Why every Middle East man needs a linen jacket

Because its creasability is a much lesser evil than marinating in your own sweat all day.

September 25, 2016

I know we Middle East inhabitants kid ourselves about the change of seasons – perhaps to rationalise and even justify our fashion purchases – but there really is no jacket or blazer fabric that you can get more value from in terms of cost per use than wrinkly old linen.

Sure, it’s a thread most associated with summer, but come on, wake up and smell the sea salt humidity. It’s always summer in Dubai, save for the few mildly chilly days in January. So you may as well invest in linen. In fact, the year-round Middle East jacket is a linen one. There, I said it.

For those who are still on the fence about the practicality of the fabric, here are some benefits of wearing linen that’ll have you shopping for new blazers.

1. Breathability

Ever noticed how linen is a little bit see-through and the gaps between the fibres a little bit wider than say, cotton? That’s how the fabric achieves its breathability. It just feels airier when you’re wearing linen.

2. Absorbency

Linen absorbs moisture from the skin so you always feel dry. Living in the desert, we all know you don’t have to exert much effort to start sweating profusely. And sometimes it’s not even our own sweat, but the humidity in the air that clings to the skin, leaving you feeling sticky and icky and disgusting before you’ve even punched in for work. The absorbent property of linen naturally takes care of that.

3. Sprezzatura

The Italian word for studied carelessness is probably what’s most sartorially fascinating about linen. It just gives off that effortless look, which if you’ve done any styling work whether on yourself or others, is not effortless at all. The predisposition of the fabric to get wrinkled at the slightest movement is not something you try to avoid, it’s something you embrace. You look sloppy, and you’re nonchalant about it because you’re exuding a cool, DGAF vibe and you’re doing it on purpose. Well, linen did it for you, but that’s because you let it and didn’t make a big deal out of it.

4. Protection

This is entering physics territory, but linen offers strong protection against gamma and solar radiation. Something to keep in mind. Your weekly trips to get a tan on Kite Beach will probably negate this benefit. Still, good to know, right?

5. Durability

Linen is a tougher type of fabric than the usual suspects. This means that it can take a lot more wear and tear before it breaks down. And if you opt for a high-quality – which I expect you would when it comes to this specific textile – it will outlast all your other jackets.

One of my favourite brands for linen pieces is Capritouch, an Italian handmade fashion brand which brings the unique, recognisable style of the island of Capri to Dubai. The label celebrates the Dolce Vita Style of Capri, using patterns, colours and fabrics reminiscent of the 1950s and '60s, fusing the grand silhouettes and aesthetics of the period into the modern tastes of the 21st century.

This article originally appeared on fashionchameleon.ae and is reposted here with the author's permission.