Menswear | July 18, 2022 1:14 pm

Three Different Ways to Wear Linen This Summer

Top picks from J.Crew, Todd Snyder and Alex Mill prove it's time to show summer's favorite fabric a little love

a collage of linen items on a crinkled tan background
Flavio Coelho/Alex Mill/J.Crew/Todd Snyder

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Linen is a classically divisive fabric. Yes, it may be the unofficially official fabric of vacations everywhere, and there’s no denying its myriad benefits in scorching weather, but the texture and care required can give crisp traditionalists and dry-cleaner apprehensives serious pause.

News flash: the gems available today aren’t your grandpa’s messy-looking duds. From Alex Mill to Todd Snyder to J.Crew and beyond, retailers have figured out how to nail the A/C of menswear fabric. Leaning into the laid-back cuts, blending with alternative fabrics like cotton and hemp for a more even result, or just nailing the tailoring for picture-perfect results — linen is being used in better, smarter ways than ever before.

So whether you’re already team wrinkle or you’re just now looking to dip your toe in, we’ve highlighted three easy ways to rock it while looking like a million bucks.

a collage of summery items on a grey background
Adidas/Alex Mill/Urban Outfitters

Laid-Back Linen Shirt: Alex Mill Botanical Dyed Mill Linen Shirt

Pair With: Standard Cloth Oliver 5″ Nylon Short, Adidas Samba Sneaker

A long-sleeve shirt and short shorts have become something of a “cool guy” uniform of late, and incorporating a linen button-up adds of a whole new layer of texture to the party. You’ll want it a little on the boxier side: a wide-cut linen, like Alex Mill’s Dyed Mill Shirt, is particularly forgiving when it comes to sizing.

a collage of beige colored items on a grey background
Abercrombie/Huckberry/Todd Snyder

Biz-Casual Bottoms: Todd Snyder Italian Linen Madison Trouser

Pair With: Abercrombie & Fitch Mini Cable Sweater Polo, Chamula Cancun Slip Ons

The sartorial demands of an office job are an unfortunate reality come summertime — while creative directors, graphic designers and mailmen can wear 5″ inseams without anyone blinking an eye, shorts are often a no go at that big meeting. Try a crisp linen pant instead, paired with an on-trend johnny collar polo and so smart footwear.

a collage of a J.Crew linen suit and G.H. Bass brown penny loafers on a grey background
J.Crew/G.H. Bass

Tasteful Tailoring: J.Crew Ludlow Slim-Fit Irish Cotton-Linen Unstructured Suit

Pair With: Brooks Brothers Stretch Regent Regular-Fit Oxford, G.H. Bass Modern Larson Weejun Loafers

A linen suit is a bold move — there’s no getting around the fact that a day out on the town will establish more than a few creases. But we say lean into it. Paired with some classic ivy trappings, linen tailoring leans yacht club charm rather than a disheveled college professor. If you’re really concerned, try compromising with a cotton-linen blend. If J.Crew’s Ludlow Suit is any indication, you’ll get all the breezy benefits of linen, but with a fraction of the wrinkle.