The Nehru Suit: Linen done right
Introducing Nehru collar suit separates in cool, lightweight linen.
As far as idols go, Bill Nighy is pretty high up there. A celebrated actor and certified good wearer of suits; he’s who we want to be when we grow up. But sadly, there’s one small thing that, were we to ever meet Mr Nighy, we'd have to disagree on: his aversion to linen suits. “Never trust a man in linen,” he once told The Telegraph. “I can’t relax around a man in a linen suit.” Now don’t get us wrong, we can see where he's coming from. Mention linen, and most will think of the crumpled, ill-fitting wares often spotted along the French Riviera, all louche shoulders and wrinkled knees. But we think that Mr Nighy – and the world at large – ought to give it a second chance.
When done right, linen offers an effortless (and sweat-less) alternative to wool and cotton, and is unbeatable when it comes to breathability and coolness. The trick is to keep the cut slim and to wear with an air of not giving a damn. In other words, pretend that you’re Bill Nighy and you’ll be fine. Our new range of linen suit separates builds on our signature Nehru jackets and waistcoats, with matching trousers for the first time. They're designed to be worn in a whole host of combination, a few of which we've detailed below.
The classic choice: a linen jacket with matching trousers. If you're going for a light colour such as oatmeal, keep the rest of your outfit pared down. You’ll need little more than a white linen grandad shirt and a pair of Oxfords, or – if the dress code permits – a crisp white t-shirt and gleaming white sneakers. Go for navy, and you can be a little bolder in your choice of layers – a paisley printed shirt, for example, won't look out of place.
Sometimes sleeves can be a burden - especially when you’re in warmer climes, or have some serious shapes to throw. Swapping your jacket for a Nehru waistcoat is a smart move here: worn over a grandad shirt it looks just as formal, but feels more freeing. Roll up your sleeves, add a pair of smart loafers (socks are optional) and you’ll be set.
Mix and match
The beauty of suit separates is that you can choose whichever pieces you like, mixing and matching with abandon. Oatmeal jacket and navy trousers? Sure. Navy jacket and black jeans? Why not. Just be sure to keep your bottom half darker than your top half, sticking to linen throughout or dressing down by adding casual chino trousers. Having a jacket and waistcoat at your disposal also gives you flexibility – at summer weddings, wear one for the ceremony and the other for the reception.