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Look good and stay cool in linen and chino shorts

Go as formal as the temperature lets you.

Linen is the best fabric to wear in the heat, and it looks great.
Linen is the best fabric to wear in the heat, and it looks great.

It’s getting hotter. A sea of sleeveless tees and board shorts drowns the land. Through it wades a lone crusader, fighting on the side of aesthetics. Zoom in. It’s you, wearing a nice linen shirt.

Linen shirts are the best compromise between comfort and style, in that there isn’t a compromise. Button-up flax shirts can be worn almost as formally as standard dress shirts. They’re also the least oppressive thing you can wear in hot weather, other than nothing.

If you’ve never worn linen, there are a couple considerations to keep in mind.

It has a coarse texture. Some people prefer to wear linen blended with cotton or silk, because it chafes less. These will be hotter than 100 percent linen, though.

Linen also wrinkles more easily than any other fabric. The good news is that you can de-wrinkle a linen shirt in two minutes if you buy a cheap hand steamer.

Pick shirts that aren’t too long. You want to be able to wear it untucked, so make sure that the hem doesn’t come down past the middle of your fly. Slimmer is better — no part of the shirt should be baggy.

Linen shirts are commonly made in summery pastels, which can be fine if you don’t overdo it. I prefer more neutral colors such as white, black, blues, and grays.

They look especially good with slim fit, flat front chino shorts. They also pair well with jeans, or long chinos if you want to look dressier. Go as formal as the temperature lets you.

Linen shirts are expensive, unless you thrift them. They are surprisingly easy to find at thrift stores. Goodwills have the largest clothing inventories but are also the most expensive. Salvation Army (during sale days) and San Diego Rescue Mission thrifts are great alternatives.

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Linen is the best fabric to wear in the heat, and it looks great.
Linen is the best fabric to wear in the heat, and it looks great.

It’s getting hotter. A sea of sleeveless tees and board shorts drowns the land. Through it wades a lone crusader, fighting on the side of aesthetics. Zoom in. It’s you, wearing a nice linen shirt.

Linen shirts are the best compromise between comfort and style, in that there isn’t a compromise. Button-up flax shirts can be worn almost as formally as standard dress shirts. They’re also the least oppressive thing you can wear in hot weather, other than nothing.

If you’ve never worn linen, there are a couple considerations to keep in mind.

It has a coarse texture. Some people prefer to wear linen blended with cotton or silk, because it chafes less. These will be hotter than 100 percent linen, though.

Linen also wrinkles more easily than any other fabric. The good news is that you can de-wrinkle a linen shirt in two minutes if you buy a cheap hand steamer.

Pick shirts that aren’t too long. You want to be able to wear it untucked, so make sure that the hem doesn’t come down past the middle of your fly. Slimmer is better — no part of the shirt should be baggy.

Linen shirts are commonly made in summery pastels, which can be fine if you don’t overdo it. I prefer more neutral colors such as white, black, blues, and grays.

They look especially good with slim fit, flat front chino shorts. They also pair well with jeans, or long chinos if you want to look dressier. Go as formal as the temperature lets you.

Linen shirts are expensive, unless you thrift them. They are surprisingly easy to find at thrift stores. Goodwills have the largest clothing inventories but are also the most expensive. Salvation Army (during sale days) and San Diego Rescue Mission thrifts are great alternatives.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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