Lighten Up: Wearing the Linen Suit for Warmer Months

Quick: imagine the classic linen suit. What comes to mind? Miami? 1986? Uncle Fred in his signature leisure suit?

While older iterations of this suiting staple were certainly questionable, today's gentleman has some decidedly more stylish options when it comes to warmer weather wear. Linen, along with spring and summer suiting in general, is having a bit of a renaissance: no longer does summer professional garb necessitate choosing between sweating it out in a dark gray getup or braving the crowds in seersucker.

 

 

Here’s how to create a linen suit that will keep you looking cool and professional during the warmer months.


Combine natural materials.

When you choose your main material, look for a cotton/linen blend – this will keep your suit from losing its shape, but it will still produce that elusive, nonchalant wrinkle. Linen always pairs best with other natural fibers, so be sure to avoid slipping on a rayon or polyester shirt beneath your easy breezy linen jacket.

Trim trumps roomy.

If you’re getting a custom-made suit, you’ll want it to be comfortable and look like yours, not your father’s. Keep the fit trim, not loose, for a more modern look. And embrace the inevitable wrinkles – go ahead and push up your sleeves. You want to look relaxed – not uptight.

Remember, the linen suit was not made for a wrinkle-inducing day of sitting in an office chair. Think about being comfortable but polished at an offsite meeting, summer wedding, or a first date spent strolling and eating gelato.


Go for muted, classic colors.

When you’re choosing a suit or shirt, go for lighter shades of classic gray and blue. Avoid white and off-white, but keep chambray in mind as an option. Consider pairing a crisp custom dress shirt with a pair of linen suit pants for a look that’s simultaneously nonchalant and savvy.

Choose understated accessories.

A classic linen suit offers a great canvas for showcasing a few, well-chosen spring accessories. When accessorizing a linen suit, remember that less is truly more.

Since linen already has a lot of texture, work to keep your look from being too busy or over-thought.

· Try pairing your linen suit with a solid, brightly colored tie or a vivid silk pocket square.

· Keep your leathers and metals neutral. Think darker grey and chocolate brown – the right fatigue-style belt could even lend you a look reminiscent of style icon Indiana Jones.

· For shoes, think summer casual. Deck shoes or loafers are always a good choice – but definitely avoid the stuffy look of a leather dress shoe with your light linen look. If your kicks are cared-for and clean, they won’t look sloppy.

Make it yours, and you’ll do no wrong in linen suiting.

The key to rocking linen in 2014: make each suit your own with a custom fit and a few choice accessories. Custom tailoring is best, but alterations can work wonders.

 

Linen suits stand out from the crowd, so pair yours with confidence – you’ll definitely turn a few heads.