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13 Best Linen Shirts for Men: A Buying Guide

Summer linen shirts gained their (obvious) appeal way back in the day. The smart, fashionable peeps in warmer climates figured out that light, breathable fabrics were one way to combat the misery of humidity and sweat and the summer heat. Check out our helpful buyer’s guide of the best men’s long and short sleeve linen shirts that will make your shopping easier and less stressful.

Price: $ – $
13 Listed Items

Given the old cultural directive that says people gotta wear clothes (wha?), it turned out that linen was a great answer for clothing oneself when it's hot. Linen, which is made from the flax plant, is a lightweight fabric that tends to promote evaporation of moisture very quickly. Call it the original wicking fabric.

But as we pointed out here, there's a lot more to linen than simply being desirable for its "technical" properties. Primarily, it's really good-looking. The guy wearing a linen shirt sets himself apart because it's not a style that many guys sport.

There's also the fact that linen comes with a beach vibe, and who can argue with a vibe like that? You can be a million miles from the water of any kind and still wear linen and achieve the vibe. Linen just gets you there quicker.

Men's Linen Shirts: A Classic Summer Look

Men's linen shirts are a great addition to any wardrobe because they add that dimension that only linen can add. You might pop your Hawaiian shirt one day, a polo shirt the next day, and then your well-made tee-shirt the day after that. But, then, boom: you whip out the linen shirt. Not everybody does it because not everybody has your style. But getting back to the way linen shirts for men work: you're not just looking good, you're feeling good because it's a great fabric.

Linen Shirts for Men: Long or Short Sleeve

First off, we're not ranking the shirts. They're only numbered for convenience. What we are doing is focussing on both long sleeve and short sleeve shirts.

  • Long-Sleeve Linen Shirts for Men -- #1 through #9
  • Short-Sleeve Linen Shirts for Men -- #10 through #13

While neither style is better than the other, there are times when a short sleeve linen shirt will be more appropriate and vice versa. The long sleeve probably has a bit more versatility: you can wear it super casual...roll the sleeves up...keep it untucked. You can also wear it dressier: leave the sleeves down. Tuck it in.

For all the shirts, we've selected a range of colors and those are shown in the photos, but each shirt is available in a lot of additional colors. We also included additional choices other than each main featured shirt, to give you more options. So cop it, rock it and achieve the vibe.


To Tuck or Not To Tuck?

For each of the shirts on the list, we point out how the hem is cut. It seems like most often, men's linen shirts are cut with a straight hem. But, often, and especially with the long sleeves, you'll find the hem to be shirttail style. (That's simply the way a traditional long-sleeved shirt is cut at the hem.)

Generally speaking, you probably aren't going to tuck in a straight hem men's linen shirt because you're not going to have ample material. Not saying you can't do it, it just might be a challenge to pull off. But just because a linen shirt has a shirttail hem doesn't mean you have to tuck it in.

In fact, men's linen shirts -- whether they're long sleeve or short sleeve -- are probably worn untucked 90 percent of the time. When you're tucking them in, you're probably dressing up a bit more. You look good, did we mention that?

A Quick Word on Care

For a separate list of the 11 Best Men's Linen Pants for Summer (2021), we addressed the fabric care issue and we're including the same info right here.

With linen, it's really a lot easier than you think. Yes, you will often want to use an iron, especially if you're going to be wearing your linen to an occasion. A shirt that is 100 percent linen or a linen/cotton blend will probably need a bit more care than something in a linen/synthetic blend.

Here's a quick take on care from The Idle Man. They're talking about linen suits, but it applies to any linen clothing.

"Even though linen is a rather fine and soft fabric, it’s also very robust so it can be quite durable. You should wash linen either by hand or wash in the washing machine at a low temperature. There’s no need to fuss with dry cleaning, as the chemicals they use are harsh and can damage the fabric over time. If your suit needs ironing, it's a good idea to do it while it is damp to protect the fabric. Alternatively, you can simply hang it up to dry and the wrinkles will naturally disperse for the most part." -- The Idle Man

We point out for each shirt whether they have to be dry cleaned, machine-washed or hand washed. We're of the opinion that careful handwashing (a delicate detergent, not too much time in the water, no wringing out) and hanging dry will work for all of them. But if a manufacturer says "dry clean," you'll have to make the decision.