Linen is among the most comfortable fabrics to wear in the spring and summer time. Be it in the form of jackets, trousers, shirts and even shoes, linen sends a clear message of casual cool.
I have reason to believe that among men who dress conservatively for work, there is a reluctance to embrace linen as part of their wardrobe. For some, linen's inherent property of wrinkling makes men less comfortable about wearing it in public than a non-iron cotton shirt.
Lighten up, fellas. The whole point of wearing linen is to get as far away from work attire as possible. Linen works best when worn outdoors, eating outside at cafes, strolling down boardwalks.
To test the look, I went out to my backyard wearing a linen suit and a cotton/linen blend sleeveless shirt. I live in the Houston area, where it's typically 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the spring.
The linen suit is a brown pinstripe from Polo; the shirt is from Nautica; and the leather-lined, linen shoes are vintage Cole-Haan. I especially like the generous leg room in the trousers, which gives me an "Oxford bag" look. To top it off, the straw hat is from Borsalino.
Finding linen shoes these days is a bit of a challenge; sandals work just as easily if you wish to maintain the leisurely look.
Bottom line: Don't be afraid to experiment with linen. It's meant not to be ironed. It is comfortable in warm climates.