There is a conception that linen is difficult to wear as it crumples after you just look at it. That, to a degree is the beauty of linen, the Italians wear their shirts just like that, it’s part of the way you wear linen. But don’t let linen’s susceptibility fool you.
A respectable pinstriped button-down collar can be a great way to wear the shirt to work, just as much as the summertime staple, or if you so want, try a linen suit, but don’t let the creases deter you, the more formal options tend to be blended with cotton, so you will be saved from looking as if you wore it to bed the night before. The lightness of them makes it far easier if you have to wear a suit in a hot environment, as it makes the skin easier to breathe than if you wear heavier fabrics, there are two options, either embrace the wrinkles or keep your ironing board out.
A linen shirt might be a looser, breezier, that may be your everyday broadcloth shirt, but don’t let that become a shirt that looks flappy as you walk down the street, so look for shirts that are trim cut through the body, try going for a short sleeved shirt and make sure that the cuff hits your biceps instead of your elbow. That’ll take 10 years off the shirt alone.
But also a too-long linen shirt is a friend of no-one, but if your shirt is short and boxy then certainly let the hem fly free, and if you prefer the more traditional, longer shirt, tuck that bad boy into your trousers for a more polished look. Be bold in going for colours when thinking of buying a shirt.
The good thing about linen shirts is that they are great for those that are prone to damp underarm patches in the more humid summer days, thanks to the linens’ low thread count. Because just like dress shirts the details really make the difference. Linen is better than a synthetic fabric, but that doesn’t mean you might not get pit stains. Try an undershirt or go for black, navy or white shirts which won’t show underarm sweat like grey or blue tend to do.
The linen shirt is allowed to be rumpled, that’s part of its charm, but please don’t take that as permission to let it sit on your bedroom floor in between you wearing it. Take it to the dry cleaners if you’re a little afraid of it getting ruined in the washing machine as the fabric looks fresh instead of unkempt.
A good linen shirt can be worn underneath tailoring and more than holds its own with a smart chino, and to that end, here’s how to take the summer staple and give it a young-guy spin. If you’re after a winter spring, summer or autumn wardrobe addition with a cross-aesthetic appeal, a line shirt is right for you. Surely.