A linen shirt feels cool on the skin on hot summer days.

Linen Shirt Pros & Cons

by Diane Bautista

Looking for the perfect summer garment? Clothes made of linen breathe well, feel lightweight and can be worn for casual or formal occasions. In many styles and weights, linen shirts are essential in warm weather, although they do require some special care to maintain their cool, crisp appearance.

What’s Great About Linen?

A linen shirt is best worn during the summer months and in warm climates. Linen is woven from natural fibers, which contributes to the fabric's breathability. Linen shirts are also lightweight, wick away moisture and dry quickly. These properties allow linen clothing to feel cool, airy and light on the body. Wear a linen shirt at casual or dressy events. The fabric is natural yet elegant, and its distinct texture adds a touch of interest to an outfit.

What's Not So Great About Linen?

The most common complaint about linen is that it wrinkles very easily. Once linen shirts get wrinkled, removing creases takes a bit of time if the fabric is not ironed correctly. In addition to ironing, linen shirts require special maintenance when washing and drying. Other people complain about the price of linen clothing. The fabric is expensive to manufacture, which is reflected in the clothing’s high cost.


Hand-wash, dry clean or machine-wash your linen shirts in warm water on a gentle cycle. Air-dry clothing on a padded flat surface or place shirts on a padded hanger. Drying linen shirts in a machine dryer can wear down the material and cause shrinkage. Linen shirts are bound to wrinkle, although higher-quality fabric with tightly woven thread fibers makes wrinkling less frequent. When ironing a linen shirt, use a steam iron or spritz the fabric with water. Iron a linen shirt from the inside to remove wrinkles, then follow up by ironing from the outside to give the fabric a crisp, neat sheen.

What to Wear with Linen Shirts

As a rule of thumb, linen shirts look good alongside other natural fabrics, such as wool or cotton. Match a long-sleeved linen shirt with wool chinos for a dressy look, or wear a casual linen button-down shirt with a pair of denim jeans. Avoid layering linen garments directly on top of each other. While linen pants and shirts can be worn together, like a suit, wearing a linen blazer and linen button-down can be a little too matchy-matchy.

About the Author

Diane Bautista has more than seven years of professional experience writing for a variety of industries including fashion retail, communications technology and nonprofit. She currently works as an advertising copywriter and holds a B.A. in English from Washington State University.

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