Holy City Style

May 16, 2008

Men and Linen: A Beginner’s Guide

Filed under: fashion — carolime @ 11:23 pm
Tags: , ,

Greetings! The name’s Brian Wilder and I am delighted to contribute my musings to the religion that is Holy City Style.

All style suggestions are final and there are absolutely no refunds, store credit or exchanges. You dig?

Now, for some reason, many Charlestonian men seem to have tunnel-vision when it comes to what they think are allowed to wear during the summer without looking like a ‘tool’ or some other noun that implies a degenerate attitude towards life. Fortunately, there is an alternative outside of the go-to khaki shorts and Rainbows (and no, it’s not seersucker. Sorry!), and still keeps one cool both figuratively and literally: Linen.


Feeling adventurous? Try a black linen suit like this one from Loris Diran. 

Yes, I said it, linen. It is lightweight, breathes much easier than regular-weave cotton and actually easier to clean and maintain during the off-season than you think. Keep in mind, guys, when it comes to linen, there is a very fine line between looking dapper and looking like a cabana boy at an all-expenses-paid resort:

1. Not all linen is good linen.

There is this misconception going around town that if you get your duds and the tags state that there is a poplin/linen blend, it is still 100% authentic linen. Not true at all. Anytime you find yourself looking for quality, make sure that it is 100% linen. No blends? No synthetics? No problem.

2. Linen is the new seersucker.

Seersucker seems like such an Old South material and I would like to think that I live amongst a species that believes in progression. With that said, ditch the seersucker for the summer, try on a nice (and tailored) pair of linen slacks the next time you go out and see if it doesn’t change your perspective on things.

3. Tommy Bahamas is not the authority on linen. (Or much of anything else, really.)

The moment you even find yourself stepping into the Charleston Place galleria for something other than a temporary place to cool down after walking the Market turn right back around. Period. There are worse things in life than sweaty pits and minor skin damage, I promise.

4. Invest in a lightweight linen suit, as soon as possible!

There is nothing better than stumbling across the perfect occasion to wear a linen suit. For some reason there is something so…right about it. I have a bespoke, slim-fit khaki one that I picked up from H&M for a fairly reasonable price and I have no intentions of letting it go to waste this summer.

5. Take care of the linen and it will take care of you.

You should never send your garments to the cleaners more than 3 times a year:

1) The moment you take it out of the closet from winter to summer.
2) An extra steam cleaning half way through the summer season.
3) One more time before you place it back in the closet after the summer is over.

The more inexperienced among us tend to over-clean their linen, so to speak, and causes it to become both dingy and weak to a point where it barely has enough strength to make the next summer.


1 Comment »

  1. Brian, you’ve changed my mind about linen on men.

    Seersucker? No thanks.

    Linen? Yes please.

    Comment by Bridget — May 17, 2008 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

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