Linen suits are synonymous with summer. But can they be worn in the winter?
See, linen is considered to be the quintessential summer fabric. It is light, breathable, and moisture-wicking; three qualities that help your body in keeping cool.
You may think that these three qualities will not work in the colder months, because they are the opposite of what you want a winter garment to be – heavy, insulating, and absorbent.
But the truth is always complicated. Read this article to find out everything about wearing linen suits in the winter.
Can You Wear A Linen Suit In The Winter?
Linen suits can be worn in the winter, but a lot depends on the weight of the linen and where you live. Thicker, heavy-weight linen suits are ideal for the colder months of the year.
There are a bunch of factors that determine if your particular linen suit is going to be adequate for the winter season.
The weight of the fabric
Linen is a lightweight fabric, and that’s the main reason people recommend it as much as they do in the summer.
Pure 100% linen suits are too light for the winter, and should never be worn in the winter.
Linen blends, however, are a different story.
Heavier linen blends (such as a linen-wool blend) are thick enough to be worn in colder temperatures, whereas linen-cotton blends will make you shiver until you become a popsicle.
So take a look at the tag of your suit, if it’s a wool blend or rayon blend, you can probably wear it in the colder seasons.
Where you live
How severe (or mild) your winters are, makes a lot of impact on what kind of suits you should be wearing.
Think about it logically. If you live in someplace like Florida, a linen suit is going to be more than enough in the winter.
If you live in NYC like me, you can bid your linens goodbye.
Although you will have to use your own brain in figuring this out, a good rule of thumb is avoiding linen if it snows in the winter where you live.
Is your suit Lined or Unlined?
Lining refers to the interior portion of a suit jacket. It can be made of different materials like polyester, cotton, nylon, and wool. The purpose of the lining is to act as another barrier between your body and the outside environment.
A lot of linen suits are unlined, that is, they don’t have a lining. Such suits should never be worn in the winter, as they would leave you shivering from the cold.
If you don’t know anything about the lining of your suit, it might make sense to ask this question to your tailor.
And even if the suit jacket is lined, try and see if the lining is made from a warmer material like wool. This information can be found on the tag.
How To Wear Linen Suits In The Winter?
Wearing linen suits in the winter is one thing. But making them work so that you don’t freeze, that’s a whole different ball game.
There are a bunch of different things you can do to ensure that you remain sufficiently warm while wearing a linen suit. Here are some of the major ones:
- Wear heat-tech inside your clothes. This is the easiest way to ensure that you remain warm and cozy throughout the day.
- For your base layer, go for a heavier weight t-shirt. You can even wear a flannel shirt that doesn’t have any loud patterns.
- Throw an overcoat on if it gets too cold. Overcoats are the great when it comes to protecting your linen suit from ever coming in contact with cold winds in the first place.
- And lastly, make sure that you are wearing a thick scarf in order to protect your neck and neighboring regions from the biting cold.
Can You Wear A Linen Suit In The Fall?
Most linen suits can be worn in the fall season. They are heavy enough to insulate the body during early fall, and some thicker linen-blends can even withstand early winter.
But again, things come down to the three factors we discussed before:
- How thick and heavy your linen suit actually is.
- How cold it gets in your area.
- Whether your suit is lined or unlined.
In general, most 100% linen suits tend to do okay in the early months of the fall but as soon as fall comes to an end, they are no longer that useful.
However, if you use additional layering and styling methods as mentioned in the previous section, even 100% linen suits can keep you warm during the entirety of the fall season.
Linen Suit Alternative For The Winter
My recommendation, usually, is to pack up your linen suits as soon as Halloween ends. Replace them with something thicker, something heavier – worsted wool suits.
Worsted wool suits are a staple of men’s clothing. If you close your eyes and imagine a suit, you are probably going to imagine a worsted wool suit.
They keep you warm and cozy, and are *the* menswear pieces to get for the winter.
Due to the shape of the wool fibers, worsted wool suits do a much better job of keeping you warm than linen suits. Linen fibers are naturally made in a way to keep the wearer cool, not warm.
And the greatest part is that they don’t wrinkle at all!
Alternatively, you can even go for cotton suits depending on the weather. They make for great alternatives to the linen suit.
Linen suits can be worn in winter, provided that the suit is lined and made of a thicker linen, and you live in hotter climates like Florida.
That was all the information you need when it comes to rocking a linen suit in the winter months. While most linen suits fail to do the job, everything depends on the three factors mentioned throughout the guide.
So if you want your linen suit to be versatile, you need to do proper research before buying one. But the good news for you is that I have already done all the work for you.
If you want to know about the best linen suits for men, here’s the list.
My name is Alex Higson and I am the founder of Magic Of Clothes. I have worked in the fashion industry for many years, and clothes and style are a huge part of my life.