Linen tailoring with off the cuff / ldn
Recently, we welcomed the off the cuff / ldn team to our Oxford St flagship store to talk summer suiting. We chatted with Simon about how linen is a firm summer favourite for the modern gent to turn to when the temperature rises.
Linen is this summer’s top trend. Why do you think it has seen a resurgence?
I would go as far as to say it may well be a generational factor. A lot of classic gentleman I speak to seem to have a hard time overcoming the stigma of creases (something we’ll touch on later on). However modern gents are embracing the linen suit. A lot of younger guys around London are wearing linen suits really well; it’s an effortless look to pull off, at its most basic level all you would need is a nice pair of loafers and a crisp white shirt to compliment a good linen suit. Guys still want a smart edge to their look which a linen suit delivers, some suiting options simply become impractical when the temperatures soar. I think the linen suit’s breathability is the solution to a lot of summer suiting problems with more and more gentleman learning of its benefits.
What do you love most about a linen suit?
It’s versatility. I love how it lends itself to so many different looks. With neckwear not necessarily required I enjoy mixing up my collar options on a shirt, or even accessorising with just a pocket square. Due to the casual nature of the piece, there are many ways to manipulate your look. Even when some degree of formality is required, for example a summer wedding, simply throw on your best tie and you’ve got a perfect summer wedding outfit that will keep you cool in every sense of the word.
What cut should a linen suit be?
This is purely a matter of personal preference. Personally, I prefer a slim fit so my jacket is nipped in at the waist a little more however I have friends who would go for a tailored fit as they feel that it lends itself more to the feel of a linen suit. In any case, I would recommend having your suit tailored to your preferences. I’ve heard Hawes & Curtis offer a same-day tailoring service so be sure to check that out!
What suit colour should you go for?
Generally, go lighter. If you’re purchasing your first linen suit I would probably recommend a stone/ beige hue. As a neutral shade it’s a great place to start out and is easy to experiment with. Summer does offer slightly more freedom than winter in terms of colour ranges however it’s important to get the basics right, lighter blues and pinks can be explored but nothing too heavy!
What shirt should you team with a linen suit?
In my opinion you should always look to team up with a lighter shade of shirt. Darker hues tend to eliminate the elegance of a summer look linen suit. To be safe, think crisp white or lighter blues; classics I know, but why not try mixing up your collar choices? Cutaways, spread or even a short button-down works well with a waistcoat on a three-piece.
How do you accessorise a linen suit?
For casual occasions, lose the tie! Generally speaking, summer suiting is widely regarded as a more informal area of men’s fashion. Saying this, I do like to add a standalone pocket square to my look, just to add a little more vibrancy to the outfit. Obviously, there are occasions where formality is required. On these occasions I would recommend adding some kind of textured neckwear. A lighter coloured textured tie; or even a knitted piece would work well and smarten up a look, whilst perfectly complementing your linen suit.
What shoes work well with a linen suit?
My summer time ‘go to’ is a good pair of loafers. They are a great, classy footwear choice that works wonderfully well with a linen suit. Incredibly versatile, they go hand in hand with formality and yet can be worn equally well in a more casual setting. If loafers aren’t your thing trainers or boat shoes would also work in a more casual setting.
When is it appropriate to wear a linen suit?
For me, this is a tricky one. Despite its smart appearance it might be best to steer clear of the office. Without meaning to set boundaries, I feel linen is better suited (sorry!) to more of a social setting.
How do you care for a linen suit?
Linen is incredibly easy to care for. There is no need to dry clean and simply washing at a low temperature and ironing your suit whilst slightly damp will keep it looking clean and fresh. Also, a great tip I picked up recently - to avoid ironing a crease into the sleeve of a linen jacket, simply roll up an old towel before stuffing it inside the sleeve.
Why shouldn’t you care that it wrinkles?
Linen does wrinkle, but why should that be an issue? It adds to your suit’s character. Although caring for your suit properly will limit wrinkles, embrace the personality of your linen suit, don’t be the one to miss out on this cool summer trend!