By: Christine Nociti
The elegance of wool speaks for itself with the same quiet confidence of “old money” but that is only one of the many reasons many top tuxedo and formalwear designers choose to work with wool. Classic, natural, timeless and crisp- are just a few of the many ways we tend to think of fabric that has resiliently carved out a permanent space in the fashion world.
Wool is friendly to its owner. It is a material that breathes so it is the perfect companion for special occasions when perspiration is unwelcome. Typically the wools used for formalwear design are made of high quality weaves and do not wrinkle easily. Wool is also extreme durable and tear resistant.
Standard Worsted Wool is the fabric of most tuxedos carried by formalwear stores. The thread count speaks to the softness of the fabric and 65-80 threads per square inch is typical of worsted wool found in the industry. When making your choice, another point to consider is the overall look of the tuxedo. Wool tuxedos are matte, so for those who prefer to avoid fabrics with sheen, natural fabrics are the way to go.
There are obvious reasons to consider wool alternatives, and microfiber is a popular choice these days. Wool can be less comfortable than some of the more modern fabrics and in warmer temperatures the benefits of synthetic fabrics are worth considering. Microfiber is extremely comfortable and virtually wrinkle free. The fabric is also “light” which adds to its appeal. Most blends, Super 120s, 130s, 150s have a nonchalant softness about them. The fabric is high quality and often costs either as much as or even more than wool alternatives due to its popularity.
Ultimately which fabric is right for you is a matter of personal preference. Long since the Europeans perfected the production and tailoring of cloth the fashion-forward have synthesized style with their environment and personal preferences. Understanding the differences between wool and microfiber can only enhance your formal wear shopping experience.