To keep your cool in roasting hot weather, you can’t go wrong in lightweight, breathable and, ah, highly absorbent linen. Because linen crushes relatively easily, aim for a look that’s tailored but casually rumpled, rather than super formal.
Here’s how some of the effortlessly stylish guests and designers at Pitti Uomo, the biggest menswear trade show, wore linen in the unforgiving heat of a Florentine summer.
FOR THE WEEKEND...
Add shorts and sneakers.
At British designer JW Anderson, a long sleeved linen shirt was worn with loose-fitting shorts, a denim jacket and Converse. It’s a pretty straightforward formula for casual summer weekend style. Alternatively, try wearing a linen button-down shirt with turned-up jeans.
Just add sunglasses.
On the streets of Florence in high summer, stylish dudes showed the reality of dealing with heat in a fashionable way. A blue and white striped shirt paired with good sunglasses is simple but modern, and dead easy.
FOR A CASUAL WEDDING...
Although often seen in menswear street style pictures, undersized and cropped silhouettes can feel a little too peacock-y. At Hugo (Hugo Boss’s impressively fashion-forward brand), a crisp white double-breasted suit is worn slouchy, just slightly oversized, with well-groomed hair to pull the look together.
FOR THE OFFICE
Miami Vice did not ruin the pastel linen suit and t-shirt. In fact, the look Don Johnson’s character pioneered — which also included loafers without socks — is a perfect, slightly playful way to wear linen. Try a linen shirt in a bright or pastel with tailored pants, or go full Crockett in a coloured linen suit with a plain white t-shirt.
Add a polo.
Like the Italian grandfather whose wardrobe you wish you could inherit, adding a well-made polo, preferably in natural fibres like cotton or fine wool, to a linen ensemble is timeless. As seen on Swedish menswear editor (and Paul Newman lookalike) Andreas Weinas.
Keep to a neutral palette (aka beige on beige)
Mixing up suiting separates in different but similar shades of beige, sand and khaki — as seen on menswear buyer Tomoyoshi Takada and showroom founder Domenico Gianfrate — is a great way to look like you’re not really trying.
Photos: Getty Images + Barkers