Warm Weather Style

    Summer Livin’ in Linen

    10th July 2013

    Up until a few days ago I was pretty ambivalent toward linen. I knew it was a popular fabric for summer because it’s breathable and made of natural fibers, and you could wear it and still look buttoned-up on a hot day. The only real association I had with linen was G.O.B. from Arrested Development.

    gob-dazzles-the-crowd-with-his-unique-brand-of-magic_468x3121Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, G.O.B.

    But a few days ago I actually noticed not one but two people wearing linen shirts and decided that yes, I definitely have feelings for this fabric. You guys mentioned wanting to hear about some less casual warm weather looks, so I put together a few outfits for your slightly dressier occasions of work and play, featuring linen shirts and other fun-to-touch fabrics. ALL OF THE FEELS.

    The I’m-Ready-for-the-Weekend-but-I’m-Still-at-Work Look

    Picture 4Shirt – Robert Talbott, $198
    Blazer – Frank&Oak, $125
    Sunglasses - Persol, $370
    Pants – Saturdays NYC, $118
    Shoes – Quoddy, $300
    Belt – Guess, $37

    Can’t you just feel that warm summer breeze blowing through your hair as you take off your jacket, swing it over your shoulder, slip on your sunglasses, and step out of your office building with a sigh of relief? You made it, time to celebrate.

    Shore Formal

    Picture 7

    Shirt – J.Crew, $50
    Shoes – BOSS Orange, $88
    Belt – William Rast, $26
    Cords – Billabong, $45

    It’s like resort wear for surfers. This look works best in beach town, where you can wear it to dinner at a nicer restaurant without feeling under-dressed, but you can also wear it to get ice cream afterward without feeling over-dressed. It’s, like, Libra levels of balance, amirite?

    Default Look

    Picture 2Shirt – Uniqlo, $13
    Jeans – Earnest Sewn, $175
    Shoes – Vans, $55

    Basic yet polished, even without a belt. Linen is a flowy fabric, so I don’t think it needs to be restrained like a regular button up shirt. Great for situations in which you would sweat because they won’t see (you sweat), because it’s SO BREATHABLE! Scenarios include but are not limited to: picnic dinner, meeting with the boss on Casual Friday, lunch date, grocery shopping, high school reunion, nonchalantly stalking your celeb crush outside their house, ect.

    This is only the beginning of the frontier of instances in which linen shirts are the answer. And there’s linen outside of the realm of shirts. There is even potential to make a full linen outfit (though I’m not advising it (although if you do go for it, I’d love to see it!!)). I’m willing to bet that linen could take on cotton as “the fabric of our lives” at least for a couple of months.

    Tell Us,

    When do you like to wear linen?

    • Tyler Lahti

      As long as you stay away from the matching linen shirt and pants. They actually sell those.

      • gabi meyers

        how gymboree of them!

    • Tod C

      I have a linen jacket from Frank and Oak and it is a go to for me – just watch out because there are lined and unlined variety. I can also recommend their linen short sleeve shirts which fit a little trimmer than their oxfords.

      The linen jacket fits loose in the waist (it is true to size rather than slim fit like their chino blazer) so you may need to get it taken in but it was worth it for me. Wore it yesterday to lots of compliments.

      I have loved linen since a great pair of striped white pants I had in the preppy heyday of the 80s.

      Gabi how light and breathable are those cords? I love cords but they are decidedly cold weather for me usually.

      • gabi meyers

        I’m actually not sure, but that combo was a recreation of the outfit i saw the other day that inspired this post. He looked pretty comfortable, but we did have a bit of a sea breeze so I’m not sure how they would handle in humid weather

    • Eric

      I got a couple pairs of linen-cotton blend shorts from the Gap when they had a big sale last month, and they are just so… breezy! It’s amazing. Even in really hot weather it’s like wearing palm fronds on your bottom half.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Very well-put Eric :)

    • max

      1000 points for the G.O.B. mention. I can hear the final countdown as I read the article.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Da da da da da DAAAAAA!

    • Dan J.

      I love linen, particularly for jackets. Linen shirts, however, are often quite sheer. That’s fine if you have a six-pack and well defined pecs and are under 25 years of age, I suppose. If you’re a bit older or not so muscular, well, not so much. And wearing an undershirt kind of defeats the whole purpose of wearing linen.

      • saywhat

        Look for darker coloured linens (navy, brown, red) or linen-cotton blends.

    • Enrique Ollero

      I’ve got some short sleeve linen shirts from Merona (Target’s house brand) and they are great on hot days, especially when paired with shorts or a lightweight jean/chino. I’m thinking of picking up a couple more for some upcoming tropical trips. I don’t usually go beyond the linen shirt, though. It’s rarely hot enough for long enough in Pittsburgh for me to invest in a linen jacket, and I hate wrinkles in my pants. But I’d definitely consider linen-cotton blend shorts.

    • TJ

      Ive got a linen suit from H&M that I love. It’s not the best quality but a good price for linen. It lets me look a little more dressy but not die from heat stroke wearing wool in the summer.

    • Matt M

      I really like linen for hot weather; especially vacation resorts. Actually have a very similar outfit as look 1 that I plan on wearing to a wedding this summer in Mexico where I’m the photographer.

      For those that think linen is too sheer, there are different thicknesses of linen. I have some shirts that are very thin/see through. Others are thicker and you cannot see through them. Both have their place.

      Been meaning to submit two of my ‘linen looks’ to SG for the OOTW.

    • Adam

      You’re matching a $13 Uniqlo shirt with $175 jeans??

      If I’m buying expensive jeans, I’m probably also buying a more expensive, higher quality shirt. IE: J Crew’s Baird McNutt Irish linen.

      • RipShitOrBust

        Who cares about the prices of the goods? Uniqlo make quality shirts that look great – a shirt you can fake it, jeans not so much.

        • Adam

          Um, everyone cares about pricing actually. Just look back at the “push present” article..

          I’m not saying that the Uniqlo shirt is garbage, but when you’re spending the cash on a nice pair of jeans, you would think a higher quality shirt would also be chosen to go with. To each their own, I guess.

          • RipShitOrBust

            I take it you’re not the kind of guy that rocks a great shirt from a thrift shop with a pair of APC’s…

            • Adam

              Yeah, I’m no Macklemore. Have yet to find anything other than Hanes beefy t’s at my local thrift shops. :/

    • AJ

      Love the first outfit. Linen / cotton blends work very well for blazers because the cotton adds a bit of structure.

    • Aaron

      Nice picks, I love the orange vans. I was eying these orange linen SeaVees for a while now, but don’t think they are available anymore: I have some linen of pants I really love, super cool and lightweight in the summer when I have to wear pants. I also had a linen tie that I really loved the texture of until my tailor/dry cleaner lost it. Usually for shirts I go for other summer fabrics (madras or seersucker) that are a little less wrinkly, nothing wrong with it just a personal preference.

      • Style Girlfriend

        “Lost it” ..sure, that’s what happened. Dry cleaners do have a way of losing the best stuff, don’t they?

        • Aaron

          The sad thing is that I wasn’t even getting it cleaned, I was having the keeper repaired. I figured it was an easy job, what can go wrong… well that’s what I get for taking it to the dry cleaner instead of my tailor. At least they credited me for it, but it was a vintage etsy buy, so not exactly replaceable.

    • Adam Wyatt

      Gabi, you read my mind! I was going to request a linen article, because, like you, i was unsure about the material but looking to make that leap. Great article! Especially love the J Crew linen shirt.

      • gabi meyers

        Isn’t that purple ahhh-mazing?!

    • Sameer Vasta

      My linen suit gets lots of use in the summer. The secrets are to keep it well stored so it doesn’t get creased too much, to accessorize (ties, squares, belts) it well so that it always has some pop, and to wear it like you belong in that suit. A little bit of confidence, and people will ask where they can get their own.