Nothing signifies the start of summer quite like linen. If one material symbolized the vibes of the season’s easy, airy, laissez-faire attitude, it would undoubtedly be this one. Meant to be worn a little bit looser than other fabrics, the whole idea behind linen is to let that cool summer breeze waft up underneath it and onto your skin. When done correctly, it’ll look just as cool as it keeps you feeling – and when you feel good, you look good.
If you’re looking to expand your linen shirt holdings ahead of this summer – and there’s a very good chance you are – look no further than the picks we’ve put together for you below.
Ermenegildo Zegna Puppytooth Cotton Shirt
“Puppytooth” might be a cutesy word for a small houndstooth print, but this shirt by Zegna is nothing short of sexy. The tonal blue colouring and gunmetal grey buttons will make your go-to for elegant evening dinners. Whether you wear it under a jacket or on its own, “date night” is written all over those puppy teeth.
$468, Buy now at MR PORTER
Hugo Boss White Jason Slim-Fit Linen Shirt
Apart from fantastic weather, summer’s arrival also comes with a few other guarantees – one of them being weddings. Everyone wants to get married when it’s nice out, however, this also means guests are expected to dress up. For guys, the dress code is usually jackets and ties, but in order to stay looking your smartest, you have to play it smart as well. This linen spread collar shirt by Hugo Boss is the perfect way to sub out a heavier poplin or cotton for a more breathable alternative without sacrificing elegance and classic style.
$200, Buy now at MR PORTER
Brunello Cucinelli Grandad-Collar Pinstriped Linen Shirt
For some great linen-spiration, you can never go wrong looking to the Italians. Their hot climes and relaxed attitude to life in general makes their use of the fabric some of the most natural-feeling in the world. The subtle blue pinstripes on this grandad-collar shirt give it something a bit different, while still keeping it super easy to pair with.
$798, Buy now at MR PORTER
Brunello Cucinelli Slim-Fit Cutaway-Collar Striped Linen Shirt
Like the lines but looking for something a little more dressy? Say no more. Brunello’s linen-inspired take on the time-honoured striped dress shirt is fitted with a cutaway-collar, giving it a more formal finish yet still staying true to the comfort and breathability you can expect from linen.
$781, Buy now at MR PORTER
Strellson Roll-Sleeve Botton-Down Shirt
Another great example of why the grandad collar works so well with linen can be found right here. Button that placket all the way up to the top and wear with a suit for an interesting alternative to a traditional suit and tie, or roll up the sleeves and show off some chest by unbuttoning the top few buttons to channel that authentic linen ethos.
$67, Buy now at The Bay
Frank And Oak Short-Sleeved Cotton-Linen Shirt in Golden Yellow
Yellow isn’t necessarily a classic colour for linen, but this golden short-sleeved shirt from Frank And Oak breaks that mould masterfully here. Featuring some subtle red detailing, this cotton-linen blend is actually more versatile to pair with than you’d think. Rock it with some white pants during the day and perhaps under your favourite navy blue tailoring on a night out.
J. Crew Slim-Fit Printed Linen Shirt
J.Crew brings even more print to the (linen) table with this short-sleeved addition to our list. The tropic floral print created by Italian fabric mill Albini suits my idea of summer quite well – cool, casual, and certainly not stodgy. This shirt will compliment your favourite khaki chinos, white pants, and denim of pretty much any wash.
$140, Buy now at MR PORTER
Frank And Oak Short-Sleeved Cotton-Linen Shirt in Off White
Still need some time before you commit to print? No worries – let Frank And Oak’s off-white short-sleeve linen shirt be your palate cleanser. The great thing about white linen, and white fabrics in general, is that while the summer sun can bound down on you hard, the colour will naturally reflect light, keeping you feeling nice and cool.
Hugo Boss Lukas Linen-Chambray Shirt
As thoroughly detailed in this article, linen and denim are a great partnership when worn together. But what about when they’re woven together? Even better. You can think of chambray as a very lightweight weave of denim, which gives this Hugo Boss linen-chambray blend its light blue hue.
$90, Buy now at MR PORTER
Ermenegildo Zegna Slub Linen-Chambray Shirt
This time in a darker shade of blue, Zegna does their take on a linen-chambray blend with a little bit more of a heavy, brooding attitude. Still as easy to pair with as any other shirt on this list, Zegna’s more dressed-up take sports a stiffer spread collar, which means you can easily elevate it with your favourite chocolate brown or navy knit tie.