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As temperatures rise, we’re trusting linen shirts to keep us cool (in both senses of the word). The breezy, casual shirts seem to be a microtrend this year, with everyone from stylish office-goers to young fashion influencers stocking up on the best linen shirts.
And we’re all for the current linen shirt trend. First and foremost, the fabric is unbeatably cool, offering natural ventilation, quick-drying powers, and a lightness that keeps the fabric away from your body (hence linen’s popularity in quality summer bedding). You’ll notice significantly less sweat and more comfort walking around in linen compared to regular cotton. Plus, linen is more durable than cotton, making the best linen shirts suitable for jaunts down beach trails or rough-and-tumble travel days.
But, of course, linen shirts aren’t all about functionality: The best linen shirts score plenty of style points, lending a tropical-jet-setter vibe that can take you from the beach to a fancy restaurant and back to the office. Pick an easy neutral color, and the lightweight shirts can be styled (successfully) with everything from swim trunks and white sneakers to a suit and loafers.
Better yet, some of the best linen shirts aren’t the long-sleeve button-up affairs you’ve seen in the past (although those remain a staple). Forward-thinking brands are integrating linen in T-shirts, polos, and camp collar resort shirts, while still offering the classic button-ups that we end up grabbing all season long.
In short, we highly recommend adding one (or three) of the best linen shirts to your summer rotation.
The Best Linen Shirts for Men
Below are some of the best linen shirts we’re buying this summer. We’ve included a range of linen shirt styles — including classic white button-ups, vibrant resort shirts, and modern tees — at price points to suit most budgets.
1. Everlane Linen Shirt
If you don’t already have a classic linen button-up, grab this one from Everlane. It’s everything a great linen button-up should be; lightweight, durable, standard fit, and made using 100% high-quality linen. You also get a few good color options, including white, pinstripe, black, and tan (Everlane calls tan “iced coffee”). Plus, the price tag is very reasonable considering the level of quality. Style it with slacks and fresh sneakers for the office, shorts and sandals at the beach, or jeans and loafers for a night out.
2. Alex Crane Sun Tee
Brooklyn-based staples brand Alex Crane is making some of our favorite linen T-shirts right now. They source high-quality linen from France and use 100% linen to make these Sun Tees. The shirts are then pre-washed and shrunk, ensuring softness and a proper fit right out of the box. There are also nine on-trend colors to choose from, but we’re especially fond of this versatile faded black.
3. Madewell Linen Easy Short-Sleeve Shirt
Stocking up for a vacation? Check out this linen short-sleeve from Madewell. With a camp collar, boxy fit, and three fun, light print options, it’s purpose-built for lounging in the sun, drinking fruity cocktails, and strolling on the beach. But the vacation vibes don’t have to end when you’re home: throw the Easy linen shirt over a white tee with sneakers and black jeans for an upgraded weekend look.
4. Theory Irving Shirt in Linen Twill
We’ve all had the displeasure of pulling on a thick dress shirt on a hot evening. This crisp, lightweight linen twill shirt from Theory ensures you won’t have to do that again. Its linen-cotton blend fabric gives a more pulled-together look for dressier occasions, working just as well with slacks and dress shoes as it does with sandals and shorts.
5. Todd Snyder Irish Sea Linen Shirt
This Irish Sea linen shirt from Todd Snyder is another fantastic short-sleeved option. As usual with Todd Snyder, the shirt is a classic that’s been recreated for modern gents. It’s got a throwback camp collar, a regular fit, and a few handsome colors, but the quality of the linen is what really catches our attention: It’s sourced from Baird McNutt, a 100-plus-year-old linen supplier in Ireland.
6. Polo Ralph Lauren Linen Chambray Shirt
If you’re in need of a go-to white linen shirt, we recommend this one from Polo Ralph Lauren. Small touches like a button-down point collar and high-quality linen make the shirt slightly more sophisticated than your average linen button-up. This means you can rock it with a suit and tie just as easily as you can throw it on unbuttoned with swim trunks.
7. Banana Republic Castello Linen Shirt
Banana Republic is having a lot of fun with linen. This Castello shirt comes in nine colors, ranging from classic white and black to more unique colors like lavender, blood orange, and Pacific pink. The latter options are a good way to inject some playfulness into your wardrobe, and make especially good picks for summertime wedding getups.
8. Ralph Lauren Purple Label Classic Linen Shirt
Looking for a linen shirt that can pass for a regular dress shirt? Check out this one from Ralph Lauren’s ultra-high-end division, Purple Label. Unlike most linen shirts, the Purple Label shirt is sized by neck circumference (like a dress shirt), ensuring the right fit when buttoned to the top. Made in Italy, the shirt’s linen material also looks more luxurious than most, pairing well with designer suits and casual pieces alike.
9. Vilebrequin Pyramid Linen Polo Shirt
Vilebrequin might be known for excellent swim trunks, but this linen Pyramid polo shirt proves that they can do shirting too. It’s extremely lightweight, and the spread-collar, button-less neck encourages exceptional breathability and a relaxed look. Wear it with jeans while running errands or grabbing a drink, and team it with some of Vilebrequin’s swim trunks on vacation.