Three Different Ways to Wear Linen Before Summer Ends

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

August 11, 2023 10:14 am
a collage of linen items on a crinkled tan background
Linen doesn't have to suck. Here's how to wear it for the rest of summer.
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Linen is a classically divisive (if misunderstood) fabric. Yes, it’s the unofficial official fabric of vacations everywhere, and there’s no denying its myriad benefits in scorching weather, but the care it requires can give crisp traditionalists and dry-cleaner apprehensives serious pause.

How to Wear Linen This Summer:

News flash: the linen gems available today aren’t your grandpa’s messy-looking duds. From Alex Crane to Todd Snyder 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.

Laid-Back Linen Shirts

Long-sleeve shirt, short shorts and retro-sneakers — it’s 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 Cranes Playa Shirt, is particularly forgiving when it comes to sizing.

Dressed-Up Linen Pants

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.

Tasteful Linen Tailoring

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 less obvious hue, like a classic navy if you’re particularly squeamish. If Alex Mill’s Mercer Suit is any indication, you’ll get all the breezy benefits of linen, but with a fraction of the obvious wrinkles.

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