Shirts are essential kit for the sunnier seasons. Because, no matter what’s down south, they say that you’ve made an effort – or at least the illusion of it. And there’s something for everyone: the Oxford, chambray, denim, Cuban collar, flannel. All of these are solid regulars when the temperature rises because they’re versatile, reliable and easy-to-wear. It’s a no brainer. Chances are you’ve got one in your rotation too. But don’t count linen out. Linen is just great.
Due to lots of creasing, and lots of ironing, and lots of ‘patriotic dad who lives year-round on the Algarve’ undertones, the linen shirt is yet to find its place in the starting team – and that’s just plain wrong. 100 per cent pure linen shirts will crease more easily, but that’s part of its character, and it’s not a flaw per se. These aren’t rigid and pristine shirts to be worn with a tie and a three-piece suit. They are slouchy, relaxed, breezy and soft; worn easily over your swim shorts as you nip to the bar somewhere in the Mediterranean (we will get at some point), or over a vest and blue jeans at a friend’s Sunday BBQ.
In those situations, who cares about creases? They’re more like whiskers and honeycombs in selvedge denim jeans – all part of the charm. But, in some instances, a fabric blend mixed with cotton, polyester or even viscose means some linen shirts hold themselves a little better, and won’t crease as easily.
And they can be fun, too. Your summer wardrobe will thank you for it. To help you on your way, we’ve picked our top 10 favourite men’s linen shirts for you to try out this summer.
For something a little different, outdoors-led camping brand And Wander offers this long sleeved, soft red linen shirt with a practical pocket (and carabiner). Could even go rock climbing if you fancied.
Mr Porter’s in-house label, Mr. P, shows its summery golden take on the staple short-sleeved linen shirt. Blended with cotton for a softer finish, this shirt will work well with a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
Canali employs a simple beige stripe design for a more formal, yet relaxed, approach to the linen shirt. Tuck into a pair of grey, pleated trousers with some nice loafers and wow, you’re an Italian magnate’s son.
We all know the colour navy is a mans best friend: trousers, knitwear, caps and t-shirts, it all looks great and they all go great with one another. So why not add a summery linen shirt to that navy rotation?
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