The quintessential modern man wears his sartorial-sense on his sleeve and walks around in fashion forward silhouettes. Sheer sophistication emitting from him could chagrin the normal crowd that sneers up from their run-of-the-mill outfits. From the dust fleeting beneath his polished pointed shoes to the comfy high-street linen adorning his svelte figure, each of his turnouts defines a perfect blend of taste and fashion in a rather subtle way. The prerogative of fashion hence no more belongs to women, instead it is big time scooped away by the style-quotient men. And what more, his penchant for linen is one fashion fad he seems to be in no hurry to get over. Come summer, any man with a discerning eye will snuggle close to his cooling linens, however expensive they may be.
“Linen is the new Khaddar/Khadi. It is worn by new-gen politicians as well as those who likes to show off a bit. They are a tad expensive, however those who have experienced the comfort of linen will always remain a loyal user. There are people who say even the wrinkles on the linen shirts are appealing,” says Arun, a business man.
Indeed they are. However, maintaining this fine fabric is a humongous task at hand. Coming in whites, blacks and navy blues, this delicate fabric could shrink from its very first hand wash.
“It is always advised that the first wash of linen fabrics should be given for dry cleaning. There is a high possibility of shrinking. But take good care of this fabric and it’ll be the only fabric you will ever use,” says Sabu, the counter staff of Globers, one of the leading men’s wear shops in the capital city.
For young men like Shafeeq, who has been earning a large salary from his early twenties, linen is a trip down the high street ramp. “For me linen shirts are a way to show-off. Those who know about fabrics can easily notice a good quality linen and understand how expensive the shirts are. That in itself gives a high,” says Shafeeq.
By sifting through their favourite shopping sites and frequenting branded shops, the sophisticated men are always on the look out for their perfect linen outfit. And to think this fabric has been around for thousands of years - as linen made out of flax is one of the oldest fabrics ever - does prove the power of this sheer material.
Earlier, linen had a very earthly colour palette with white and black ruling the roost. Today, with its increasing demand, the linen block is thronging with vibrant shades and significant styles. From the Van Heusens to Zods, Levis to Wranglers, Zilians to A la modes, all major apparel brands are churning out the best of linen shirts for the linen-fans out there.
“Linen is the most sought-after fabric there is for men’s wear. There is no doubt about that. So we have customers flocking our doors for the fabric. The demand is more for white linen material, however there are many who come for unique patterns and style,” says Satheesh, Branch Manager of Linen Club. This Aditya Birla fabric franchise cater linen materials across the country.
Linen was restricted to the elite class until recently but since the IT crowd has taken over the branded world by storm, this fabric has become a favourite formal wear of the youth as well.
“Major brands has released party wears in linen as well. Like every other branded shirts these also come in slim, straight and normal fits. The price ranges from `1,599-2,399. We have some not so familiar brands in our collection which come out with pretty awesome collections such as Multimillion, Zaa, Exhaust, A La Mode and Bagutta. Bagutta is coming with some bold colours not seen in linen,” says Sabu.
Renjith, who owns an online apparel store, Rebelitude.com, says it is linen shirts that are high on demand on his site. “The finesse of the cloth is unbelievable. Even I am a fan of linen. I prefer to wear it on occasions such as marriage or some festivals,” he says.