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

There are four main types of linen, each with its own characteristics.  Fancy Linen is woven by alternating thick and thin threads and is often combined with silk and other fibers.  Irish Linen always comes in solid colors; it is very closely woven and tends to crease less than other linen.  Italian linen has a less uniform weave than Irish Linen.  It is also lighter and softer, making it more suitable for summer suits, though it does crease more easily.  Linen Gabardine is a less traditional cloth than the plain weave.  It is slightly heavier but softer and more resistant to creasing.

You are all thinking, “LINEN WRINKLES!”.  The fact is that linen does wrinkle.  In fact, it is guaranteed to wrinkle.  What you have to remember is how to use linen in the proper setting.  Linen is now used as much for fashion as for function, so you don’t want to make your workhorse suit in linen.  However, for social occasions with clients, or smoking a cigar with your colleagues, linen is the perfect choice.

And remember, women dig linen on men (and vice versa!).  It exudes confidence and taste.  You won’t have to apologize for the wrinkles,
because they are to be expected.  Wear linen with a close toe sandal and no socks for the ultimate cool look.  Or sport a linen inlay shoe for a higher level of sophistication.

So go ahead, get in the pool.  Wear linen and be cool this summer!

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