It's summer, and that means there is linen everywhere you look on menswear sites. Why is that? Well, linen looks great. It's lightweight. It's affordable, and it's breathable. What more could you ask for in summer wear? Unfortunately, it’s also easy to be mistaken for your pet Shar-Pei once you've been wearing a linen shirt or dress for more than five minutes.
Nonetheless, linen shirts, pants, dresses, etc. are outstanding in summer, so we’re going to offer up some easy linen hacks for those seemingly unavoidable wrinkles.
Linen – What Is It?
First things first. What exactly is linen? It's no secret that linen is a fabric. That's the easy part. Originally, it was grown/woven in Egypt and is derived from flax plant fibers. Egyptians used linen like mad! They did, in fact, count it as a prized possession. So much so that, only if you were a Pharaoh could you properly or appropriately wear flax garments. Fortunately, these days, in order to don a linen outfit or even afford one, you don't have to be a pharaoh or any other kind of royalty.
Wearing Linen – You Don't Have To Look Like a Shar-Pei
More aggressively than any other material, linen wrinkles. It's a fact of life, right? Naturally, you can take your linen garments and steam or iron them until you're blue in the face. But how much good will that actually do? Is there an easier approach?
First of all, you must find the beauty in the linen’s wrinkles. When it comes to a worn-in linen shirt, there is a beauty about it that denotes a carefree, relaxed attitude perfect for summer. That said, let's look at how to keep your linen from wrinkling and how to get wrinkles out when they appear.
You're going to get wrinkles where your clothing pinches together. Movement plus pressure plus folds equals wrinkles. Common places for wrinkles are creases along the back and front of pants and shorts. Shirts and dresses wrinkle around the waist, elbows, and anywhere else the body bends. If you travel with a steamer, give them a quick blast and be on your way.
Avoid the “walking hamper” look by paying the proper amount of attention to your linen. Never neglect it. Proper steaming/ironing, hanging, and washing is a must. You might choose to give your linen a smooth and crisp look with a bit of starch, but it can make your clothing stiff.
To Get the Wrinkles Out
Here are a few methods of getting out wrinkles:
- The spray and stretch method – On a hanger, place your linen garments. With a water bottle, spray the wrinkles. Gently work/stretch/adjust the fabric until the wrinkles hang out. You're good to go once the garment dries.
- To get the wrinkles out of most any linen article of clothing, a garment steamer works beautifully. If you're big into linen, never leave home without it. No steamer? If you’re taking a super long, hot shower before you go out, hang the garment in the bathroom with you, close the door, and don’t turn on the vent/fan while you shower.
- At laundry time, linen garments should be immediately removed from the washer and dryer when the cycle is done. They will wrinkle more the longer they sit. You might even want to remove your linen garments from the dryer while they're still marginally damp and hang them up to dry or lay them flat on a clean, white towel.