Different climates, different clothes — the best cut in the world won’t make a thick wool suit useful in Miami. Social climate plays just as important a role in determining dress as well, with a man’s profession and leisure activities taking a hand in the shaping of his wardrobe.
Climate and Weather are unavoidable realities. Heating and air conditioning only go so far — the Midwestern man still has to slog through snow to get to his car in the winter, and the Arizona desert-dweller can feel the sun even through glassed-in windows. Changes in fabric are a man’s best ally for adapting to climate, with wools in thicker weaves counteracting cold and lightweight cottons offering breath-ability in heat. Lighter colors will also help keep the heat off, while layering of clothing and the use of cashmere’s insulating properties will keep a man warm in colder climates. Men who work inside eight hours a day will want to keep the typical building temperature in mind — if you have to walk in the snow but the office is kept furnace-hot, you’ll need to have layers you can remove or an appropriate change of clothes at work.
Social and Professional Expectations determine the “flavor” of a wardrobe. A businessman in a formal office may need as many as five or ten suits, if the expectation is that he will wear one every day. Since the jackets and trousers can be worn separately for more casual outfits he may have less need for sport coats or odd trousers as a man whose work expectations stop at a collared shirt. Men in less formal settings who still want to appear well-dressed may own a number of spot jackets but very few neckties, preferring open collars or alternatives like turtlenecks and sweaters. Most men find use for at least one suit, especially something simple and multipurpose like a basic charcoal gray.