Is it summer? It’s just that every time I look out the window it seems to be raining. Either way, summer is still a great time to wear a suit, but what suit should you wear?
Well, we think you should plump for a mens linen suit. In fact, we’ve done some in-depth SWOT analysis to prove it. This means we’ve taken into account the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with linen suits.
Let’s start with the strengths.
As touched upon, the linen suit is a summer staple. The linen fabric is natural, meaning it is highly breathable while also being incredibly lightweight.
If you like flair then linen is great for you. A blue linen suit is a popular choice and, unlike Trigger from Only Fools and Horses you will actually be able to “keep your cool” in a brighter shade.
The flair of the linen suit can also be shown in the way you complement it with accessories. But we’ll leave those for the “opportunities” section.
Linen is not the number one choice for formal events. Linen suits have a more relaxed, casual silhouette, so it’s best to choose a more traditional wool suit or, if you’re going for a heritage style, you could even pick a tweed jacket. If it’s a black tie event then you obviously want to go for a dinner jacket with a bowtie and cummerbund.
A linen suit can also be too casual for work, so you can dress it up with a tie if needs be, but make sure you have a contrasting tie and perhaps pick a beige/cream suit if possible.
Smart-casual meeting, relaxed BBQ or summer wedding: whatever the occasion, a linen suit is ideal. It can be dressed up or down, but a lot of that depends on your shoes and therein lies an opportunity.
Because of the versatility of a linen suit and its association with summer, it works perfectly well with brogues, deck shoes, loafers and many other types of men’s shoes. An Oxford shoe may be a tad too formal, but you can’t knock linen for giving you many options.
You also get a lot of “depth” and interest with a linen suit. When paired with a contrasting cotton shirt, the mixture of fabrics will give another dimension to your outfit. By adding a pocket square you can build on the interest of the suit, making it a bold, bright and unique garment for any gent.
The weather is by far and away the largest sticking point when it comes to wearing a linen suit. If it is cold, a linen suit may be trumped by its wool or tweed cousins, and then, of course, we have the issue of creasing.
When sitting down, take off your jacket; this is the easiest way to avoid creasing. Also, make sure that you don’t hang it on the chair but hang it up on a proper coat hanger.
Creases and crinkles are part and parcel of wearing a linen suit, but if you want a more clean-cut look go for wool. Otherwise, be sure to hang it up properly, try and stay cool and, if possible, press your suit before wearing it.
If the British summer does make its mind up, we hope you’ll use this as a balanced guide and opt for the wonder of linen. Full of flair, comfortable and wonderfully versatile, it’s a great summer suit, even if it does crinkle from time to time.