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As the weather warms up here in DC, it’s an easy mental leap to this region’s mid-summer heat.  I always think longingly of the heat and humidity as it’s a far preferable scenario, in my opinion, to a cold, rainy winter.  And my ace in the hole for beating the heat is a fabric that is shockingly polarizing: linen.

Many will argue that linen is an inferior fabric — it wrinkles too much, it doesn’t keep it’s shape, and the list goes on.  While it’s true, wool is a higher performance fabric, linen gets a bad rep in comparison.  But, like anything, we must appreciate linen for it’s strengths and use that knowledge to our advantage.

A true, 100% linen is made from fibers from the flax plant, and have been a staple in hot-weather climates for centuries.  Many people refer to fabrics in a linen weave as linen fabrics, when in reality they may be blended with cotton or hemp, which are very obviously not linen and do not perform the same way.

Linen trousers will absolutely wrinkle and their shape will expand over time.  Some may call this sloppy, but I call it character.  Many men have over-corrected in the fit realm, preferring skin tight trousers to ones that are a little more airy.  But do you know what cures that swampy summer feeling? That’s right: AIR.  So embrace the extra room and let those linen wrinkles speak to your mettle.  And if anyone gives you flack, just take a long pull of your dark n’ stormy. 

-Read

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