As it is very hot here at the moment and I’m rather uncomfortable wearing my regular suits, can you advise the best way for me to wear my linen shirts and still look professional?

Linen being a breathable fabric is a great choice for the UAE summer heat, and creating an outfit with it that looks smart and stylish is easy to do, as long as you follow a couple of rules.

Linen as a fabric has a more rumpled appearance than cotton or other fabrics, giving it a more casual appearance, which you may think is not suitable for a professional environment. You may also feel that linen cannot be worn with tailored pants. Let me guide you through the following rules, or tips rather to explain how to nail this look, ensuring you are comfortable and stylish.

While it’s very difficult to substitute linen for your navy three-piece, taking linen into smart-casual territory is easily done via the chino combination. Being quite easy to pair, you will look insanely cool and it also offers the versatility of layering for extra style points – think unstructured sports jacket with no lining, for a lightweight, breathable look that oozes sartorial style.

[Style tips if you have a triangular body shape]

My recommendation here is to pair your linen shirt with a contrasting chino colour – so if you’re doing a blue or navy linen shirt this will look great paired with a khaki- or beige-coloured chino. 

Depending on your own office environment, linen shirts can be worn with the sleeves rolled up or down. You can pair linen with tailored trousers, but to ensure this look is done right I would only opt for a brown pleated tailored pant with a shorter ankle and a cream linen grandfather collar shirt (tucked in, always) or linen tailored pant. Anything else will just look odd.

Denim is also perfect with linen, but again this will depend more on your own office environment.

Gary Sweeney is brand manager of Ascots & Chapels, bespoke tailors with locations across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to