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  • Photography by Mr Billy Ballard
  • Styling by Mr Dan May, Style Director, MR PORTER
  • Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher, Features Editor, MR PORTER

At their best, linen suits allow a man to dress up while enjoying a level of comfort more commonly associated with loungewear. They also tap into the contemporary appetite for relaxed tailoring, and offer the perfect answer to the perennial summer question, "How do I look sharp when it's boiling hot?"

It wasn't always like this. In the past men only wore linen suits in places that we'd now consider a pair of swim shorts and a T-shirt to be more appropriate - one thinks of Sir Dirk Bogarde's suit-wearing character in the film Death in Venice sweating by the lido. These days linen suits are more appropriate in town than they are on the beach, and thanks to the general relaxation of dress codes they can be worn almost anywhere.

However, pale colours are still less formal than dark ones, so cream suits are most appropriate for weekend wear, relatively casual weddings and creative offices. Save dark suits for events in the evening, formal weddings in hot climes and serious business environments. Finally, whatever the colour, and whatever the event, enjoy the breeze, and relax into the wrinkles that are an inevitable part of wearing a pure linen suit.

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