The Best Men's Linen Shirts Are a Year-Round Flex

The nubby, textural button-ups you love look even better under a scuzzy cardigan or a corduroy blazer.
19 Best Men's Linen Shirts 2023 PitchPerfect Nubby ButtonUps

Scroll down to see 19 of our favorite men's linen shirts, from perennial best-sellers to new arrivals destined to punch up your rotation.

All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What makes linen so cool?

Temperature-wise, it's the weave. But vibes-wise, it's…also the weave. For thousands of years, humans have known that weaving fibers extracted from the stems of the flax plant results in a fabric that's open and loose and breathable, particularly because the slightly rougher texture and dryness of linen keeps it from sticking to sweaty skin like cotton. It also gets softer with every wear and wash. That combination of heat-beating airiness and wrinkly effortlessness (embrace the wrinkles!) is what makes linen so cool, in all ways.

Can you really wear linen all year?

Absolutely. Long-sleeve linen shirts will keep you sufficiently warm through light jacket weather so long as it's not too blustery. (That airy open weave will let you feel even the laziest breeze.) From a dress code perspective, linen shirts are on the more casual end of the business casual spectrum unless they're teamed up with a suit or blazer, or you're living in a humidity hotspot like Miami or New Orleans.

Linen-blend shirts, which weave in cotton, trade a little breathability for added crispness and breeze-blocking. Though in chillier weather, the best linen shirts can turn into underrated layering heroes, too, under a thick sweater or cardigan. If you run hot even in colder months, swapping a linen shirt for a denser, less-breathable cotton shirt might make life more bearable.

The Prototypical Linen Shirt

Banana Republic

"Castello" Linen-Cotton Shirt

Banana Republic's luxe cotton-blend button-up is exactly what you imagine when you picture a linen shirt, only slightly beefier—and a lot less wrinkly. The loose, relaxed fit naturally lends itself to wearing untucked, with nothing but a gold chain and swim trunks, but it's sharp enough to sit comfortably beneath a rumpled, unstructured jacket, too. Beat it to hell on your next vacation and then break it out again with faded blue jeans and black derbies when there's still sand between your toes.

The Best Autumn-Friendly Linen Shirt

Cherry Los Angeles

Big Western Checked Stone-Washed Linen Shirt

Plaid shirt are a fall staple for a reason—their no-frills design looks burly and sophisticated at the same time and hides all of life's little mysteries (read: commuter grime and stains, source unknown). Cherry LA's pure linen take is a little looser and edgier, which makes a world of difference when you're worried about fielding nonstop comparisons to the Brawny guy.

The Best Vacation-Ready Linen Shirt

Another Aspect

Another 2.0 Shirt

When you're on vacation, we're all for bumming around the beach in the wildest camp shirt you can find. But when you touch down back home, you'll be glad you bought Another Aspect's very Scandi riff on the genre, which is just as breezy as its kaleidoscopic counterparts—and a whole lot more versatile. The roomy, slightly cropped fit is more than up to the job of telegraphing your OOO-ness, but the subtle stripes and substantial collar mean you can toss it under a corduroy blazer when you're hoofing it from the terminal to the cubicle and still look pulled-together.

The Best Office Appropriate Linen Shirt

Emma Willis

Linen Shirt

Don't let a high-stakes situation like a nerve-wracking work presentation or a meeting with the in-laws cause you to break a sweat. Linen is famous for its carefree unflappability, sure, but in the hands of Emma Willis, the vaunted Jermyn Street shirtmaker, it's also just a canvas for the perfect dress shirt, cut by hand in the brand's workshop and guaranteed to set off a tan—to say nothing of a silk knit tie—better than any button-up in your closet.

The Best Linen Polo Shirt

Norse Projects

Linen-Cotton Rollo Shirt

If there's two things we can reasonably assume about loyal readers of GQ Recommends, it's that: 1) y'all really like linen, and 2) y'all really like knit polos. Luckily for you, the Copenhagen-based menswear wonks at Norse Projects share those interests—and actually acted on them, knitting this full-placket stunner from an unbeatable cotton-linen blend equipped with a nifty front pocket by the chest. Luckiest of all, though, might be us, who get to recommend this shirt to you when it just so happens to be over half off. Sometimes, the stars really do align (and more often than not, they're wearing knit polos, too).

The Best Throwback Linen Shirt


Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt

The easiest way to harness the very right-now energy of old J.Crew? New J.Crew. The rejuvenated big-box retailer sources its soft, lived-in linen from Ireland's historic Baird McNutt mill, which sounds like a sister college founded in the early 1900s—and has been around for about as long. Tuck it into a pair of Giant chinos, sling it around your shoulders like a sweater, or let it flutter behind you, billowing in the wind, in an homage to the '90s-era J.Crew ads that inspired it. That it comes in house-favorite blue stripes is just a bonus.

Plus 13 More Linen Shirts We Love

All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.