Hear the word ‘linen’ and most of us think of bedding. But there’s a reason the material is so often used on our mattresses: Firstly, it’s strong which means you don’t need to change your sheets every other day. And most importantly, thanks to its low thread count, it’s one of the most breathable fabrics around.
It’s these qualities which also make linen the ideal material for your summer wardrobe. As soft as cotton but with extra cooling characteristics, we think every Joe’s wardrobe should contain at least two linen shirts – and even more should you work in an office environment where shirts are par for the course.
Why You Need a Linen Shirt
The linen shirt has come a long way in recent years. Classic short sleeve constructions you uncle wore have made way for more contemporary looks that hit that sweet spot between smart and casual. Linen shirts can now be found in numerous styles, from traditional long-sleeved Oxford cuts, to the now staple Cuban collar, which means there are plenty of options.
One thing anyone accustomed to the material will know, however, is that linen loves a crease. You can often find cotton/linen blends but if you want the full advantage of linen’s cooling properties, make sure you give it any iron.
Linen Shirts for Men
Uniqlo Linen Shirt
Uniqlo are always worth a visit if you’re after no nonsense everyday pieces which are crafted from the best fabrics around and their linen shirt range is no different. Available in a wide range of colours, the aero processing gives it an even softer texture while the washed look keeps things extra casual. Just be wary that cuts are slightly more relaxed than usual it’s a more popular style in the brand’s homeland of Japan.
J. Crew Slim Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt
Website: J. Crew
J. Crew source their linen from Ireland’s famed Baird McNutt mill, generally considered to be some of the best in the world. Having adopted a weaving process which has been perfecting since 1912, the material is super soft and will keep you perfectly cool during the summer’s warmer days. Available in a range of colours and styles, including Slim, Classic, Tall and Untucked.
Hartford Camp-Collar Linen Shirt
Website: Mr Porter
If you’re looking for something vibrant for your summer travels, this camp-collar shirt from Hartford is one of the label’s most popular styles for the season. Cut for a loose fit from lightweight, breezy linen, it comes with a traditional Cuban collar and palm colourway which makes it ideal for some beach lounging.
Far Afield Cashew Linen Classic
If Brighton-based menswear brand Far Afield aren’t already on your radar, we’d recommend getting acquainted ASAP. Founded by brothers Mark and Chris Scholes in 2016, the label specialises in carefree clothing that fits its seaside location billing. So naturally their Cashew Linen Classic is a big favourite of ours. Featuring a comfortable cotton poplin composition, the shirt comes with a button-down closure and discreet breast pocket.
Lacoste Check Linen Canvas Shirt
But it’s not all pastel block colours when it comes to linen shirts. This classic summer shirt in linen canvas has been reinvented this season by Lacoste with a gingham-inspired mini check pattern. It comes with a buttoned point collar, chest pocket and embroidered signature green crocodile branding on chest pocket.
Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Linen Shirt
Website: Harvey Nichols
A true classic of the genre, we finish up our round-up with the Slim Linen Shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren. Featuring a flattering cut, classic button-down collar and the signature polo player on the chest, this preppy American icon takes on the same styling as Ralph’s iconic cotton Oxford shirts, just with some cooling linen and a snug fit around the chest.
For mores summer clothing inspiration, here’s How to Wear Stripes This Summer!