The Luxury of the Linen Suit
It is a personal mantra of mine that luxury should be lived in, and linen fabric is certainly no exception. Soft to the hand yet taut in its wear, throughout sartorial history linen has straddled both the classes and the masses simultaneously. Linen is in fact the oldest textile in the world. Dating as far back as the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, linen was heralded for its cool crisp weightlessness paired with strength and durability.
In the late 19th century this time honored cloth took its more modern shape and application within suiting and society. Through WWI, the color of a gentlemen’s linen suit noted his class in society. Lighter colors such as white, cream, oatmeal and tan signified wealth, as one could afford to keep these colors clean. Darker colors such as brown, charcoal and dark blue, quite literally denoted one was of the “blue collar” working class.
Today, our north star of societal status is not dictated exclusively by color and we may enjoy linen and all of its profound history as we please. As a designer, what captivates my attention to linen is its rugged polish and of course, the wrinkles! When dressing in a linen suit it is these wrinkles, which bespeak a quiet confidence that says, “This is not my only suit, and likely it is my 10th or maybe even 20th”… This is the embodiment of the “lived-in” luxury one can enjoy while wearing linen, it literally looks already lived in right off the hanger.