1 Piece/3 Ways: The White Linen Suit
May 27th, 2013
In celebration of Memorial Day, and the new Gatsby movie, we bring you three ways to wear a white suit.
It’s not an easy garment to pull-off, but it can be done.
Here are some ideas and appropriate occasions.
1. Beach Wedding
Although Gatsby’s white suit is reportedly made of flannel, in my opinion, the most natural looking white suit (and thus, the easiest to pull-off) is made from a lightweight summer fabric like cotton or linen. This cotton/linen blend, for example, has a cool, “breezy” feel.
A beach wedding is one of the few occasions a man can safely break-out a white suit. Here I gave it some color with a solid blue shirt and some pattern with a cotton madras tie.
Remember: save at the store and splurge at the tailor, especially for items that you won’t wear often (even though you can wear the pants and jacket plenty as summer separates).
This is a cheap suit (I think it was less than $100 on sale) but with some minor adjustments by my man Franklin at TheTailoringRoom it looks almost custom-made, with the exception of the “bubbly” shoulders: the most obvious sign of a cheaply made suit, although people hardly notice this… Would you have noticed had I not pointed it out?
Sandals with a suit!? Yes. You’re going to be standing in the sand, after all.
I’m a huge fan of leather “gladiator sandals” – you won’t see me shaking sand out of my loafers.
For more wedding outfit ideas (including another way to style the white suit) check out our post: What to Wear to a Spring/Summer Wedding.
2. Summer Social
Short of a destination wedding, there are only a few “summer social” events that I would recommend wearing a white suit. Some of those include: a yacht party, fancy cruise, summer ball, film festival, etc.
Time and place is important, as always. For example, if you’re in southern Europe (think south of France, Italy, Spain) you can get away with it for a wider range of social events, including going out at night.
It’s important to break-up the strarkness of the white with a strong shirt (like this nautical stripe) and colorful accessories (like this burgundy linen pocket square, navy rope belt, and gold shades/watch).
To finish it off, nothing says summertime luxury like a pair of badass crocodile loafers…more on this coming soon.
- Gold hand-engraved aviator shades by Matsuda Eyewear
- White linen suit by International Concepts INC
- Burgundy paisley linen pocket square by Vintage
- Navy/white candy stripe S/S shirt by Michael Andrews Bespoke
- “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi
- Brown leather watch strap by Brera Orologi
- Brass railroad spike cuff bracelet by Giles & Brother
- Rope/Leather Sailing belt by Kiel James Patrick
- Custom crocodile skin loafers by Scarpe di Bianco
3. “White Party”
Got an invite to Diddy’s esteemed “white party” in the Hampton’s? Or another “white party” this summer?
The dress code sounds simple, but can be a little daunting. My advice: white linen suit, white casual shirt with a breezy neckline (band collar, henley, scoop-neck tee), comfortable white shoes (sneakers, boat shoes, bucks) and light touches of metallic jewelry (gold, silver, brass).
Try to avoid any accesories that are dark or bold in color (Diddy has been known to throw people out of his party for not wearing ALL white).
This silk-blend band collar shirt has a smooth texture that offsets the roughness of the linen beautifully.
More on the advantages of silk, and silk shirts, coming up as we continue to break-out our summer fabrics.
For now, focus on not spilling the wine!
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Articles of Style
Photography by Alex Crawford.