I know that we’ve had a very British summer. In case you missed it, it was on a Thursday…. However the weather has been warmer (and drier) than it has been in recent months and the Olympic Games were not the wash out that many feared they might be. So it’s time to get your linens out before Autumnal weather is upon us.Linen is a great fabric. It’s light and cool and is therefore excellent for keeping us cool in the warmer months. If we’ve failed to keep cool, and start to break into a sweat linen also dries quickly. Linen is made from natural fibres which allow air to circulate more easily which helps us both look and feel cool.Linens are great for a casual look, even if one is wearing a suit made from the stuff. And you can get away with colours in linen that are difficult with other fabrics. White trousers made of wool probably wouldn’t work but in linen are absolutely fine. A khaki suit in linen is cool, but in wool, not so much. And let’s not even talk about shorts; whether for men or women linen just works.The colour range in linens tend to be brighter and lighter colours, so if you are keen on grey you won’t find many linens in that colour but if, like me, you appreciate creams, khakis, browns, whites, and blues linens will come in a colour you can cope with.
One downside of linen is that it crinkles very easily. However this need not be a problem. In fact it is one of the reasons that lines have such a relaxed look and feel about them, so go with the flow. They’ll need ironing before you put them on and crinkle as soon as you move however that will mean that they have a lovely lived in look to them.One particular look that I am quite keen on is the relatively rare linen pinstripe. Pinstriped fabrics tend to be used in quite formal contexts. They are the epitome of business or the city. Linens are all about informality. So that juxtaposition of a formal look on an informal fabric is both rare and attractive.
Ideally unless one is wearing a linen suit you will want to mix your fabrics. So a cotton shirt with linen trousers or a linen shirt with chinos or jeans or a cotton shirt with a linen suit. A linen shirt with your linen suit might be overkill.Perhaps the greatest thing about linens is their range. They can be dressed down so that they do not look out of place with flip-flops and a T-shirt (or no shirt if the dress code is incredibly relaxed) or can be dressed up so that they work with cuff links and a tie and pocket handkerchief. You pick what look you are aiming for and go for it. Your linens will help you pull it off.M&S have some great linens in their M&S Man range at the moment, including suits, blazers and trousers. Try John Lewis for linen shorts.
This is a great time of year to get linens, as retailers will be keen to get their autumn collections on display. However, you’ll need to hurry. They won’t be around for long. Stocking up on your linens now will mean that you are ahead of the game next spring.