Dress for a casual lunch with friends in Northern California this past Saturday. There was a high fog, which kept it overcast and cool on the coast, and mild inland.
The day's clothes were chestnut leather and white suede spectators, linen trousers, a polo and a linen sweater. A cream linen cap waits down the stairs.
Linen was the predecessor to cotton as a cloth-for-all-jobs, from bedding to towels to clothing. Less expensive to produce, cotton has replaced it in all but luxury applications where the cost is not a primary consideration.
In men's clothing, linen fills a summertime role that's similar to flannel in winter -it's not quite formal enough for formal offices but its texture earns it a place the rest of the time. The key to wearing linen jackets and/or trousers is to use the heaviest possible cloth because it rumples rather than wrinkles. That may rule linen out on the warmest days for some men, but it still deserves a place in a well-dressed man's wardrobe.