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When the summer sun is at its worst, the best way to beat the heat is to go the natural route with your fabrics and fibers. So, whether you are dressing for a formal event or a casual one, consider linen shirts. The key factor that makes most men think twice before choosing linen shirts is the fact that they wrinkle. But if you let this stop you, you are losing out on all that linen has to offer, from the wide range of textures, weights and forms to colors and even natural, undyed fabric. This is one fabric that is easy to care for and extremely comfortable to wear.
The long and lustrous fibers of the flax plan have been processed into linen, possibly since the time man decided to wear clothes! These fibers are dirt resistant, free of lint and much stronger than cotton. The natural wax in this fiber gives it a luster, unlike any other natural fiber. Linen is the choice summer, given its highly absorbent quality. Best of all, manufacturers have responded to the consumer’s concerns about wrinkling by developing methods, such as fusing synthetic resins with the flax fiber, to keep linen shirts looking crisp, yet soft, even with wear.
Now that we’ve convinced you that linen shirts are the way to go this summer, here are some of the things to look for while making a purchase:
$1· Check the stitching: One thing that you should know about linen shirts is that this fabric makes every seam stand out. Therefore, the stitching should be seamlessly (pun not intended) integrated with the pattern and weave of the shirt. Whether there are pin-tucks, welt pockets or stitched hems, the stitching should follow the inherent geometry of the design. They type of stitching also varies with the weight of the fabric.
$1· Pleats: This is one fabric that gives beautiful pleats. If folded properly lengthwise or across the grain, the shirt will not ripple at the pleats. Pleating will affect the way the garment falls over your body. Make sure you iron the pleats well to keep them from splaying open when you wear the garment.
$1· Buttonholes: To make the buttonholes stand out and remain sturdy, they should be bound. The grain of the fabric will complement the clean lines, giving an overall elegant look. However, bound buttonholes are out of place on lightweight linen and casual and oversized shirts.
$1· Collars: There is a vast variety of collars to choose from, depending on whether the shirt is meant for formal shirts or casual wear. For instance, a button-down collar looks great on the less formal dress shirts. A straight-point of v-shaped collar is the most common and is a good choice for almost any occasion. A spread collar, where the tips are further apart complements men with round faces, while a high collar with a smaller spread is great for men with long necks.
$1· Pockets: The placement of the pockets will tell you whether a linen shirt is meant for casual or formal wear. For instance, if there are two chest pockets, the garment is considered less formal. If you are wearing a vest or suspenders, then make sure there are no chest pockets at all. Button-down collars are usually accompanied by a single chest pocket.
$1· Cuffs: Again, the cuff makes a huge difference to the overall look. A barrel cuff or a button cuff is one that closes with at least one button, if not two. Multiple buttons are usually used to help you adjust the fit of the cuff. A double or French cuff is worn folded back and closed with a cufflink. These are more formal than the barrel cuff. A convertible cuff gives you the flexibility to either wear cufflinks or simply close the cuff with buttons.
The bottom line is that linen shirts are a great option for summer wear, given their crisp appearance and breathability.