A Custom made Linen Suit – perfect for HOT summers! As you begin to carve your niche in the realm of fashion and style, you will more than likely encounter several challenges along the way. Some of those challenges will most likely revolve around what to wear and how to wear it. Not every suit is cut out of the same cloth (pun intended LOL) … and it becomes very important to understand the how and whys of fabric that should be used. Matter of fact, it is as important a consideration as the style, cut and silhouettes of the suit. One of the best fabrics to wear during summer is Linen. Linen is a tricky fabric that does not behave the way other fabrics do. There are however some tricks and tips that if followed will have you wearing Linen like Bond…James Bond.. in any of his tropical escapades! Linen is a fabulous suit option for the summer months and for more tropical climates. Linen is a natural fiber which is most often chosen for its coolness and poise in warm weather. Another reason that Linen lends itself to being a great fabric for a summer suit is that Linen also has the look of luxury! This comes from history actually. Since Linen wrinkles in a very particular way that only Linen can, and needs ironing after each use, it is assumed that if you can afford to hire someone (originally a butler) who will iron your suit, you are supposed to be pretty well off. Consequently, Linen was only worn by the upper classes of society and so, it transpired that Linen took on the air of luxury and class. Your Linen suit ideally should be custom made to capture that perfect fit and drape which will not only minimize the wrinkles but fit and follow your body in a way so as to accentuate your best look. A Linen suit is most appropriate to wear in casual settings or at a formal beach event such as a summer beach wedding or on a tropical island cruise. Once you decide on wearing a Linen suit for your event, then the challenge becomes how to style and customize the suit. Linen is a fabric that is easy to mix and match and when not being worn as an ensemble, looks best when paired with a darker contrasting fabric in the same tonal family. A custom made cheesecloth or gossamer cotton dress shirt is a great piece to pair with your custom made Linen suit because it provides a great balance to the suit and because the shirt and the suit are made from the same fibers, the uniformity of texture and drape make them both look ‘made for each other’! Linen suit works best in natural or neutral colors … specially earth tones. Colors such as white, ivory, tans, shades of beige or khaki, olives and browns look excellent in Linen. Shirts can be paired accordingly. A light brown Linen suit will go well with an ivory or cream Linen shirt. An olive suit goes well with white or ivory. An ivory suit looks good with ivory or light tan or light khaki shirts. As long as you are pairing the shirt color with the same tonal but contrasted color, you are doing fine! Because Linen is a summer fabric and is worn in very hot summers, it is almost never worn with a necktie. There are occasions when you may be wearing the suit to corporate events where a tie is necessary, in which case, use a linen shirt and a very light weight cotton tie to complete the ensemble. Since Linen is a summer fabric, it is almost always made as a two piece suit – never as a three piece suit. Vests or waistcoats are a fall and winter garment afterall. Typically, Linen suits are never double breasted. Because it is a summer cloth, Linen is almost always made into a single breasted two or three button suit with center or even better, side vents! It is also very common to have Linen suits with half lined back or totally unlined. Again, this is in keeping with the hot climate it is worn in. The most common style of suit that we custom make in linen is single breasted, two buttons, side vents with flat front pants and half lined or unlined jacket. Here is a perfect example of this style - This was made in fabric number 1011 which is a 6 oz pure Italian Linen. In a suit made of Linen, travel care of the suit is a big consideration. While Linen does have an easy care quality in that all it really needs is a good ironing after each use, it is also important to follow the some basic guidelines for your custom made Linen suit. It the suit has lining, then the Linen suit should be dry cleaned only but if the suit has no lining in the jacket, then you can wash it in cold water and air dry it. Take care to make sure that the fabric has already been preshrunk before the suit was manufactured lest the water shrink it even more! Never put a Linen suit in the dryer because the heat of the dryer will damage the shape and fabric of your garment. When it comes to drying your Linen suit, air dry the suit and then iron it while it is still a wee bit damp in order to avoid scorching the fabric. Linen is a fabulous option for the summer months and more tropical climates. As you begin to plan your summer wardrobe, open your mind to the option of Linen. You never know, you may discover a new favorite to add to your wardrobe!