If you’ve been shopping around for a new suit, you may have been drawn to a polyester suit because it costs less than most other suit fabrics.

Of course, everybody loves a bargain, but is this bargain actually worth it?

It can be worth purchasing a polyester suit, but only if you do it wisely.

Once you know a bit more about this manufactured fabric, you’ll be able to shop wisely and save money.

How are Polyester Suits Made

Understanding where polyester comes from requires a brief science lesson.

Did you know that you can wear a suit made of fabric invented in a laboratory?

what is polyester suit

That’s right – polyester is a result of science. It was developed in 1941 by scientists when they created polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The resin of PET is then transformed into the fabric we know as polyester when the dibasic acids react with dihydric alcohols to form polymers.

That’s a slightly nerdy way of telling you that polyester is a pretty neat fabric that’s not made like other materials. Class dismissed!

Difference Between a Wool Suit & Polyester Suit

The first difference is that polyester is an artificial material. On the other hand, wool is a natural fiber and is sustainable.

So, to begin with, this makes wool a more environmentally friendly option.

what is wool suit

You might think that a wool suit would be too stuffy and hot to wear throughout the year, but that’s untrue. Instead, polyester is the fabric that is the uncomfortable choice for the warmest months.

This is because polyester doesn’t breathe the same way that wool does.

The wool fibers aren’t compressed to block air circulation, but polyester is. This means that fresh air can’t flow freely through your suit and around your skin, causing you to overheat when the temperature rises.

Two-piece classic stretch blue suit by Tomasso BlackKenneth Cole slim fit shirt in white color
White striped light grey tie by Scott AllanWhite striped light grey tie by Scott Allan

That’s not to say that polyester doesn’t have any advantages over wool. One of its most appealing features is that polyester is easier to care for than wool.

You can wash a polyester suit yourself (carefully, of course!), but a wool suit requires a very special touch that only a professional should handle.

cleaning small spots and stains

Polyester also lasts longer than wool and is far less prone to wrinkles.

Perhaps the most significant draw to polyester as a suit fabric is that it is far less costly than wool. However, as appealing as a lower price tag may be, it is essential to consider all aspects.

Best Colors for Polyester Suits

You can help elevate your polyester suit’s appearance with the correct colors.

A dark shade will serve you well if you need your suit for professional needs.

how to wear charcoal grey polyester suit

Polyester notch lapel charcoal grey suit by SuitshopSlim-fit herringbone white shirt by Calvin Klein
Striped white & light blue tie by The Tie BarTilden cap Derby Brown Shoes by Clarks

Look for a navy or charcoal grey shade, and your polyester suit will be instantly elevated.

Of course, a little shine to your suit isn’t always a bad thing.

If you’re wearing your suit for more casual situations, a bit of sheen to your fabric can be fun, so in that case, opt for a lighter color.

how to wear navy blue polyester suit

Nordstrom trim-fit white shirt by David Donahue
Solid blue tie by Kisstiesbrown derby shoes by Bruno Marc

Blue or light grey is not only a more casual shade but also can look stylish with the right accessories.

You can’t ever go wrong with a white cotton dress shirt; it’s indispensable when aiming for a very dressy look.

For a more casual approach, try light blue or pale pink shirts. You might even want to play with a patterned dress shirt but keep the print small.

But, again, cotton is the best, most breathable dress shirt fabric option.

How to Wear a Polyester Suit

The best way to wear a polyester suit is to wear it as a blend with another high-quality material.

Wool and polyester blends, for example, can be excellent materials together.

Mixing these two fibers can result in a fabric that brings you the best of everything. It can cut down on the cost of your suit but also help make the cloth more breathable than a full synthetic suit.

Rayon is another fabric for a suit that you’ll usually see mixed with polyester.

rayon suit fabric

However, the number one rule for wearing a polyester suit is to be sure that it fits properly.

It must be tailored to your proportions without looking too large or small in any particular area.

how to wear well-fitted polyester suit

If your suit appears to have been designed specifically to fit your body, it goes a long way toward looking professional.

Aesthetic & Quality Issues of the Polyester Suit

Before investing in a polyester suit, it’s essential to know precisely what you’ll be getting out of this suit, warts and all.

There are a handful of negative aspects that you should be aware of. First and foremost, polyester tends to look cheap.

cheap-looking blue polyester suit

The fabric has a slight shine, making it a dead giveaway that your suit is made from a cheaper material. That’s not always a bad thing, but there are certainly some situations where you don’t want to seem inferior.

When trying to make a great impression, like for a job interview or at a wedding, I recommend a matte fabric.

Again, polyester doesn’t breathe as well as natural fibers do. The problem when wearing polyester is that it will be hot, causing you to sweat.

Polyester is also a non-absorbent material. This means that the sweat builds up because polyester will trap the moisture against your skin. It creates a very uncomfortable cycle.

It’s also very unfriendly for the environment because it’s made using petroleum, a non-renewable, non-biodegradable source.

What are the Benefits of Wearing a Polyester Suit?

Polyester suits aren’t all doom and gloom. There are many reasons to wear a polyester suit!

Although the fabric’s lack of absorbency can be problematic when sweating, there’s also a positive side.

Polyester is the fastest drying material you can wear. So if you spill your drink at a dinner party, never fear! That will dry up quickly, so you won’t need to hang around in a wet, uncomfortable suit all evening.

That unique shine special to polyester can work for you in the right situations.

For example, for a fun and trendy suit for a night out on the town, a slight sheen can be great for cutting loose.

And don’t forget that a polyester blend is a fantastic option for year-round suits. Of course, you will sweat much less when a natural fabric is introduced to the synthetic, but you’ll also stay toasty warm in the cold months.

Is a Polyester Suit Good for Summer?

A suit made from 100% polyester is a poor choice for hot weather.

You need a fabric that can breathe. You’ll sweat a ton if the air can’t circulate through the material and doesn’t properly release your body heat. It’s also a quick way to overheat.

Unfortunately, polyester doesn’t absorb your sweat, either. Think about how uncomfortable it is when your clothing sticks to you in the summer; that’s precisely what polyester will do.

It will also rapidly start to smell. Your sweat will attach to the material without being absorbed and attract stinky bacteria.

Alexander Stoicoff
Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.

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