You’ve likely been going to bed with linen for years, its strength and practicality matched by a low thread count that makes it one of the most breathable fabrics around.
It’s precisely these qualities that have also made it the quintessential summer cloth in menswear, as soft as cotton but with the ability to keep you even cooler underneath.
However, as every intentionally wrinkled Pitti Peacock knows, linen loves to crease — often making it look straight out of the dirty washing pile, even when it’s fresh out of the wardrobe.
So before opting for the fabric head-to-toe, here’s how to become acquainted with easy, breezy linen shirts to keep your sartorial bar rising in line with the mercury.
Why You Need A Linen Shirt
The cotton polo shirt has dominated casual summer dressing for decades, and you only need to look as far as Elvis Presley to see why. But the smarter linen shirt, a perfect blend of debonair and dishevelled, certainly has the chops to compete.
The fabric, a product of the flax plant, is used on a number of cuts from the traditional long-sleeved to the now staple Cuban collar.
To minimise creasing, linen is often blended with cotton — ideal for summer wedding suits that won’t leave your style in a crumpled heap. However, if you want to take full advantage of its cooling properties, it’s best to look for 100 per cent linen.
Also, the sustainably minded of you out there should note that blends are almost impossible to recycle.