I love wearing linen shirts in summers.
They’re cool, breezy and let a lot of air in so it’s easy to breathe. Hence, they’re perfect for summer wear. I have a few linen shirts back from when I was in college that I still wear to this day.
They’ve held up extremely well.
However, I always pack them away when the summer months are over. If someone asks me, “Can you wear linen in the winter?”, the answer is a resounding no.
When Is Linen in Season?
Linen is a lightweight fabric, which makes it resilient against the summer heat and lets in a lot of air so your body can breathe easy.
It’s a great fabric that you can wear outdoors on a hot summer day, whether to the beach or a park. However, it is not a suitable winter material. You can wear it in early fall if you wish. However, when winter starts, you can risk catching a cold or freezing your tail off.
Of course, this can vary from country to country. There are some fairly warm summer months in some tropical countries. For example, in South and Southeast Asia, there are a lot of countries where the winter sun can be quite harsh. In that case, you may go from wearing a sweater to a linen shirt on the same day.
In arid climates, this can also be true. From the morning to the afternoon, the sun can beat you down and cause a lot of distress. If you’re in warm clothes, you will sweat profusely and even become dizzy from the heat. However, when the sun sets, the arid climate ensures in some areas that the temperature drops.
This is especially true for arid climates that occur in continental areas. In areas that are near the sea, but still arid, the temperature can stay fairly stable during the entire day.
Know your climate
So, it’s very important to know what the climate is like in your area before you choose to wear linen.
- Does the temperature vary a lot during the day and night?
- Is the sun’s heat too harsh during the day in winters or just pleasant?
- Does it rain quite a lot because it brings down the temperature as well?
All these factors contribute to the change in the weather and the climate. Once you have an idea about the weather where you live, you can better decide whether to wear linen shirts or not.
The bottom line is, linen is a great material to wear in the heat. However, it’s not suited for the winter season. Its lightweight nature doesn’t allow it to protect you from the harsh winds of winter. Neither does it provide any relief if you have to brave snow or hail or sleet.
I’m currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s always hot and humid, and there’s really no winter, so linen is a good choice all year round. I’ve got a couple nice linen shirts and a linen chore jacket from J. Crew – they’ve served me really well here!
Advantages of Wearing Linen
Wearing linen clothes come with a lot of advantages. This is why I’ve held on to some great linen shirts for so long. Let’s go through them one by one.
The first thing that you need to know about linen is that it’s strong. It’s one of the strongest natural fibers out there. It’s even found to become stronger during washes.
The linen fabric dates back to the Egyptian empire in 8000 BC. It was even used as a currency back in ancient times. That’s how valuable it was considered. This means that linen clothing is long lasting and will be durable for many summers to come. Hence, it’s a much better bang for your buck than cotton.
2. Low Environmental Impact
Linen is a natural fiber that is made from flax plant stalks. It’s a very resilient species which can grow in poor soils. They also require little fertilizer in comparison to cotton. The linen production process is also less water intensive than cotton. That means that it has a lower water footprint too.
Nearly all flax plants can be used for making linen. This is why the demand for flaxseed oil is increasing in the industry. Hence, there is very little waste when you look at the environmental impact. It’s also a natural fiber, hence, it’s biodegradable.
3. Breathable and Absorbent
Linen is known for being extremely breathable. Even though it’s so tough and durable, it’s also very, very breezy. Hence, you can go out on a nice summer’s day and feel light and refreshing. It is also very absorbent. It can take up 20% of its dry weight in moisture without becoming damp. This makes it great for tropical climates. It helps if you are naturally sweaty too. I remember the time when I was sweating profusely and linen saved me during a date.
4. Insect Repellant
It’s true; linen has great insect repellant properties. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever find bite marks from mosquitoes or any other insects. Hence, you can walk out into the garden without any fear with linen clothing.
The technique through which linen is manufactured makes it one of the most luxurious fabrics. It’s a full, thick and lustrous fabric, which stays together for much longer than cotton. Of course, this makes it much more expensive than cotton. It also makes it much more comfortable to wear.
With so many advantages, linen is the best fabric for hot weather!