best for spring and warm fall. As I have written before, they were summer cloth decades ago, but today are too hot to wear in summer while remaining too cool for winter. Their place is between those two extremes. Perhaps chief among them is wool gabardine, sometimes seen in navy, olive or stone but most often in tan. Solid color gabardines, and there are only solids from which to choose, were once widely worn in summer for both suits and odd jackets. And though there are lighter weights available these days, they still wear warm and have virtually disappeared from summer view.
Two other moderate temperature suitings come to mind. The aforementioned tan Solaro, classicly a twelve ounce cloth, is one of those. Silk dupioni is another. Dupioni's tight weave means its ten ounces also wear too warm for real heat, but are just fine for temperatures in the seventies (20-25 C).
What gabardine, Solaro and dupioni have in common of course is that they all look best in tan. And that is the other reason they are perfect for spring. Pair a tan suit with a black or gray necktie, a light blue shirt and a pair of lighter weight shoes and a man is ready for the new season. Are you ready?