If you’re looking for an easy, breezy summer silhouette that can still make your favorite tee shirt and jacket look polished, linen pants are worth a close look. The breathable, natural fabric is made from the inner bark of flax plants (and others, including hemp, ramie and mulberry), so it’s ultra-lightweight and highly absorbent, allowing it to wick away moisture to keep you cool.
And while your mens clothing shop online of a pair of white linen pants may have been something to wear lounging in a beach house or on vacation, the style has gone through some upgrades in recent years that can help you wear them anywhere. Adding elements like drawstring waists, unfinished or turned-up hems and sharp pleats can give your laidback pants an airier feel that’s more work-appropriate than your typical beach pant.
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Alternatively, try a smart, tailored fit, like the ones in this collection from Mr. Porter’s in-house label, where cotton blends can add some structure and longevity. You can even get a pair in a light wash that will go with just about anything you already have in your wardrobe.
The one thing to consider with linen is its tendency to wrinkle and crease easily, so you’ll need to be ready with a steam iron or your dry cleaner’s number. It’s also not the most durable material, which means it’s more likely to rip or run than your usual chinos, so choose wisely. If you’re new to the style, consider picking up a few cheaper pairs at different price points so you can test the waters without dropping the better part of your paycheck.