These days, most men’s shirts are made of cotton or cotton blends. But there are still some mens linen shirts out there, and when you’re looking for something a little more luxurious and different, they’re a great alternative.
If you’ve never shopped for or owned a linen shirt, here’s what you need to know.
What Is Linen?
Linen is a fabric that is made from fibers derived from the flax plant. It’s usually woven rather than knitted, and people have been making linen for a long time – in fact, it was the fabric of choice in ancient Egypt!
Linen and mens linen shirts have a few key characteristics that make them a popular choice, including:
- It’s a very cool fabric, so it’s great for warm climates – which is why linen is a popular fabric choice for shirts and suits in places like Miami and the Caribbean.
- Linen fibers are very smooth, so there is no lint or “fuzz” on shirts made from this kind of fabric.
- It’s not very elastic though, so you need to be very careful to get the right size and fit!
- Insects that usually attack fibers will leave linen alone.
- It is stain naturally stain resistant.
- Because linen is biodegradable, it’s considered a more eco friendly fabric choice.
How to Choose a Linen Shirt
When you are shopping for mens linen shirts, you should look for slightly looser cuts. This is because, as we’ve mentioned before, linen doesn’t stretch much. So, you need a little more room to allow for movement.
Buy the best quality you can afford too. Cheaper linen shirts will be made of thinner fabric and might not be sewn as well. This could result in tearing or seam stitching coming loose. Not exactly something you want to happen when you want to look sharp!
Linen shirts look best in light colors, either as plains and solids, or with subtle woven in patterns or pinstripes. There are many different designs and patterns available, but keep it simple and elegant, and let the linen speak for itself!
Caring for Linen Shirts
Linen shirts do tend to wrinkle easily, so you need to iron or steam them carefully before you plan to wear them.
However, the good news about mens linen shirts is that they are fairly forgiving as far as care goes. You can wash them or dry clean them, and because they are stain resistant, they will stand up to some mild abuse without being completely ruined.
Linen also gets softer over time, so the more often you wear and wash it, the more comfortable it will be. Some kinds of linen can even start to feel a little silky over time.
Mens linen shirts shouldn’t be tumble dried too much or exposed to too much heat. In fact, they are easier to iron when they’re a little damp. They also tend to “breathe” very well, so they can dry very quickly in a breezy spot.
Mens linen shirts are less popular than they once were, but they’re a great alternative to cotton if you’re looking for something that make a subtle statement.