The one suit which will work in business environment and casual Friday drinks, which is the true four-season thing: navy fresco.
I’ve gotten this suit as a test of Zaremba budget MTM line. It’s kind of a prototype, in half-canvas and machine finish, so by default more affordable than their regular MTM line. But for now, this line has been halted and Maciej, the owner, is not sure when, and if, it’ll be available.
So don’t treat it as an ad for Zaremba; it’s more of a general thing, as fresco is a widely known fabric, available in almost any tailoring shop or MTM. It’s heavy and coarse, but breathable; it’s durable as all hell. For some, it’s a bit too scratchy, especially when used on the trousers. I don’t feel any discomfort wearing it though.
I’ve had it for a while now, and I find it extremely versatile. Not just as a summer attire; the fresco jacket works well with grey flannels and a light merino roll-neck. The fabric has enough texture to work with the rest of the ensemble like this. So if you’re looking for a single suit you can use a lot in various combinations, navy fresco is the way to go. Here are some examples.
Let’s get down to business
White shirt, printed silk tie and a white pocket square, and this suit looks serious enough to be good for any business meeting you’ll encounter. You can use the fact that the fabric doesn’t have any pattern, and if you choose the details right – besom pockets, for example – it’ll work just fine in such environment.
Shirt: Camiceria Olga Milano // tie: Poszetka.com // shoes: Carlos Santos
A relaxed suit
Another way to wear this suit is much more relaxed. Suede loafers, no socks. A grey popover shirt in cotton pique. No tie, nothing too formal. Sit by the bar, take the jacket off maybe, unwind, relax. A suit doesn’t have to be a stiff armour. It can be the thing you wear out of convenience: you don’t have to think about what to wear, because the suit is a simple, elegant solution to this problem; and if it’s well-tailored and fits you, it’ll be comfortable. Fresco makes it light and breathable. So just put it on because it’s there, and forget about it.
Popover shirt: Luxire.com // pocket square: Poszetka.com // shoes: Crownhill
Serious, but not too serious
This kind of outfit looks rather formal, but not as formal as a full suit. I would wear it to places and events that you expect people to wear jackets and sometimes ties – but a suit would be a bit of an overkill. Anyone can wear a suit. But you can see if someone knows what they’re doing when they have to dress like this – a little less formal, but formal nevertheless – not everybody can pull it off. You’ll be seeing a lot of crumpled chinos with suit jackets, and that is definitely not the way to go.
So dark grey wool trousers, and a shantung tie – the coarse texture beautifully compliments the jacket. It looks refined and classy.
Shirt: Camiceria Olga Milano // trousers: Benevento // pocket square & tie: Poszetka.com // shoes: Carlos Santos
With a sprinkle of fancy
The navy jacket is a perfect canvas for more creative experiments. It’s the outer shell, and it covers stuff that would otherwise be too bold. So go and play with a waistcoat for example – you can add a patterned one and the moment you start feeling uncomfortable, because maybe it’s too much – just button the jacket. But have the confidence to wear things like this – it’s interesting and fun.
Shirt: Osovski // trousers & waistcoat: Benevento // shoes: Carlos Santos
The simplest combo of all: navy jacket, pale blue shirt, beige chinos. You can’t go wrong with this outfit, and it’s a perfect smart casual thing. A walk through the city, a summer meeting over drinks in the evening, a date, a theatre performance, or just your everyday outfit. Simple, elegant, restrained yet comfortable. Shows effort, but not too much of it.
Shirt: Osovski // trousers: Benevento // shoes: Yanko // pocket square: Poszetka.com
So that’s my view – have fewer things, but ones you can use in a lot of different situations. A navy fresco suit fits this definition perfectly. If you have other ideas – be sure to let me know!
Photos: Jakub Płoszaj