How To Stay Cool In A Suit – Top 20 Best Ways To Beat Scorching Summer Heat
Summer style? More like sweltering, sweaty style for most men. If you think wearing a black, heavy-weight polyester suit in heat is a breeze, well my friend, you are in for a world of hurt, or hot, should I say.
Compare that to a light grey suit, crafted in wool and linen with double vents on the rear to swoosh air up the back. Throw in a hot-climate friendly lining for good measure.
The result is dramatic, you’re no longer dying. The difference in comfort is without question, day and night. If you’re not accustomed to summer weather year round or hot temperatures for that matter, a winter suit is not going to be your closest friend.
In reality, it’s going to be your worst god damn nightmare as you melt into the sidewalk!
Luckily, there are a few rules you can follow to add a little of paradise to your summer style. From materials, to undershirts, shoes, tips I’ve learned over the years and beyond, you’ll find everything you need to know below.
1. Stay hydrated.
It’s a no brainer. Now, while the recommended intake for an adult male is around 13 cups, or 3 liters per day, who has time to keep track of that? To make things easy, just carry around something like a CamelBak Chute 1L Water Bottle. Fill it up three times per day and you’re golden.
This is what I drink from; it’s been at least a few years since I first invested in one. It’s BPA-Free, built like a tank and the pour spout makes life simple.
2. Take note of the material.
Ideally, you want to wear a suit with an open weave fabric. By this I mean, fresco, linen, cotton, high twist wools, and seersuckers. In reality, it’s hard to go wrong with seersuckers or linen in my opinion.
Wool: Unlike lightweight linen, it hides wetness and manages the wrinkles better. While you might think wool equals warm, the reality is that wool is super absorbent, not to mention quick drying; two things you really need in the summer time. Keep in mind that wool doesn’t always mean heavy-weight, the truth is, it’s rather light.
Consider Tropical Worsted Wool, an open weave worsted wool fabric. Or, go with Fresco, a high twisted wool with a plain weave crafted from multiple yarn. With an open wave, it’s ultra breathable, though not as soft as Tropical Worsted Wool.
Silk: While it doesn’t handle sweat all that well, it does have a high absorbency going for it. Generally speaking, save silk for the ties and not the suit jacket. It works wonders to fight off the dreaded hot and clammy feeling you get around the neck.
Linen: Ultra breathable with a track record of keeping cool dating all the way back to the Egyptians in 5000 BCE.
Seersucker: Made from cotton, Seersucker features a distinctive weave with threads that compacted together.
3. Get a suit jacket that’s half lined or unlined.
If you look inside most suit jackets today you’re generally going to find one common theme: A silky, smooth texture. While it looks luxurious at first glance, it’s actually there for a different reason. In reality, the construction helps you slip your arms in and out of the jacket with ease.
For most days with a low temperature, you sort of forget all about it. When the summer time rolls around, the feature you used to take for granted, turns into this big hassle. The truth is, a great deal of suit jackets today have a lining that’s constructed with synthetic fibers. Take polyester or viscose for example; both of which breath terribly in comparison to natural fibers.
Granted this is not the case for every single suit jacket out there, for a good majority it’s true. To deal with it, you’re going to want to a suit jacket that’s either half lined or unlined.
Now, while you might think unlined would be cheaper, let me tell you now, that it’s certainly not. Why? Because it requires more interior finishing which ups the price. In other words, it needs to be sewn more carefully because all the seams are exposed.
Cost aside, an unlined jacket is worth every penny when you start to consider how breathable and lightweight it is. On certain loose-weave fabrics such as a seersucker, certain liens and hopsack, fitting a lining is difficult to begin with anyways.
On an unlined jacket, the name implies it all. However, most of the time the sleeves will still be lined. You always opt for no sleeve lining to up the cool factor. Of course, the sleeves of your dress shirt can often stick to the sleeves of your suit causing some movement issues.
The other option to consider is a half-lined suit jacket, where the lining covers the upper back and shoulders. The back is left bare.
4. Choose the right color.
Chances are you already know the difference between wearing all black and all white in the summer. The dark the color, the more heat it absorbs from the sun.
When it comes to suits, aim for lighter colors. Think light grays, tans, soft blues, creams, etc. Avoid black, navy, and dark solid colors when possible.
5. Loose the undershirt.
The good news is you’ll stay cooler. The bad news is you won’t be able to wear your shirt twice without needing to wash it immediately.
If you still want to wear an undershirt, then go with a deep v-neck made of either bamboo or linen. Just make sure that it doesn’t show should you go tieless and unbutton your collar.
6. Drop the socks or cuff your trousers.
Master the look by wearing a pair of loafers. Avoid buying a trousers that are a shorter length. It will look like you bought the wrong size on accident. Not to mention, you can’t really adjust the length to your idea of perfect as you could with a full length in the first place.
7. Open up your collar and lose the tie.
If it’s business casual in an environment where showing respect isn’t a requirement, then consider dropping the tie and unbuttoning your collar. For some of you I know this won’t be possible.
Regardless, if it is just take note of your undershirt and pay attention to the collars. The last thing you want to do is to be looking exhausted in a hot suit with your collars flapping around as if they’ve just given up too.
8. Consider chewing gum.
While gums like spearmint or peppermint won’t physically make your body colder, they will send a signal up to your brain.
Remember, perception is reality. If you think about how hot is it and dream of the desert with a dry mouth, you’re going to feel hot. If you think of a snow-capped mountain with a piece of gum in your mouth to reinforce that idea, suddenly things start to feel more comfortable.
Another one of my recommendations above. At one time I owned stock in Wrigley Jr. Company before they were bought out by Mars Incorporated. I bought into them for a good reason. Of course, I chewed a lot of gum in the process. Simply put, they know how to make great candy and 5 Rain Spearmint is a solid example of that. It’s long-lasting and the flavor is top notch.
9. Wear loafers instead of lace-ups.
Your feet will thank you.
Of course, beyond the shoe type consider the often overlooked, insoles. A pair of summer insoles can offer dramatic relief from hot and sweaty feet.
10. Add a small or portable fan to your office desk, alongside an emergency kit.
Let’s face it, not everyone in the office will agree on the perfect room temperature. The slim girl in a dress is freezing while the overweight guy who hasn’t hit the gym in years is burning up. Of course, the boss could be looking to cut down on the energy bills too.
Get around all of that and give yourself a nice breeze on demand on a with a small office desk fan.
Also consider throwing a little emergency kit in your office desk drawer. It can include things like spare cologne, face wipes, deodorant, a cooling towel and so on. To really be prepared, keep a few spare shirts at your desk.
11. Take comfort in the shade and air conditioning.
Easy enough right? If you want to avoid the heat from the sun, avoid it. If you want to cool down a bit, go indoors and bask in the comfort of the AC.
12. Invest in a cooling seat cushion.
Either for your car or for your office chair. While the morning trip to the office might be easy given the lower temperatures, the drive home is often the worst. If you have plans for after work, the AC will only go so far. Sure, it will cool down the front of your body, but not the back where all the sweat tends to collects against the hot leather.
If you don’t have cooled seats in your car from the factory, you can take comfort in knowing there’s plenty of aftermarket ones out there. Best of all, the technology has really improved over the years. The Snailax SL26A8 is a good choice. It offers 3 cooling levels, and in the winter you can make use of the 2 heating levels.
There’s also all sorts of cooling cushions for your office chair that aren’t clunky or noticeably unattractive.
13. Lose the jacket on your commute.
Save yourself earlier on in the day from heat exhaustion by putting your jacket and tie after you’ve walked in the office. Remember to hang your jacket up using the back seat hook or lay it down neatly if you’re in a pinch.
14. Carry a handkerchief everywhere you go.
Your hands suck at wiping sweat away, your handkerchief does not. A quick dab on the forehead, eyebrows and neck can make excessive sweat far more manageable.
15. Wear dress shirts with natural fibers.
Much like the suit jacket material I mentioned above, when it comes to dress shirts don’t just settle for any kind. Go with a long fiber cotton over a short fiber cotton.
The difference can be found in breathability, softness and of course, durability to handle to high heat.
16. Watch what you eat.
Believe it or not, but what you eat affects how much you sweat. Perhaps the biggest food of them all to watch out for is fat. It moves extremely slow through the digestive system, which in turn requires more energy to digest it, thus making you feel warmer.
Of course, this is also true for foods like peanuts, brown rice, fresh ginger, and yes, beer. Peppers will make you sweat more, however, in return more sweat equals more cooling sensation for the skin.
When it comes to foods that actually cool you down, you want to choose ones with a higher water content. Think watermelon or leafy greens.
17. Material isn’t all the matters!
There are a few things you need to consider such as: Are your sleeves roomy enough for enough air flow? Do the vents on your jacket allow the maximum amount of air to flow up the back as possible?
If you aren’t sure if you’re the vents on the back of your suit are cut, check now. It’s common for most guys to forget all about them.
18. Give yourself time to cool back down.
If you go for a run or work out in the morning, don’t rush into work afterwards. Instead, relax into the day and give your body enough time to adjust its core temperature back down first.
19. Don’t sweat like a roasted hog.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant. For some of you, perhaps you may have a problem with excessive sweating? Naturally a suit does more than protect your body, it keeps you warm.
However, if excessive sweating is a problem beyond your control, you might want to look into different solutions. The cheap deodorants at the grocery store don’t always work for everyone.
Another thing to consider is when you apply it. Did you know that the best time of day to do so is after a shower and just before bed? In reality, the worst time to apply any kind of wetness protection is the moment you are a sweating like a hog.
20. Don’t be such a cry baby, the world already has enough of those!
Suck it be, be a man. Look, I get it, during the summer time wearing a suit gets hot. It’s like sliding lava from a volcano over your body and walking around like you’re on fire. Now, I know most of you don’t live in a tropical climate, so you haven’t had time to get conditioned to the high heat.
However, what else can you really do about it? Until they invent self-cooling suits, you’re going to have to do what men have done for generations: Deal with it!
To me, suits are a treasure with a long historical past. If you can’t handle the occasional downsides in contrast to all the upsides, perhaps you shouldn’t be wearing one in the first place. I’ve known plenty of gentlemen that sells cars in the extreme summer heat; never have I heard any of them make a fuss while wearing a suit.
Try jumping in a car that’s been baking in the sun all day, reaching temperatures of 130 to 172 degrees. The seatbelt alone will melt your skin right off. Do you think they tell their customers they can’t go pull up a car and close a sale because their too hot? No.
And this is with the modern invention of air conditioning! Just think back to all the gentlemen years ago who wore suits on a daily basis with absolutely zero relief, other than standing out in the shade.
You have an easy life! If you can afford the luxury of a suit in the first place, why in the world are you even complaining?
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.