Suit linings: a definitive guide

23 April 2015
Suit linings: a definitive guide

If you’re accustomed to buying suits off the rack, you’re used to having little choice when it comes to fit, pattern and colour. All too often, off the rack suits with a good fit and promising colour come with a lurid or adventurously patterned lining that just isn’t your style. That’s the great thing about made-to-measure and bespoke suits – you can choose any patterns and colours you like, not just the combination that the designer decided upon. You might spend a while choosing the main fabric you’d like your suit to be made from, but you should also take time to pick out a lining that not only complements your suit but also suits your personality. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to suit linings, let us answer your questions…

What’s the purpose of a suit lining?

Suit linings have functional and aesthetic purposes. They add another layer between the wearer and the fabric – lengthening the lifespan of the garment – provide warmth to the wearer add structure to the suit, and make it easier to put the suit on and take it off. The lining also hides various stitching, padding and raw seams, and of course, adds another colour or pattern that’s (hopefully) aesthetically pleasing.

What materials are linings usually made out of?

The choice of material for linings depends on budget, a tailor’s recommendations and personal preference. Synthetic fabrics such as viscose, polyester and rayon are popular, and natural fabrics such as silk or cotton may also be used. Satin and twill weaves are commonly used. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, polyester is very cheap but gives a poor quality finish, and silk is luxurious but tends to give the suit a heavy, very warm feeling.

What colours should I choose?

In the majority of cases, linings are single colours – but that still leaves you with plenty of options. First and foremost, you should only choose a colour that you like. The safest option is to choose a colour that matches your suit, but many individuals choose a slightly more adventurous route, opting for complementary colours or even contrasting colours. Lining patterns are a little trickier to get right – discuss your options with your tailor to determine which combinations work best. Here at Hemingway Tailors, we can even create fully personalised suit linings – send us an image or pattern and we’ll get to work.

What about unlined or partially lined suits?

Unlined suits are much lighter to wear, but can be much trickier to make. The tailor must ensure that all loose ends are tidied up and that every hem is perfectly finished so that the inside of the suit doesn’t look a mess. Unlined or partially lined suits are more breathable than fully lined suits, and are a popular option for the summer or in hot and humid countries. Partially lined suits may contain lining in different areas – usually the sleeves, and often the shoulders and chest areas, with the back left unlined for breathability. Unlined suits are typically only for casual wear, as they lose much of their structure without the support a lining provides.

Ready to book your appointment with Hemingway Tailors of Leeds? Give us a call on 0800 5423406 if you have further questions. 

Abbas Mahmood
Abbas Mahmood
As a lifelong purveyor of fashion, Abbas has been writing for Hemingway Tailors for 2 years, keeping readers up to date with style trends and delivering a regular insight into the world of tailoring.
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