Men’s Style: Unlined, but Not Underdressed

By Benjamin Liong Setiawan

This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

One of the keys to dressing well,while not sweating bullets during the summer months, is minimizing the number of layers you are wearing. As we near the hottest and most humid time of the year, your goal will be to simplify and pare down. However, this can be tough if you are in an environment that requires a jacket. The solution is a half-lined, or sometimes fully unlined, suit or blazer. These will become your go-tos, because they provide a buttoned-up look without the bulk. They can be worn to the office paired with a shirt and tie, or dressed down with a T-shirt as a light outerwear piece.

This unlined Ralph Lauren double-breasted sport coat in a linen and wool blend provides an effortlessly pulled-together look when worn with a simple crewneck T-shirt and espadrilles. LBM1911 is an Italian heritage brand known for their relaxed tailoring, but don’t take their unstructured jackets to be a lack of craftsmanship.

Sometimes it can actually take more skill to create an unlined suit, such as this cotton two-button notched lapel suit with patch pockets, than it does for a lined suit, where the imperfections can be hidden underneath; when a garment is unlined, every little detail is visible.

Dries Van Noten is a master of creating clothes that are on one hand a product of his left-brain intellectual studies, and yet result in pieces that emit such a poetic visual language that they end up stimulating the right-brain as well. But Van Noten is not interested in designing collections to be placed in museums. He wants his clothing to be worn, and there’s no doubt this double-breasted look will be.

Finally, not many labels can make army pants and sneakers look dressed-up, but Brunello Cucinelli elevates the mundane and makes it luxurious. Here Cucinelli pairs them with a half-lined three-pocket jacket, a slim-fit shirt and solid tie.