Unless you live on the polar ice caps, you’ve likely seen (and probably worn) linen clothing. Linen's breathable, temperature-regulating properties have earned it hero status in most summer wardrobes, offering cool relief from downright tropical days.

While linen seems like a total no-brainer, its wrinkled texture and open-weave appearance can leave many guys scratching their heads when it comes to how to properly wear, style, and care for it. So, if you’re feeling a bit befuddled about how best to sport the linen pieces you already own or could use some guidance in snagging your next summer standby, we’ve got you covered.

First things first, what the flax is linen, anyway?

fit model walking wearing The Easy Pant in Cocoa Linen

What Is Linen?

Derived from the flax plant, linen fibers are stronger than cotton (about 30% stronger) and have a unique, hollow structure. This tube-like shape is actually what makes them so great at wicking moisture and regulating temperature! Unlike cotton, linen actually gets stronger when wet—another reason why it’s so beloved by folks working in hot climates.

While linen can have a crispy, slightly scratchy texture when first loomed, it softens considerably as it wears in. That’s part of why we give our linen shirts and pants a thorough garment wash before putting them up for sale, to help give them a smoother feel against the skin. All that to say, if you wish your linen gear felt a little more comfortable, just wear it often and wash it when needed. Soon enough, it’ll be soft enough to sleep in.

A Brief History of Linen

Linen is one of the oldest textiles on the planet. Making its first appearance in ancient Egypt, linen was revered as a lofty fabric intended only for priests and pharaohs. Over the years, linen became a popular choice for bedding and drapes, giving rise to the term “linens”. Before the 1990s, only a fraction of linen produced was actually used for clothing. Those clothes were usually work garments for field workers in tropical regions. Today, linen shorts and shirts can be found around every corner, dominating the flax fiber industry.

fit model sitting wearing The Jack in Seagrass Linen

Let’s Talk Wrinkles

Look, we get it. You’ve probably been told your whole life to avoid wrinkles. So when it comes to linen shirts, which wrinkle much more easily and prominently than their cotton counterparts, this seems like a major pitfall of the fabric. But we’re here to tell you that, in the case of linen, wrinkles are a feature, not a fault.

Along with a prominent grain structure and more open weave, linen garments' wrinkled texture is part of what gives them character.

That being said, if you like a cleaner, less wrinkled appearance, a quick once-over with a steamer will take care of the issue. As you move throughout the day, though, linen will crease and wrinkle around your elbows, knees, etc, at which point your options are either to carry a steamer with you everywhere you go or take a breath and embrace the casual panache of this timeless textile. The choice is yours.

Another way to reduce wrinkles is to opt for a blend. Garments made with a blend of cotton and linen tend to wrinkle less and have a softer hand feel off the rack, making them a great first buy for the linen-curious.

fit model posing in The Jack in Cilantro Stripe Linen

How To Wear Linen

When it comes to styling, linen is as versatile as they come. While its wrinkled texture can land it far afield of exceedingly formal dress codes, it’s an ace in the hole for most warm-weather occasions.

Linen Suiting

Linen suiting is a fantastic option for a summer wedding or a swanky cocktail party. The slightly less structured, texture-heavy finish of linen lends it a touch of “devil may care” panache, while its breathable, moisture-wicking properties ensure you’re feeling as cool as you look. Just be sure to follow the same best practices as you normally would when wearing a suit. Namely, your linen shirt and jacket should fit well (not straining against your body or billowing shapelessly), and your trousers should hit right at your ankle, avoiding any “stacking”, which gives off a slightly too casual vibe.

Smart Casual

The easiest way to build a put-together outfit with linen is to seek out linen versions of the same silhouettes you would normally wear. Linen shirts and linen pants can help you pull off the same smart casual style you would rock in the fall or spring without leaving you pouring sweat over the dog days of summer.

fit model sitting in The Easy Pant in Cocoa Linen

Everyday Cool

While its rich texture and generally higher price tag can make linen seem like a luxury fabric reserved only for “dressier” outfits, it really shines in laid-back settings. Go for a linen short-sleeved button-down (like a camp collar shirt) and pair it up with your favorite chinos or selvedge denim jeans. If it’s really sweltering, swap the pants for some shorts, and you’re good to go. We like to finish this look with some loafers or simple sneakers.

fit model walking in The Short Sleeve Hawthorne in Tide Pool

Vacation Vibes

If you ask us, this is the look that linen was made for. The main thing to remember if you want to be the best-dressed guy at the resort is to go all in. That means a linen shirt and linen pants or shorts. This look goes best with a camp collared shirt (worn open or buttoned up) and a pair of boat shoes, loafers, or sandals. Finish this look off with your favorite shades, a timepiece, and a cocktail with a little umbrella in it.

Stop By The Linen Shop

We pour every ounce of our decade-plus experience in timeless tailoring and world-class craftsmanship into our linen lineup. From classic linen shirts to breezy shorts to seasonal outerwear, every garment in The Linen Shop honors the heritage of this incredible fabric and draws it into a contemporary context via our signature, close-to-body fit.

So stop by The Linen Shop and let us outfit you with effortless styles for the hot days and balmy nights ahead.

fit model posing in The Jack in Overcast Linen

Shop Linen Clothing

fit model wearing The Après Short in Organic Aged Stone Foundation Twill
May 16, 2024

The Definitive Guide To Shorts

Whether you’re already an advocate for shorts or still view them with some sartorial suspicion, this in-depth guide will help you find a new appreciation for this timeless and practical garment and make the most of your shorts for many summers to come.

Read more
As Jimmy Sees It
May 13, 2024

As Jimmy Sees It

Through a range of mediums, California-based artist Jimmy Thompson presents the world in a light that, at least to us, makes even familiar places seem sublime. In short, his art turns the mundane into the magical.

Read more
Get There Quicker

Keyboard Shortcuts


  • Keyboard Help Shift+?
  • Search S
  • Go to Account/Login ME
  • Go to Help HELP

Main Navigation

  • Go to Home GH
  • Go to Workshop GS
  • Go to Men's Home GM
  • Go to The Dispatch GD
  • MAG
  • Go to Cart GC


  • Go to Shirts GCS
  • Go to Outerwear GCO
  • Go to Bottoms GCB
  • Go to Denim GCD
  • Go to Footwear GCF
  • Go to Accessories GCA
  • Go to Essentials GCE