The Informant: The All-Purpose Summer Party Uniform

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Around this time every year, I begin preparing for summer suit season and face some hard truths about myself: I get overheated pretty easily; I keep my clothes cleaned, but not dry cleaned; and I’m not a Derby Day bowtie type. All of this being true, it took me a long time to find a non-bench made suit that solves for my human foibles—or covers them up anyway.

But I did find it. The Carry-On Suit from Buck Mason is made with a stretch cotton twill blend that is blessedly stain and sweat resistant—or at least seems to be. And the wider cut is breathable where it doesn’t feel like its just layering over things on hot days. The 3-roll-2 button look keeps it perfectly in style for an open jacket look but it can be buttoned up if the occasion warrants. The wider-than-usual, straight cut leg shape and broader front suits a larger frame (there aren’t those awful razor-thin lapels that look so silly on a broader chest). It’s a patch pocket suit, making anything you’re keeping on you from a spare pen to loose change is easily accessed without the fuss and detailing of most tailored suits.

I got mine in “canteen,” which is really an olive green, settled just on the other side of the electric fence from “army drab.” The color makes the suit. Olive suits can really go to 94% of all functions. I type and mingle for a living and dread “formal,” but the Carry-On carries on fine at both the airport and a child’s christening. It’s got a soft shoulder that doesn’t make me feel like I’m standing at attention. Still, it feels intentional. It’s not Hollywood, but it’s not exactly counter-programming.  (Jason Segel wears Buck Mason on Shrinking, because customer Allyson Fanger wants him to look cool, but not excessively so.)

And then there’s the best thing about the suit: It doesn’t wrinkle, it rumples. Wrinkled is bad. Rumpled is fine. Rumpled is, arguably, good. The world is made up of three kinds of people: those who don’t bring a suit to the dry cleaner after one wear, those who don’t bring a suit to the dry cleaner after one wear—and then lie about it, and those who do bring a suit to the dry cleaner after one wear because they want to look good on the stand attheir murder trial. It’s best to be the first kind of person and just pair the suit  with a linen shirt. That’s a uniform.

My uniform is great. I wore it with a tie to a members club interview; I wore it with Chukka boots and a black t-shirt to a date. Great reviews all around. My only worry is the color has begun to fade from overexposure to the summer sun.

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