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5 Keys To Wearing A Linen Suit To Work

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5 Keys To Wearing A Linen Suit To Work

A linen suit is like the Leonardo DiCaprio of menswear. It’s regularly seen on the Riviera with bikini-clad girlfriends cruising the Mediterranean. It’s the unofficial uniform of guys who sip champagne on yachts and say  things like “Let’s stop for a bite in  Monaco.”

But who lives like that? Not us. We spend our summers like we spend the rest of the calendar year, at the office. That means we’ve got to follow a business dress code. Still, we think linen suits deserve a spot in the office rotation. Why? Because we love linen’s cooling properties and it’s overall cool vibes. Why limit one of our favorite fabrics to only leisure activities?

The Starting Point

Why aren’t there better ways to include the linen suit in the professional dress code? That was the question we asked when developing the collection of linen suits you’ll find at Black Lapel. When we asked around we found that plenty of guys wanted to wear linen suits to the office. But the big stumbling blocks were A) wrinkling and B) color.

If you’ve ever worn a linen suit you know that they’re extremely prone to wrinkles and once they start to wrinkle, there’s no going back. Our first solution to that problem was to equip each linen suit with a small pocket steamer so that you could steam out wrinkles as soon as they started to form.

A summer intern named Steve was our original tester. The test proved technically challenging though, and several steam burns to sensitive areas later (sorry Steve!), we went back to the drawing board. That’s when we realized that blending linen with our usual suiting fabric, wool, made for a cloth that had the best of both worlds. It was cool and crisp because of the linen but wrinkles took longer to set in and would come out easier.

With that problem solved we tackled the next one: choosing office-appropriate colors. Enter the gray and blue linen blend suits you see here.

These office-ready linen suits that fit into even the most formal of business dress codes. We’ve already shown you how you can chill out the look for a relaxed summer dress code. Now we’ll show you how to dress them up for the dressy offices with more professional dress code.

Wear Them As Three-Piece Suits

1

Wear Them As Three-Piece Suits

Nothing says you’re ready to get down to business like a three-piece suit. Since these aren’t your typical khaki linen suits, you won’t look like a groomsman at a beach wedding when you add the vest to your look. To further differentiate your look, wear a three-piece the modern way and add a non-matching vest to your look. In either case, your look gets dressier and your style gets a boost.

Marine Blue Linen Blend Custom Suit
by Black Lapel

Wear Them With Pocket Squares

2

Wear Them With Pocket Squares

We recommend pocket squares because they add a little bit of asymmetry to your look and give you a chance to bring out contrasts and colors in your outfit. While not mandatory in any business dress code, a pocket square signals that you’re not kidding around when it comes to style. Wearing one with a linen suit elevates your whole look and ensures that nothing about your look is casual.

Light Gray Linen Blend Custom Suit
by Black Lapel

Wear Them with Classic Dress Shirts

3

Wear Them With Classic Dress Shirts

While we like a good chambray or denim shirt to loosen up a suited look, when it comes to taking a linen suit to the office, keep the shirts dressy. That means you can stick with the only two colors a man needs in his dress shirt collection, white and light blue, to dress up a linen suit. If you want to wear it with a patterned dress shirt, like a gingham or a stripe, that’ll work too. It depends on how formal your business dress code is. When in doubt, it doesn’t get any dressier (or easier to pull off) than a solid white dress shirt.

Cool Gray Linen Blend Custom Suit
by Black Lapel

Wear Them With Ties

4

Wear Them With Ties

You already know that ties are a key part of the professional dress code. But with all of the tie haters out there, we figured it needed to be reiterated. If you want to be taken seriously in a suit (or at all, for that matter), a tie and pocket square go a long way. With a linen suit, the tie takes the look from the beach wedding to the board meeting.

Light Gray Linen Blend Custom Suit
by Black Lapel

Wear Them With Lace Ups

5

Wear Them With Lace Ups

You wouldn’t think shoes could really dress up a look. They take up less than 10% of any outfit, yet your shoes say a lot about how you want to be seen. In this case, if you want to say “This may be a linen suit, but I’m all business,” then wear it with your finest pair of lace up shoes. While the loafer says you’re a bit more relaxed, the lace up lifts the formality of everything you’re wearing.

Marine Blue Linen Blend Custom Suit
by Black Lapel

So for those of us who don’t live like Leo, a summer suit regimen is a real and necessary thing. You may never casually dine in Monaco—or even know where Monaco is—but with these tips you will know how to wear linen in ways that fit any business dress code.

Epilogue

Shout out to our boy Steve who just graduated from Brandeis with a degree in not filing lawsuits against former internship employers. Way to go, Steve-o! Once again, our bad.

Your Next Move:

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