The greatest on-screen linen suits

When it comes to building a rounded, sophisticated summer wardrobe, there is one fabric that should be at the very top of your wishlist - linen. Not only is it the most ecological of natural fibres, linen’s natural properties - breathable, lightweight, textural - makes it the ideal cloth for warm-weather tailoring. With a natural crumple, and a beautiful slubby finish, linen brings a touch of casual to the realm of fine tailoring. Good quality linen from Ireland or Belgium (we source from both) has a lovely relaxed drape to it, which gets even better with wear. It got us thinking about some of our favourite on-screen renditions of linen suiting, so we’ve shortlisted three of them here to offer a little sartorial inspiration, should you require it. Enjoy!

Miami Vice

Few characters have done more to project the linen suit onto the world’s style consciousness than Sonny Crockett, the Lucky Strike smokin’ Miami cop played in the ‘80s hit series Miami Vice, played by Don Johnson. Sure, he probably also catalysed a decade of appallingly put-together pastel outfits, but he showed men the world over how to meld style and sex appeal in oven-baked temperatures, and he did so with an iconic white linen suit that he wears in the very first pilot episode. With his Carrera 5512 Aviators on, and a slim-fitting teal t-shirt, the white linen suit is a brilliant foil for Miami’s tropical heat. Cut in a single-breasted, wide padded shoulder silhouette (it was the 80s after all), the jacket had broad notch lapels that rolled to a low single button. And of course it was unstructured, draping naturally on Johnson’s muscled physique. Bookended with a pair of perforated ivory leather slip-ons and accessorised with Crockett’s ever-present tan leather shoulder holster, it was and forever will be the benchmark for bad-ass tropical gun-slinging style!

The Great Gatsby

Throughout the three film adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, there are numerous sartorial masterpieces we could have chosen for this article, but it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s iteration of the West Egg fraud who wins the plaudits for a marvellous show-stopping pink linen three-piece. We almost chose an ivory linen-blend three piece that DiCaprio wears with an amber tie, brown waistcoat and metallic grey point collar silk shirt, but the pink version with a chalk stripe was simply too much fun not to win out! He wears it to Nick Carraway’s 30th birthday, a suitably important occasion that also presents the opportunity to woo Daisy, and if you’re in the mood for wooing, why not do it in pink?!

Coral Culcross Linen Newport Jacket

Coral Culcross Linen
Newport Jacket

Coral Culcross Linen Windsor Trouser

Coral Culcross Linen
Windsor Trouser

Parade Cream Double Breasted Waistcoat

Parade Cream Double-
Breasted Waistcoat

And about that pink - bold enough to turn heads, but still comfortably within the realm of pastel so as to not appear gauche or peacocky. With its peak lapels that roll to a lower three-button stance, and the substantial turnback cuffs wit mother of pearl buttons to match the waistcoat, it’s quite the showstopper. Gatsby uses a subtle tonal contrast in the form of a burgundy silk pocket square, and doubles down on the pink theme by wearing a pale pink-and-white striped silk shirt with a soft-point collar pinned under a salmon-and-burgundy diagonal block-striped silk tie. 

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

When Sean Connery finally hung up his Walther PPK and handed back his license to kill, the man to step into his 007-size shoes was George Lazenby, and while Lazenby may have only enjoyed a one-film stint as the world’s favourite spy, he did inject a new lease of life into Bond’s wardrobe. Foremost among Lazenby’s new wave of tailored pieces in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was a stunning cream linen suit which was quite a departure from Connery’s favoured navy and charcoal numbers. Lazenby’s suit ​​features a slim-cut single-breasted jacket with notch lapels that roll to a two-button front.

Khaki Kirkland Linen Casablanca Jacket

Khaki Kirkland Linen
Casablanca Jacket

Khaki Kirkland Linen Windsor Trouser

Khaki Kirkland Linen
Windsor Trouser

Burgundy Pickwick
Silk Tie

The jacket’s flapped hip pockets are slanted (just like our linen Newport jackets), a detail that was becoming fashionable in the late 60s. Other fine details that seek to project a more contemporary Bond are the omission of a pocket square and the minimalist one-button cuffs on the jacket. While the suit itself is beautifully cut, what really makes the look is Bond’s choice of pink shirt and contrast navy knitted silk tie. The shirt itself is something of a rule breaker, being the first time that Bond wore one-button rounded cuffs rather than his traditional French cuffs with cufflinks. While the contrast of the tie could be seen as quite jarring against the soft cream linen and pink cotton shirt, the knitted element gives it a more casual edge that makes the three pieces cohesive.