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Linen or seersucker shirt for summer?

ksicat0

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I live in Japan and it gets ungodly hot and humid during the summer. The Japanese try to save energy and don't use the AC as much as possible. To combat the heat they have something called "cool biz" which is letting men and women dress down to stay cool. Men can lose the jacket and necktie, the top shirt button can be open and the sleeves can be short.

I'm thinking of ordering some shirts online and wanted to get some shirts to wear during the summer. I was thinking between seersucker or linen. Two shirts, one white and one light blue. Both short sleeve, or should I get long and roll them up? I'm ordering from Proper Cloth so I can customize as I see fit.
 

emptym

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If you have no experience with either, I'd get one of each and see which you like better. Not all linen or seersucker is the same. They can vary in thickness, tightness of weave, and softness. I like both for the heat.

Seersucker has the advantage of not wrinkling so much. It also tends to be less see-through. If I had to choose one for work w/o jacket or tie, it'd probably be seersucker. Linen is better for wear w/ jacket and tie since it takes fusing well and gets crisp when ironed. It's also better for very casual wear imo, since it can get really soft over time. But these are just generalizations, so, again, I'd suggest getting one of each.

Short sleeve is cooler, but long has a few advantages: When it's hot, you can roll the sleeves up. When it's cold, as it often is in an office, mall, etc., you can leave the sleeves down. Long sleeves protect you from the sun and can thus keep you cooler in the sun. I have long and short sleeved seersucker and linen shirts and like both. The short sleeved ones I usually reserve for very casual wear though (shorts, sandals). Many of mine are from Luxire, which has a big selection of linen and seersucker.
 

ksicat0

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Thank you for the thought out reply. I know for a fact that I have no experience with seersucker but I'm not 100% sure about linen. As you say, getting both and seeing what's what sounds like a great idea. I'm thinking white seersucker and light blue linen, both long sleeved.

Although you say I can leave the sleeves down for when it is cool in offices and malls, Japan very anti AC. It's almost as if they pride themselves on being able to endure the scorching heat. "It's hot as Hell in here but I can take it. I don't need no stinking AC!" So there is no place that is cool enough during summer in my opinion.
 

brax

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Seersucker is a very casual fabric so I’d really hesitate to wear it with a suit. But for a casual shirt that will not be worn with a tie, it is a great choice. As for linen, why not try a cotton/linen blend. It is what I wear with suits during the summer. Carlo Riva and DJAnderson make my favorite cotton/linen blend.
 

sid11111

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As someone who lives in Singapore which experiences just as/even more ungodly heat+humidity combo, but throughout the year- I heartily recommend linen over seersucker.

The reason for this is that linen is a lot more breathable than any seersucker fabric. It also wicks and dries very quickly, which is a life saver if it is hot and you are sweating.

With seersucker, it is still very densely woven and thus not breathable. As with cotton it absorbs and holds sweat which feels pretty lousy.

To mitigate the issue with wrinkling and transparency, get a very thick, heavy linen. It'll rumple instead of wrinkle and still preserve the positive properties I mentioned earlier.
 

emptym

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@ksicat0, a white seersucker and a light blue linen sound perfect to me. That's good about Japan and AC. Never spent time in Japan, but I've lived in the Philippines, and have had extended stays in Indonesia, HK, Taiwan, Thailand, and usually malls are freezing.

@sid11111, I own several seersucker shirts and they are definitely not all densely woven.
 

ilclassico

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I'm not an expert but my 2 cents: Linen in general is much better choice and far more flexible. The rest boils down to personal choice and quality of the shirt.
 
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ksicat0

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Thank you all for your advice! I ended up buying one of each, a white seersucker and a light blue linen. They both are great. I'm not too picky so maybe my opinion doesn't mean much but they both feel great. I ended up buying them from Proper Cloth.
 

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