Linen being a warm-weather material, and summer being the season of light colours, most of us probably limit our linen purchases to a colour spectrum ranging from white to pale blue to some sort of tan. But of course even black linen retains the open weave and heat dissipation characteristics that make this fabric so wearable, and it's only by contrast with a darker element that we appreciate the brightness of the lighter. Mixing in one dark linen piece is also an easy transitional step for those of us who aren't used to going full-on light or who don't quite have the complexion to avoid looking like an ice cream salesman. Shown left to right: Ralph Lauren Black Label chocolate brown linen shirt [$375]. Brooks Brothers navy Milano cotton/linen pants [$118]. Tommy Hilfiger linen v-neck sweater [$148].

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