Needless to say, both seersucker and linen are common summer suit fabrics and for good reason. However, despite some similar benefits, they are very different fabrics that each have their own unique characteristics.
In this guide, you will learn whether you should invest in a linen or seersucker suit for summer:
- What Are Linen & Seersucker?
- Linen & Seersucker Similarities
- Linen & Seersucker Differences
- Should You Wear A Linen Or Seersucker Suit?
- Where To Buy A Seersucker Or Linen Suit
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all.
Linen Vs Seersucker Suits
Both linen and seersucker are fabrics prized for their performance in hot weather. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they’re so popular for the summer. While they may have a number of similarities, linen and seersucker have a few key differences that you should know about.
Linen is produced from flax plant fibres and has been a popular summer fabric for tens of thousands of years. Meanwhile, seersucker is a particular method of weaving cotton. This fabric originated in Persia and was popularised in the west following the British colonisation of India.
You can learn about linen’s history and production process as well as the best suits to buy in our main linen guide. Similarly, we have a seersucker guide that will provide you with insights about this fabric too.
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Seersucker & Linen Similarities
Unlike wool, both cotton and linen are plant-based fibres as mentioned above. Nevertheless, either a seersucker or linen suit tends to be regarded as far more casual than wool.
Their casual look is often attributed to both fabrics’ somewhat textured appearance. Firstly, linen has small naturally-occurring knots in the weave called slubs, which are part of its aesthetic appeal. Yet, very fine linen may not feature any slubs at all.
On the other hand, seersucker’s slack-tension weave results in a bumpy texture. Additionally, seersucker is often made with blue stripes or checks. However, solid seersucker suits have started growing in popularity, which feature a puckered finish.
Fabrics For Hot Weather
For different reasons, neither fabric clings to the skin when it’s hot. Both fabrics offer excellent ventilation for the summer and hot weather, which is why they’re often used to make shirts as well as suits.
Seersucker’s stripes are raised, which offers air circulation and keeps you cooler than flat cotton. Meanwhile, linen is naturally moisture-wicking and a heat conductor. Its thick yarn allows air to pass in the weave and it often feels cool to the touch like metal.
Finally, both cotton and linen are often blended with another fabric in order to compensate for any of their shortcomings such as the weight or tendency to crease. While wool is usually the most popular fabric, silk can be found in more expensive blends.
Linen & Seersucker Differences
Firstly, linen is usually more expensive than seersucker as the production process is quite labour-intensive. Linen fibres are inelastic, which means that they break easily when being woven. In fact, cheap linen can be quite rough and itchy, which is why it’s best to invest in quality.
However, weaving cotton into seersucker is somewhat more affordable in comparison and quality fabric is easier to find on a budget.
Furthermore, sweat will likely be more visible if you wear seersucker. Linen is very absorbent but it takes a lot of moisture for it to become saturated.
Meanwhile, cotton soaks very quickly in comparison. Although we’re specifically comparing suits in this guide, linen’s ability to resist moisture saturation is why it’s often considered as a shirt material in the heat.
Similarly, linen dries faster than cotton and is much more resistant to tearing.
Will Linen Or Seersucker Keep You Cooler?
Arguably, linen will usually offer better ventilation than seersucker when it’s hot despite being a heavier fabric. Indeed, linen isn’t quite as lightweight as people think and is often just as heavy as the wool that you would wear in winter.
Although seersucker is more lightweight, its weave is denser than linen. Consequently, the fabric tends not to breathe as well as can be quite stiff.
In comparison, linen’s added weight improves the way it drapes without sacrificing breathability. In fact, a particularly heavy linen fabric may rumple rather than crease.
Nevertheless, a well-tailored seer sucker suit will probably crease less than one made from linen. Although both cotton and linen have a tendency to wrinkle, seersucker’s unique weave means that it’s less susceptible to developing visible creases while you wear it.
After all, seersucker’s texture means that it has a purposefully wrinkled look, which is what makes the ventilation so effective. Therefore, any additional creases blend into the fabric. Consequently, you won’t have to press a seersucker suit as often as linen.
Is Linen Or Seersucker Better For Hot Weather?
Ultimately, your choice in summer fabric is largely a question of personal preference given the considerations we’ve listed above.
Although neither option is perfect, both have distinctive characteristics and advantages. Aesthetically, linen and seersucker are both very different.
Generally speaking, linen is regarded as a more mature fabric. Although some may find the creasing frustrating, the wrinkles can be embraced and even stylishly worn as part of a studied sprezzatura look.
Meanwhile, seersucker stripes may be considered somewhat more casual, especially if you wear it as a sport jacket in hot weather. Indeed, it can be considered as somewhat preppy in comparison.
Nevertheless, seersucker’s ability to conceal creasing thanks to its crumpled finish means that it may be more suitable for men on the move.
For instance, linen creases most when sitting due to the build-up of moisture when pressed against the seat and behind the knees. Therefore, people who drive or wear jackets when sat down may prefer seersucker’s endurance.
Additionally, linen provides little to no insulation. Therefore, it’s very effective when outside. However, if you’re in a hot area, you will feel cold when going somewhere with air conditioning. Meanwhile, seersucker offers a balance by keeping you cool outside but providing some insulation indoors.
Finally, solid seersucker also presents itself as an excellent alternative to both fabrics. Given that its creases are camouflaged by a puckered appearance and it doesn’t feature any casual stripes, it could offer some men the best of both worlds.
You can learn more about its benefits with our dedicated guide to solid seersucker.
Where To Buy Linen & Seersucker Suits
Although linen can be somewhat forgiving, a well-tailored fit is imperative for seersucker. Given that most seersucker suits feature stripes, a poor fit will be much more visible.
On the other hand, linen is easier to wear and can sometimes be worn slightly large for better air circulation. Nevertheless, an overly-wrinkled linen suit that’s too large can quickly make you appear dishevelled and neglectful.
In either case, we believe that the fit of your suit is paramount and the very foundation of a stylish look. For this reason, we will often turn to made-to-measure suitmakers when investing in our wardrobes.
While this may sound expensive, you may be surprised that it can cost you less than a designer off-the-rack suit. For instance, Indochino retails linen and solid seersucker suits for as little as $399 and you can get an extra 10% reduction if you use our exclusive discount code “BESPOKEUNIT“.
Similarly, we also like using Black Lapel, which is a little more premium. However, it produces a magnificent Egyptian blue suit for summer made from a wool, linen, and silk blend by E. Thomas. You can also benefit from our $50 coupon if you use the code “FTOBESPOKEUNIT“.
Now that you have learned about the differences between linen and seersucker for summer, why don’t you check out some related content?