Those warm temps snuck up quickly, right? Suddenly we’re scrambling to find the coolest, most breathable things we own, holding our arms out like Rose on the Titanic, trying to feel any wisp of a breeze on our skin. Don’t sweat it; now’s the time for the best linen shirts to step in.
Naturally lightweight and cooling, linen is the surest way to keep you as perspiration-free as possible while still being fully clothed. But the best linen shirts are not just your personal cooling unit. They’re also opportunities to bring an ease and breeziness to your fits. So, lean into this laid-back time of the year with this purposely rumpled, perfectly wrinkled, rakishly charming fabric.
Men that are seemingly on a permanent tropical vacation know what’s up; you know, those whose uniform consists of flowy, resort attire primed for lounging poolside with a coconut cocktail. There are still plenty of those to pack when you’re bound for locales near the equator, but there’s also a whole world of linen shirts that aren’t necessarily made for throwing back Mai Tais. Office-ready button-downs, elegant band collars, fine-gauge knit polo shirts, relaxed featherweight T-shirts, and even sleek options for late nights out all made from the natural stuff abound. Linen 24/7.
For guys seeking ventilation this summer, we’ve got you (lightly, airily, and breathably) covered. These are the best linen shirts that will keep you looking and feeling totally chill when the sun is high and the days are long.
Best Linen Shirt for the Office
Canali Linen Button-Front Shirt
If ever there was an occasion that called for linen’s intervention, it’s the hurried, sweaty office commute. Canali’s polished, Italian-made dress shirt has all the trappings of upper business casual—spread collar, board-approved light-blue color, pearly buttons—but instead of potentially stuffy poplin, it’s breezy linen.
Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $245
Best Classic Linen Shirt
Vince Classic Fit Short-Sleeve Linen Shirt
Close your eyes and picture the platonic ideal of a short-sleeve linen shirt. OK, now open. Ta-da! Vince’s versatile linen shirt will serve you well for whatever your warm-weather agenda entails, complete with a tuck-it-or-don’t length, point collar, and slew of summery color choices.
Best Check Linen Shirt
Oliver Spencer Havana Camp-Collar Checked Linen Shirt
Besides the fact that Oliver Spencer’s black-and-cream checked shirt will disguise any sweat that may arise on the hottest days, there’s something very cool about wearing a Pointdexter pattern rendered in chilled-out linen. We’ll always stan a camp collar, too.
Best Beach-Ready Linen Shirt
Frescobol Carioca Roberto Linen Shirt
The beach-bound folks at Rio de Janeiro–based Frescobol Carioca are well versed in leisure activities, including just laying around. They dole out some of the best and brightest (but not distracting) prints for just these occasions, as seen here on this “A Névoa” print shirt, named after the early hour mist on Rio’s beaches.
Buy Now on Frescobol Carioca: $255
Best Linen Shirt to Wear with a Suit
Brunello Cucinelli Linen Shirt
Those summer weddings are coming fast. Get yourself a go-to white linen shirt to wear underneath an equally lightweight suit. This classic, refined version from Brunello—with its streamlined, pocketless front and spread collar that won’t collapse under a lapel—is your new plus-one.
Best Linen Overshirt
Commas Patch Pocket Linen Blend Overshirt
Just because we’re transitioning into AC-cranking weather doesn’t mean that outerwear, or pseudo-outerwear, is out of the question. Commas workwear-influenced, boxy overshirt is relaxed and airy enough for crisp days, with plenty of structure and swag to top off a considered fit.
Buy Now on Matches Fashion: $426
Best Printed Linen Shirt
Derek Rose Milan 19 Printed Linen Shirt
All it takes is a subtle cravat print to elevate Derek Rose’s short sleeve linen shirt to cocktail-hour (or rehearsal dinner) attire. Call it stealth summer eveningwear.
Best Striped Linen Shirt
Todd Snyder Blue Slim–Fit Soft Irish Linen Shirt in Blue Stripe
Todd Snyder sources his linen from Baird McNutt, one of Ireland’s oldest linen mills. What that means for you is some of the finest, softest shirts that will only get better with time. You think this bold washed blue stripe shirt looks good now, but see how it evolves after a few beach-filled summers.
Best Linen Polo Shirt
Ralph Lauren Purple Label Linen-Cotton Short-Sleeved Polo Shirt
Here’s linen and cotton joining forces for the greater good of polo shirts everywhere. The patron saint of American sportswear offers up what might be the most sophisticated take on linen shirting out there. Sign us up for the mushroom-y neutral and the ribbed trims that keep this polo’s shape in check.
Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $695
Best Date-Night Linen Shirt
Barena Donde Regia Striped Short–Sleeve Camp Shirt
Linen usually conjures up images of warm days and idle hours, but Barena’s camp shirt has at least one sleeve in nightlife territory. Sporting some silky-smooth vibes, it may even help you schvitz slightly less on the dance floor.
Buy Now on Bloomingdale’s: $450
Best Fashion-Flex Linen Shirt
Our Legacy Boxy Linen Shirt
Yes, it’s a bit of a swerve, but Our Legacy’s trippy print takes this linen shirt in a wild and wonderful direction that somehow stays in the lane of wearability. Just think what it will do for your spring wardrobe (besides hypnotize onlookers).
Buy Now on Bloomingdale’s: $375
Best Band Collar Linen Shirt
Sease Band Collar Linen Sport Shirt
Band collar shirts can veer into the monastic realm, but Sease’s chambray-like approach with lightweight linen and minimal detailing feels forward-looking rather than austere. With shorts and sandals or chinos and sneakers, it’s a welcome take on a summer button-front shirt.
Buy Now on Bergdorf Goodman: $375
Best Linen Shirt for Poolside Cocktails
Onia Air Linen Convertible Camp Shirt
Pull up a chaise, park yourself under an umbrella, and sip on an icy beverage. Onia’s minty-fresh camp shirt gives off those supremely relaxed vibes that only airy linen can. It’s best paired with swim shorts and don’t-bother-me shades.
Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $125
Best Linen T-Shirt
Sunspel Linen T-Shirt
Once you’ve experienced the air flow of a linen T-shirt, you may not go back to cotton jersey—it’s just about the closest thing to not wearing a shirt at all. Sunspel’s take is soft, smooth, and has a loose fit with a bit of drape so you’re practically forced to relax.
Best Quarter-Button Linen Shirt
120% Lino Linen Voile Quarter-Button Shirt
As you may have gathered from the brand’s name, 120% Lino is focused only on linen. Shirts, pants, knitwear, outerwear: The brand does it all. You can’t go wrong with any of its silhouettes (trust the specialist!), but the quarter button here really shows off the summer-in-Cinque-Terre ethos.