Hopsack: A Classic Look for All Seasons & Occasions

Texture is in. If you’re looking for a subtle, yet powerful, way to create some visual interest in your day-to-day suit styles, then an interesting weave or raised thread profile is a great way to do it. It’s for this reason that hopsack has become one of the trendiest suiting looks around.

Today, the expert tailors from the Oliver Wicks team will be walking you through everything you need to know about hopsack—from what hopsack fabric even is, to why at least one hopsack suit should be in your wardrobe. So, let’s dive in!

What is Hopsack?

First up—what is hopsack material? Strictly speaking, it’s actually a hopsack weave, and can be made from almost any material. Typically, it’s a lightweight wool weave, as we find in most suiting, and has a basket weave thread style. It is a go-to fabric for comfortable summer suiting due to this light, loose construction. Plus it looks fantastic, too! It’s soft, breathable, and crease-resistant, so you can easily imagine how seamlessly hopsack can fit into your wardrobe.

Oliver Wicks sample fabrics from British and Italian mills

If the ‘sack’ in hopsack is making you curious about its history, we fully understand. The hopsack pattern does indeed come from the old-style sacks used to hold the hops for beer making. These bags weren’t made of premium wool, of course, but rather hard-working jute. But the characteristic loose and open weave, with a simple check pattern, was present. It leaves you with an informal, but stylish, bright and sporting fabric with a curious type of weave effect that catches the eye. Take a look at this hopsack example if you’re still not sure what we mean!

Navy vintage hopsack tweed blazer by Oliver Wicks

What Type of Weather and Occasion Do You Wear Hopsack In?

Hopsack is an ultimate hot weather fabric, packing breathability and coolness into one elegant package. With the open weave allowing sweat to escape (and a little breeze to keep you cooler), you’ll have a menswear option that’s relaxed and heat-appropriate, but still elegant and styled. 

This slightly less formal look means that hopsack is best suited to unlined garments, be it a classic hopsack blazer or a relaxed summer suit. Pairing crease resistance with casual refinement, it’s a go-to for daily activities and living life large. 

If you make a smart and snappy outfit choice around it—think a great hopsack blazer, some well-pressed chinos with a crisp linen shirt, and a timeless tie, you can even get away with this one in the office (though we’d stick with a classic suit for the boardroom and shareholder meetings). If you want to amp up the stylishness, you can consider something like a double-breasted blazer to add extra appeal. 

If you’d rather amp up the free-time vibes, you can relax the look further with smart jeans and a bold or patterned shirt. You can even consider a smartly curated open neckline and skip the tie, or swap in a loud or fancy tie to add some personal zest and catch all eyes! Of course, a custom navy hopsack suit with a crisp white shirt and patterned tie will always look great, from a casual day at the office to a smart lunch at the marina.

Due to this relaxed nature, however, hopsack is not always well-suited to very formal events or particularly smart occasions. It is a fantastic way to stay dapper and well-dressed for a casual coffee date, working in more relaxed offices, or, a romantic evening dinner etc.. A well-made hopsack blazer and crisp pants would be perfect for a semi-smart beach or destination wedding, but perhaps out-of-place at a particularly formal wedding ceremony. 

Remember the Oliver Wick’s motto—the fit that suits you. Just because this is a more casual fabric, doesn’t mean a sloppy fit will work! If you’re not sure how to measure for a custom fit, or how to ensure a ready-to-wear suit is right for your body type, don’t worry! We’ve created a handy series of measuring videos to help you get the perfect fit every time. Simply hop over to our website and make a free account (no purchase necessary) to get access to these handy tutorials and much, much more. 

Is it Only Suits That are Made of Hopsack Weave?

While hopsack fabrics can make for a smart made-to-measure suit, it’s far from the only menswear item you will find using hopsack material. Hopsack makes for the ultimate summer sport coat. We’ve already looked at how a smart suit separate blazer can really pack a versatile punch above, but did you know that hopsack is also a popular tie weave?

When used in ties, it’s typical to keep the characteristic hopsack weave, but it uses simple, luxurious silk instead of wool to create the fabric. You can see how well this works for a tie with subtle visual interest, without becoming overpowering, in our range of Oliver Wicks’ hopsack ties. This bold and dramatic ruby red tie is a top seller if you’re looking for a place to start. Hopsack also looks fantastic in lighter summer pastels and even bold jewel tones.

red hopsack silk tie from Oliver Wicks

Many men enjoy adding a pattern to their ties to make a statement. Because hopsack can be a little fragile, more complex patterns are often created with a cotton-silk blend for a little extra shape and longevity. You’ll find everything from intriguing micropatterns right through to vintage-inspired classics and fancy prints, so don’t be shy to experiment! 

What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Hopsack?

Of course, no fabric is perfect. As with all suiting materials and style choices, there are pros and cons to wearing hopsack. Let’s take a look.

Pros of Hopsack Materials

Hopsack is a versatile, light, and breezy fabric that resists creases and breathes easily. It’s also very forgiving to wear. While a well-tailored garment will always win the day, hopsack can be easier to wear in less structured patterns, and forgiving to drape. This also makes it a great suitcase companion if you’re traveling!

  • Coarse texture for visual intrigue
  • Crease resistant
  • Breathable
  • Cool to wear
  • Lightweight and forgiving in the drape
  • Great for half-lined garments
  • Ideal travel material—doesn’t wrinkle easily

Cons of Hopsack Materials

The breezy weave of hopsack material means that it has very little insulation of its own, so this is definitely a hot summer, or warm spring time fabric. Hopsack can also be a little fragile and rub easily due to its loose weave, so it’s best kept for leisure activities and not hard days of manual action. There’s a reason why you rarely see hopsack used for pants!

  • *Loose weave means the fabric is delicate and can rub/pill
  • Can damage or snag easily
  • No insulation, and not typically lined either, so not suitable for cold weather
  • Coarse texture is inappropriate for formal surroundings

Remember not to make the error of choosing a synthetic hopsack material. By using synthetic threads instead of silk or wool, you eliminate all the breathability and charm of the hopsack weave and risk it looking shiny as it ages.

*Side note: When we say ‘delicate’, we mean in comparison to other fabrics. These days, modern hopsack fabrics are much more resilient to wear and tear than they were twenty years ago. We can thank the development of modern textile technology for this!


You’ve now unearthed a secret of the sartorial fashion world—the hopsack weave. From lightly structured, smart summertime suits right through to go-anywhere sports coats and blazers, and even some fantastically textured ties, hopsack does a little of everything and does it well. While you may need to be a little more careful wearing hopsack fabrics than other weaves, they bring a great trade-off to the table in terms of breathability and coolness. Essentially, every elegant gent should spice up their wardrobe with some key hopsack cornerstones. 

If you’re not sure how to start adding hopsack pieces to your wardrobe, don’t worry! The expert tailors on the Oliver Wicks team are always here to help you make the most of your style and budget, so feel free to drop us a line at custom@oliverwicks.com for more advice.