As you sit in your office on this grey morning in London, you may, like us, be dreaming of the summer holiday you are soon to embark on. Tuscany, the French Riviera, the Greek Islands… wherever your mind has taken you, just imagine the sun-drenched pool or beach you’re strolling along, gentle Buddha Bar-esq music drifting through the warm air, en route to join friends or lovers for a lazy hedonistic day of frivolity, rosé aplenty. Let me stop you right there and ask you this. Are you wearing a linen shirt? No? Well gentlemen, you should be, and now is the time to rectify this situation. Never has a garment of clothing so epitomised the laid-back indulgence of summer as the linen shirt.
While some may view the humble garment as the unofficial uniform of “my dad’s a lawyer and we summer in the Hampton’s and winter in Aspen” – aka: I’m a massive schweff and use seasons as verbs – fear not, because worn the right way, a loose fitting linen shirt can take you from British city gent to Riviera refined man in moments.
The beauty of the linen shirt comes not just from the myriad of colours and patterns available, but the ease in wearability. Throw on and wear open to take you suitably from the surf to the beach club, or dress it up with well-ironed chinos and espadrilles for the perfect summer evening attire.
Blue is the warmest colour
If you’re sick to death of white linen and want to delve deeper into the world of this wonderful fabric, look no further. Make like Brosnan and go for something a little different. Opt for darker colours to go with lighter, classic chinos and linen will do you all of the right things for you.
It doesn't get better than a stripe
The striped Oxford is perhaps one of the most classic shirt styles a man can choose. Take this one step further and go for a linen stripe. Something subtle a la Paul Newman is a great starting point, and once you realise the affect this will have on you – and everyone around you – you’re going to want to delve deeper.
The short sleeve is always a good idea
Don’t fear the short sleeve. Many gentleman assume that it’s tricky to pull off, but choosing the right style is a big piece of the puzzle. The world is your oyster here, but the key is to make sure that you haven’t unbuttoned your shirt too far down your chest. This, gentlemen, is never going to win you any points in the style stakes.