Guide to Mens Linen Suits

Spring Men’s Fashion: Linen Suits

mens-linen-suitsLike the necktie and blue denim, suits will never go out of style for men. This can pose a bit of a challenge, however, when spring arrives and the days start getting warmer. We all know that the standard linen suit isn’t the most comfortable thing to wear when the sun is out. What’s a fashionable man to do? He goes out wearing a suit – albeit in linen.

A Bad Rep
Despite its long history of use in the men’s fashion industry, linen has a less than ideal image to many people. A lot view it as something for the old fuddy duddies, a retirement home style staple. Done the right way, however, linen can be sharp as the best of them.

One of the things that tend to turn guys off the linen suited path is the wrinkled quality of the fabric. To this we say: embrace it. It’s the wrinkles that give linen its own distinctive character. Like a pin stripe or micro check, it’s a very subtle detail that adds a sartorial touch to your outfit without subtracting any of the formalness. Any way you look at it, a well-made linen suit will only work to your advantage.

What’s sure, though, is that linen will always be much more comfortable than wool on a balmy spring day. It breathes better in the heat and has added wicking properties, making it a prime style staple for warmer days. You should seriously consider a linen suit or four.

Dress Up, Dress Down
Something you’ll discover about the linen suit is that it can easily be dressed up or down, a rare and difficult feat in men’s fashion. This is something you will appreciate in a suit, whose pieces usually get mixed and matched throughout a variety of dress codes. In the summer, there are also the ambiguous codes of things like garden parties and brunch.

A fully formal outfit can be assembled with classic pieces like a crisp white shirt and a standard silk tie. For something more appropriate during the warmer months, a pastel or some light color will also work well. To dress it down, on the other hand, replace shirt and tie with a soft, solid v-neck tee or a light henley. You could even skip on the trousers and go out in more laid back choices like jeans or a pair of (preferably colored) chinos.

Demand for Details
One common concern for the fashion-minded is that a linen suit won’t end up looking as formal as its wool blend counterparts. If you have trouble believing that all the wrinkles can be perfectly sharp in the board room, these style tweaks should change your mind.

The trick to assembling a formal outfit with a linen suit is to pull out all the stops with the traditional details demanded of a suit. Pick out a really good (and, hopefully, modern) tie. Prep a pocket square. Learn how to attach that tie bar. See that your lace-ups (or loafers, if you want a more relaxed look) are spotless. Even if someone at work does take issue with the wrinkles in your suit, the details should at least meet their sartorial standards.

Linen is much too good a fabric for men’s fashion to exclude and for you to overlook. With the kind of comfort it offers, it’s hardly a choice you’ll want to neglect, as the days get warmer and the wool suits get increasingly awkward to wear.

Other Suggested Readings:
Guide to Brown Dress Shoes
Casual Friday Dress Tips

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