Selina II

I haven’t been around for a while. I’ve been spending my days in white shorts and colorful polos, the evenings in linen and seersucker, and I can’t seem to bring myself to wear socks.

Summer is in full swing here in Central VA. And it is hot, hazy and humid. Air conditioning, even set as absurdly low as we have it set, is welcome. But nothing beats the cool breeze off the water.

Back with things sartorial in a bit.

 
LinenAstonShirtRL

Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label Aston Linen Shirt. Click through for pricing.

It’s hot here in Central Virginia. I’ve thrown out lots of rules in the last years. I wear seersucker and white before Memorial Day if the temperatures hit the upper 80’s F.

I also wear linen or linen/cotton/silk blends. Let me praise linen shirts, your baselayer defense in the face of the heat and humidity. The ancient Egyptians wore linen. And you can bet they knew a thing or two about heat, if not humidity. Most men shy away from linen because it wrinkles. That’s part of it’s charm. I believe that the wrinkles act like the weave in seersucker, making sure that only part of the fabric touches you at any one time. Live with them, especially if you’re casually dressed.

But consider linen for dress shirts as well. They can be constructed just as formally as your cotton ones and work just as nicely with a tie. Or your khakis or jeans.

Chambray is also big. Sports coats, trousers and shirts, but that’s for another post.

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Keeping up with the trends that are decent enough for any of us to wear, I’ve noticed an awful lot of unlined or semi-lined sports coats. These have been around since Moses had the first one made up in Egyptian cotton. There’s a reason that they died out. Machine manufacturing is sloppy stuff and a full lining conceals that nicely. It takes more work to make sure seams are even and taped, and that the sportcoat is cut to look like something other than a potato sack. The good ones look like blazers and sports coats. They feel like shirts. I suppose it is the Italian influence or our concerns over global warming that have lead to wearing cooler fabrics, but whatever the case, I’m all for them. The best will still have a canvas front and minimal of any padding to the shoulder.

Linen safari Jacket RL

Moving on to outerwear… safari jackets. Or field coats. Or moto style waxed jackets. They go by many names. They are all military inspired and look great as casual outerwear or for the middle ground of menswear. Mr. Lauren’s is rendered in black linen. Making it cooler in all senses of the word.

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