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How To Pack Linen This Summer

A fabric synonymous with warmer weather, linen can be a notorious crease culprit in your suitcase. Here, we unpack the tips and tricks to travelling with your favourite summer shirt.

Sun’s out, linen’s out. Durable, lightweight and inherently cool (in both senses), it’s long been a favourite of style aficionados come summer months. But much like the sunburn, hot sleepless nights and mosquito bites that come with warm weather, linen has its pitfalls – namely, creases.

Arriving at that long-awaited holiday destination, we’ve often found ourselves wondering (nay, weeping with expletives) why linen creases so much. If we want to get technical, those pesky lines come as a result of its natural composition and construction – the stiff cellulose fibres don’t spring back easily, and the lack of elasticity in the weave allows creases to hold their shape. While a few wrinkles here and there are less bothersome on your errand-running weekday, the constant photo opportunities and romantic evenings at the dress-coded hotel bar call for a more polished appearance. So, as determined as we are to catch a healthy tan, we’ve pledged ourselves to unravelling the secrets of how to stop linen creasing.

Step one is, most importantly, choosing your new holiday ’fit. We’re packing this Thomas Pink Tailored Fit Smart Casual Plain Linen Slub Shirt which is 100 per cent linen and woven in Italy, in case you need any destination inspiration. A sky-blue version is the physical manifestation of cloud-free skies, while this grandad-collar shirt lends optimal effortlessness to a summer wardrobe.

Then comes the pre-travel prep. Time to iron out the wrinkles, and remember to wait until your linen garment is completely cool before moving on to packing, as heat seats wrinkles. The discerning traveller already knows that folding is so passé – it’s all about rolling. Not only is it a space saver, a neat roll of your linen trousers or shirt drastically reduces creases. Bonus points if you layer tissue paper in-between the fabric for added prevention, and then place your rolled items at the top of your suitcase. Heavier, less wrinkle-prone clothes should go on the bottom, creating a flat base for your precious linen cargo. A linen suit – AKA the epitome of European savoir-faire – deserves a bit more consideration. Stowing them in garment bags adds another level of protection and minimises friction against other clothes in your holiday arsenal. Keep linen looking luxe on the move by harnessing the power of steam. Unless you’re camping (why the suit?), most hotels have irons or steamers for you to use. But if the restaurant reservation is looming and that feels like too much of a chore, a quick steam in the bathroom while you shower will naturally help to relax the wrinkles in your linen pieces. Another quick fix, modern technology has also gifted us with wrinkle- release sprays, where a quick spritz can often work wonders on minor creases. You’ll be cheers-ing that cocktail before you know it.

Our favourite tip of all, however, is one that summer sartorialists have long been in the know about: embrace the crinkles. Linen clothing is not designed to be immaculate; it’s for wearing with chinos on sun-soaked days in winding Italian streets, or with shorts and sandals for a beachside sundowner. Imperfections are charming, and you already have that in droves, after all.