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5 Days 5 Ways

5 Days, 5 Ways: How to Wear a Linen Shirt

Ready for anything

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Jul 28 2020

Summer is the perfect time to add a few lightweight pieces to your wardrobe.

Like? Linen.

The natural fiber just exudes ease, guys. You can literally wear linen-anything and feel cool, calm, and collected in 100ºF weather.

A good place to start is a long-sleeve linen shirt, which is what I’ll be covering in this #SGapproved guide.

What is linen, anyway?

Made from the fibers of a flax plant, linen is a type of textile, like cotton or wool.

It’s very absorbent, drying faster than cotton, which is what makes it such a popular warm weather wardrobe swap.

What to look for in a linen shirt

If you’re worried about looking like a ’90s boy bander crooning about love when wearing linen, this is for you.

As GQ pointed out last year, “A linen shirt might be a breezier look than your standard broadcloth shirt, but that doesn’t mean it should be flapping in the wind as you walk down the street.”

Instead, go for a more modern-looking linen shirt in a slim (but not tight) fit.

And if you’re not the ironing type? You can keep the wrinkles to a minimum but still hit a high Easy-Breezy Quotient™ in a linen-cotton blend.

How to wear a linen shirt five ways this summer:

MONDAY

linen shirt: Uniqlo | belt: Anderson

SG Says:  Linen means business when it’s paired with a smart suit and leather accessories.

TUESDAY

water bottle: Bkr | sneakers: Vans

SG Says:  Linen works as a great base layer on mercurial spring or summer days that shift from sunny to breezy in what feels like a matter of minutes.

And don’t be afraid to pair chino shorts with a button-front linen shirt. I promise you won’t look like you’re on vacation, vying for another mai tai at the resort bar, so long as the rest of the outfit looks structured.

WEDNESDAY

sneakers: Tretorn | watch: MVMT

SG Says:  Linen’s breathability makes it a great base layer for April and May’s notoriously muggy showers.

THURSDAY

baseball cap: Goorin Bros | cotton twill chinos (similar): Canali

SG Says: Colorful chinos and a Harrington jacket look just as good paired with a linen shirt look at the office as they do after hours.

FRIDAY

tee: Uniqlo | hand lotion: Aesop 

SG Says: A linen shirt works wonders as a stylish layer when traveling (and facing cool AC on a hot day).

// Shop the best linen shirts for men //

$ – Uniqlo, $30

SG Says: Shown throughout this guide, this long-sleeve Uniqlo shirt is an affordable way to dip into the linen trend.

Thanks to a shorter hem and slightly loose shoulder, this shirt looks good untucked for a casual, even (yes) breezy feel.

$$ – Bonobos, $88

SG Says: This shirt is a linen-cotton blend, which, as I mentioned above, means you’ll see less wrinkles than a 100% linen shirt.

There’s also a kind of funky striped version in the same cut, if you’re looking to break out of summer solids.

$$$ – Club Monaco, $99

SG Says: A band collar shirt is a great way to shake things up with this summer shirt. Wear a t-shirt underneath like the model above, or on its own for an uber-laid back vibe.

Want more summer style? Check out five ways to wear espadrilles, and the best swim trunks under $100.