Linen: When to Wear It

Women love it; men don’t understand it.

Before the advent of air conditioning, there was little escape from the dog days of summer in dress clothing.  For years, linen was the fabric of choice for keeping cool while looking good.  Now,
linen has returned in a big way as a choice for men and women.

Because of its chemical makeup, linen is one of the coolest fabrics on earth, and is the lightest material used in tailored clothing construction.  Derived from the flax plant, linen is unique in its ability to actually draw moisture away from the body.

Linen creates relaxed, yet sophisticated clothing.  You can style jackets and suits with open patch pockets and dress them down with a crew neck shirt, a polo, or an open collar linen shirt.  A
linen suit in navy or black is tremendously versatile: it looks great worn as a suit, but you can also wear the jacket separately as a blazer or the trousers alone with other jackets or sportswear.

Fancy Linen Irish Linen Italian Linen Linen Gabardine

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Mixing Patterns with Confidence

Combining stripes, checks and patterns doesn’t have to make you uneasy

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To take the uncertainty out of coordinating patterns, simply respect these rules:

  • Patterns fall into two broad categories: MAJOR (the pattern stands out from 5 feet away or more) and minor (the pattern blends in from less than 5 feet)
  • Your jacket and tie should both be in one pattern category (MAJOR or minor), while your shirt should be in the other category

This gives us two proven pattern-mixing strategies: MAJOR-minor-MAJOR and minor-MAJOR-minor.

What is the Best Shirt Fabric for Me?

Poplin: Very cool and crisp to the touch. Makes a great shirt for warmer climates, or the humid heat of summer. Starch not necessary.

Broadcloth: Lightweight and finely woven with no visible surface texture. Also great in warm climates or simply as a year-round dress shirt. A longtime favorite for most. Starch is not needed for performance throughout the day.

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