Hello everyone, and welcome to The Rakish Man. My name is Léon Philippe and I am here with all the right responses to your sartorial queries. I’ve poured my first glass of Grand Marnier, so let’s get started.
I love wearing tailored clothing, but I find it really uncomfortable in the summer. I live in a warm climate - if I wear a suit jacket, I end up sweating like a pig. What should I do to maintain a gentlemanly appearance when it’s so hot? Thanks for your help.
- Heated in Houston
Thank you for your query. First of all, never compare yourself to a pig. The pig is a noble animal, without which civilization could never have attained such heady heights as bacon, prosciutto, and the movie Babe: Pig in the City. But a gentleman would do well to downplay his own porcine qualities, whether they relate to perspiration, appetite, or hygiene.
Now, back to your query. You have asked me how to adapt your wardrobe to your climate. You have the question entirely backwards. Rotate this dilemma in your mind and the solution becomes clear. You must instead adapt your climate to your wardrobe.
Since you claim an interest in tailored clothing, you are no doubt aware that the finest fabrics are the heaviest ones - flannels, tweeds, and so on. Lighter weight fabrics cannot maintain the shaping and therefore the grandeur bestowed by a tailor’s efforts as well as these heavier fabrics can. I have found that these fabrics are comfortable only in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or so. I therefore seek to locate myself in such an environment at all times. Indeed I am writing to you now from Australia, currently in its winter season, while wearing a pair of heavy flannels and a tweed jacket, completely untroubled by the difficulties you describe in your letter.
If you are particularly hot-blooded, the temperate Australian winter may still be too warm for you to tolerate. In that case, spending the season in Antartica may be your only solution. But understand this would only be for the few weeks of British summer, and therefore a small sacrifice to make in order to enjoy the best tailored clothes 365 days a year.
By the by, if you do end up coming to Australia next summer, perhaps we could share an apartment. I would be happy to put my sartorial expertise as well as general knowledge at your disposal in exchange for some small consideration on the rent.
Ed. note: If you have a query for The Rakish Man, please send an email to david at nomanwalksalone dot com and I will make sure he sees it.