If you've never been interested in suits before you got engaged, then you likely already know that shopping for your wedding day attire can feel pretty confusing. At first glance, classic black or gray suits might all look the same, but a closer look shows that there's more to these pieces than meets the eye.
Specifically, it's the fabric that differentiates a wedding suit, which is why we've created this guide to break it all down. Suits can come in all different types of textiles, and the material you choose can say a lot about your style and the look you're aiming to achieve. So to help you navigate it all, we consulted with menswear expert and president of Generation Tux, Jason Jackson, to highlight the most popular wedding suit fabrics and ease your stress about finding the perfect look.
Meet the Expert
- Jason Jackson is the president of Generation Tux, an online rental company that offers an extensive catalog of quality suits and tuxes, in an array of sizes, styles, colors, and aesthetics.
How to Choose the Best Materials for Your Suit
Picking the right fabric for your suit can be overwhelming but it shouldn't be impossible. When beginning your search, one key way to find a look that's right for you is by avoiding any fabrics outside of your comfort zone. Thus, don't wear textiles you've never worn before, avoid anything that'll make you too hot or cold on the big day, and stay away from materials that restrict your movement.
Aside from comfortability, consider your budget, as some fabrics come at a higher price point than others. After that, your decision should lie on your personal preferences, based on the look, feel, and overall aesthetic of the material on the suit, in addition to external details such as your wedding dress code, season, and theme. "Season, location, and dress code obviously play a role with fabric material, but at the end of the day, you want to be comfortable and look your best," Jackson shares.
Popular Suit Fabrics and Materials
Now that you know how to go about selecting a fabric that works best for you, your next step is to actually choose one. From flannel to cotton and tweed, here are the most popular suit materials you should know in order to make an informed decision.
Blended materials are exactly what they sound like—a mix of two different fabrics. For suits, this usually means wool or a type of wool as the primary fabric, mixed with another material like silk, linen, or cotton. What's great about blends is that they typically offer a bit more versatility in the way they feel and look. For instance, a wool and linen blend allows for a more lightweight suit as opposed to a heavy 100 percent wool outfit. This blend also won't be as cool as a full linen suit, making it ideal for transitional weather.
Cashmere is a very lightweight and soft natural fiber that is considered a fine type of wool. Given how soft and luxe the material feels, cashmere suits will typically come in at a higher price point than most fabrics. But while a cashmere suit may seem like a great option to wear to a wedding, it's important to know that this textile is very delicate due to its extremely soft texture.
Ideal for spring and summer weddings, chambray is a type of cotton fabric that leans more casual than formal. It's usually light blue in color and can look similar to denim, and has a soft, lightweight feel that makes it great for warmer weather.
Save a chambray suit for a daytime wedding in the summer or a more casual event.
This natural fiber is a popular choice for a variety of reasons: it's comfortable, it isn't too expensive, and it's easy to find. Most importantly, this material allows for movement no matter the design of a suit. Cotton suits are generally more casual, though, so this textile isn't the best choice for more formal affairs.
Flannel is most appropriate for a wedding taking place on a snowy day in the middle of winter. This fabric is usually a type of wool and feels warmer than your average suit material. What's more, though flannel can be found in suits and sports jackets, it typically has a thicker appearance causing it to come off as more casual than formal.
Lightweight and airy, a linen suit is ideal for summer weddings, especially ones on the more casual side. While it's comfortable to wear and beautiful to look at, this material has one major downside: it wrinkles quickly. As of late, linen is become a popular choice in the wedding fashion space, with grooms opting for linen suits for their summer, beach nuptials.
For those looking to save on a suit, polyester may be the way to go. “Polyester suits are often selected for their affordability," notes Jackson. This material is quick-drying and wrinkle-resistant, but the cut in cost does have its downsides. Polyester will likely be warmer and less breathable than other suit materials, and it may have a bit of shine, making it less aesthetically pleasing in a suit.
This cotton fabric has a distinct look due to its tightly woven composition. It's also a breathable material and a great choice for grooms who'd like a unique aesthetic. "The appeal of seersucker suits lies in their lightweight, breathable properties and unique puckered texture, making them ideal for summer weddings and outdoor events," says Jackson.
When you want your suit to be as luxurious as possible, opt for silk. Given that it's a luxury fabric, it does have one of the highest price points out there, so be sure to keep your budget in mind when considering this material. Additionally, silk has a shiny look to it and it isn't very breathable, so opt for its textile for fall or winter events.
Another type of wool, tweed suits are a favorite for autumn weddings. According to Jackson, “Tweed is popular for its durability, warmth, and distinctive texture, providing a sophisticated, vintage-inspired look for colder months and more formal events.”
This luxe fabric feels just as soft as it looks. And while full velvet suits aren't that popular, velvet tuxedo jackets have been a top choice for grooms in the past several years. This material also comes in an array of colors, which allows you to showcase your personal style when leaning into this fabric.
A natural fiber that is both breathable and wrinkle-free, wool is easily the most common suit fabric out there. This material is comfortable, it works for any season, and it looks good at almost any kind of event. And when shopping for a wool suit, be sure to specifically look for merino wool. "High-quality merino wool is a top choice for its lightweight, breathable nature and ability to maintain form while offering stretch. This fabric outshines synthetic options such as polyester, providing comfort and style for any occasion," notes Jackson.
When shopping for expensive, high-end suits, you'll likely come across worsted wool. This popular material has a smooth and soft finish, with a lovely texture that has zero fuzziness. It's also more lightweight than its standard wool counterparts.