In the heat of the summer, there is nothing as good as linen. This light fabric is breathable, durable, and looks amazing. You don’t have to study anything about fabrics to wear linen and look amazing. So, what makes linen the ideal choice if you want to look and stay cool outside? Let’s find out!
Linen is usually made from the flax plant’s fibers. These plants were originally grown and woven in ancient Egypt where it was used for several purposes. The Egyptians loved linen – only priests were allowed to wear garments derived from the flax plant. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a priest or a king to afford linen for your summer.
Linen is usually used in the textile industry. This is why most clothing manufacturers didn’t use it to make clothes until the early 90s. Today, linen is everywhere, especially in the summer. Linen clothing is more expensive than cotton and synthetics due to the high production costs and limited resources available for use.
Whilst at Pitti Immagine last year the Italians trended linen suits.
As a result, most guys usually go for linen blends such as linen cotton which lowers its price substantially while reducing wrinkling. Investing in the blended fabric reduces the major advantages of linen. Therefore, it’s usually not the best alternative.
Since linen is popular, breathable, and easily accessible, you should give it a try. As we mentioned earlier, linen wrinkles – this is one of the biggest objections that guys have. However, it can improve your look, especially in the summer. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and put the iron away.
Cotton vs Linen
How is cotton different from linen? While both come from plant fibers, there are several key differences:
Cotton is lighter than linen. However, it absorbs more water than linen. This means that when you sweat in cotton, your shirt will get damp for a while. Linen has hollow fibers that absorb moisture. Therefore, it won’t be damp quickly like cotton. Linen also gets tougher when it’s wet even if it looks transparent. This is why linen is worn in hot or damp areas.
Linen is stiffer and crispier while cotton is soft and flexible. You’ll notice this when you buy new linen. However, it will soften when you start wearing it. Linen is made from strong fibers while cotton is strengthened by spinning fibres.
The hollow fibres in linen that eliminate moisture from the body are also good at regulating body temperature. The breathability of linen improves airflow and helps you feel cool in the heat of the summer. Cotton is a good insulator because it doesn’t move heat away unless you get wet.
Due to its complex production process, linen is expensive to manufacture and purchase. On the other hand, the process of producing cotton is less intensive. And this makes it affordable.
While this requires further studies, most people have reported that linen has antibacterial properties that prevent the growth of disease-causing organisms.
Since linen absorbs moisture, it’s suitable for lots of different uses. Linen suits are usually designed to help you feel cool, comfortable, and stylish. While the heavy woolen clothing and blends feel too restrictive and weighty, linen suits are light.
When it comes to versatility, it scores high. Wearing a linen shirt will help you stand out in a good way. You should consider wearing it with a pair of slim shorts and loafers. Linen pants are also great because they’ll keep legs cool during the summer. The most important thing that you should pay attention to when it comes to linen is fit.
In the past, linen garments used to be loose and baggy due to trends and to enhance air circulation. As a result, most of the clothes that you’ll find in stores won’t fit the way you are used to. Nothing is wrong with wearing a relaxed fit, especially during the summer months. All you have to do is adjust to the occasion. For a casual outfit, loose linen wear is just fine. If you’ll be wearing a linen suit or jacket to a formal occasion, always go for the slim and fitting style.
Even when you are dressing casually, your clothes should never reduce your body size. If your clothes are too big, you should go to a tailor to have them resized. If you are not happy with the size of your new clothes, you shouldn’t wear them.
Another disadvantage of linen is they are relatively open. Unlined linen can be quite transparent especially when it gets wet. You need to plan accordingly especially when wearing white linen. Save the bright red underwear for another day. To incorporate linen successfully into your wardrobe, there is one more thing you need to know.
Keeping Linen From Wrinkling
One of the biggest issues with linen is that it wrinkles easily and more aggressively compared to other materials. One solution is to iron your garments and carry a travel steamer everywhere you go to attack all the creases. Another simpler approach is wearing wrinkled linen garments. Some people find beauty in wrinkled linen.
A perfectly worn wrinkled shirt denotes a carefree and relaxed attitude which is important in the summer. The only time you should do your best to eliminate creases is when you are going to work. A relaxed attitude at work can be read as sloppy and disorganized.
You can get rid of wrinkling by using three simple ways:
- Remove your linen garments from the dryer or washer immediately. The longer they stay in there, the more they’ll wrinkle. Pull them out while they are slightly damp and spread them out to dry.
- Use a garment steamer to get rid of wrinkling. You should include other types of clothes too. This machine will save you especially if you like traveling.
- Place your linen garments on a hanger and spray the wrinkles with a spray and stretch product. Adjust the garment and let it hang without wrinkling. Once it dries, you’ll be good to go.
Where To Buy Linen
When it comes to linen, you get what you pay for. The best harvests and manufacturing processes will be reflected by the price tag. Therefore, don’t always go for the cheap ones.
If you want to look great, stick to brands that pride themselves in producing quality fabrics. Some of the popular brands on the market include Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, Canali, Richard James, and Brioni to name a few.
Since linen is durable and tends to get better with age, you should consider investing in high-quality linen instead of pinching pennies. Many mid-priced brands strike a good balance between value and quality. In case you don’t know these brands, it’s important to ask for help before buying.
We can write endlessly about linen. However, it’s not what we say but how you look that’s important. Therefore, focus on investing in high-quality linen this summer. It’s the one thing you won’t regret.