Linen is the ultimate luxury in summer fabric. Its natural fibres are made from the stalks of the flax plant. For thousands of years, this natural product has been valued for its exceptional qualities. Ancient Egyptians wore it to stay cool in intense desert heat, and European flax growers wove bedding and clothes that were so treasured they were often passed down as family heirlooms.
Linen is complex to produce, but the final product is a high-quality natural fabric that is strong, durable and beautiful. Linen actually becomes softer and more absorbent after each wash, but stays strong.
Although linen is known for its natural “creases”, its natural fibres mean that the garment always keeps its overall shape.
Linen Fashion for Men and Women
Linen Suits – To wear linen confidently, you have to be okay with the fact that linen has a relaxed “crumpledness” to it. It is ideal for a summer wedding, especially in a lovely tan colour. You beat the heat and still look smart. Pair with a checked cotton shirt (men) or cotton tee (for women).
Linen Jackets – If you really don’t want the wrinkles that come with an entire suit, opt for just the jacket. With the structured design of the jacket, you’ll still feel polished.
Paired with chinos or jeans, this is a perfect weekend look for men and women. Choose dark cotton or cotton blend pants or skirt on the bottom, and a lighter jacket up top.
Linen Shirt – A linen shirt is an excellent all-rounder when it comes to summer dressing. Owing to its laid-back appeal, a well-cut version in sky blue can slide under a suit to tone down a more formal look, or sit over a T-shirt and shorts to take a casual combination up a notch. Wear as a super casual jacket look for a tank top or even a bathing suit.
Linen Pants, Shorts, Culottes – Given linen’s absorbency, pants can become misshapen and scruffy looking after almost minutes of wear! This is why most prefer a linen-blend that keeps everything looking smart.
Linen Accessories – Looking for just a touch of linen? Linen caps and hats “top off” any outfit. Or consider a linen hobo handbag, linen-detailed shoes or stylish tote.
Scarves – Scarves don’t make sense during hot summer months, unless, of course, you’re thinking “linen”. Linen scarves give you that extra accessory look without making you too warm.
Women Only: Linen Skirts & Dresses
Nothing will keep you cooler and feeling summer elegant than a mid-length linen dress or a casual linen skirt. Pair with a more fitted jacked for the office, or a crisp cotton top for contrast in texture.
Care of Linen – Wash linen on low temperatures, lukewarm or cold, and preferably soft water. Use the gentle machine cycle and a mild detergent to protect the fibres.
There is no need to iron linen garments, unless they have become really crushed.