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We’ve talked a lot about pairing fabrics with the season — which is very important for suits. When you are working within the particular structural framework of the suit, the primary variable in meeting the requirements of the weather is fabric. But we don’t always have to wear suits. We can debate the pros and cons of this — i.e. the ease of uniform vs. the freedom of choice — but the fact remains that wearing a suit in an inappropriate setting is a little off-putting.

The sportcoat — or blazer — is an easy way to bridge the gap between casual and formal settings. The blue blazer is a great item to leave in your office for unexpected meetings, but let’s take it a step further. One of our favorites is the soft jacket, sometimes referred to as the travel jacket. Defined by a very light canvassing, or none at all, the jacket can wear like a second shirt. In much the same role a structured chino trouser plays, the soft coat can bridge the gap between the work week, summer evening impromptu get-togethers, and even a weekend night out. All while maintaining a vibe of casualness — without being too casual. Because just like wearing a suit to a barbecue, putting on a sweatshirt for dinner sends the wrong message.

There are simple things that we can do to stay comfortable in the summer — lighten up the fabrics, maybe forgo the undershirt, even ditch our socks — in order to maintain a certain level of internal decorum. And the soft jacket fits the bill. Comfortable on the outside, comfortable on the inside.

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