Known as the best fabric for use in the summer, linen is a raw and natural fabric that looks both casual and elegant at the same time, while being breathable, which is why linen dress is so popular during summer.
Linen is made from flax and originated in Egypt where it was well suited for the desert and hot climate. Some of the strengths of this wonderful fabric is its breathability due to the wide weaves when making this fabric, which allows more air to circulate compared to other fabrics. It also has the ability to wick moisture, which means that it can absorb the moisture from your body and bring the moisture out onto the exterior of the fabric for easy evaporation. Linen can actually take up to 20% of its own weight in water before feeling damp, and even before feeling damp, the moisture would have evaporated already.
But, linen is not a perfect fabric. It is a fairly stiff fabric which lacks in flexibility which means it also wrinkles easily. It’s wrinkly characteristic has since then been made a fashion statement as a worn in look so don’t let the stiffness scare you from using linen. The stiffness has also been reduced by mixing linen with cotton for added flexibility. Some pieces also have jersey fabrics integrated for flexibility and comfort. Enough about the fabric and let’s discuss a few ways on how to wear linen.
1. The basic button down shirt
Do not underestimate the basic button down shirt. Button down shirts in long sleeved or short sleeved versions are very cool and casual, but can still be used in a work environment. It can be combined with virtually anything. Combine a white, beige or off-white shirt with your favorite pair of jeans, denim shorts, or linen pants and you will look great during the day or night.
2. Utilize linen blazers
Putting on a linen blazer over your linen shirt just adds a bit of “oomph” to your outfit. A blazer just has this cool and elegant feel, that will look good even for both daytime and evening occasions. Blazers also tend to keep their form well, thus avoiding the feared “wrinkled” look.
3. Linen over linen combinations
Don’t be afraid to combine linen over linen. Be it linen shirts and pants together, or even adding a blazer over your overall outfit. The linen over linen look has a rustic feel to it that makes it very unique and eye-catching while being low-key and subtle. Having the breathable factor, you won’t feel stuffy at all even during prolonged events.
4. Linen and Denim
Linen and denim is a match made in heaven, allowing multiple variations of combinations possible. Spaghetti strapped tops with denim shorts, sleeveless collared tops with denim pants. You can be as creative and adventurous as you want with the combinations. Denim has a great structured and industrial feel that contrasts the light and airy feel of linen, which provides a striking look and feel.
5. Dressing up
This one is more for the men, but can be utilized by the women too. Linen suits have this cool factor that just says summer. Beige linen suit jacket over a white linen shirt, matched to your beige linen pants, you will surely be the look of the night.
Body-con dresses with large buttons laid out vertically up front is a great look for semi-formal events. Don’t be afraid to wear white sneakers with your dress to add an athletic and masculine feel.
Make linen work for you:
As described earlier, linen is very susceptible to wrinkles and can be hard to wash due to the stiff nature of the fabric. It may also be uncomfortable to wear at first, but after breaking your pieces in and putting them in the wash for a few times can help alleviate this issue.
- A few washes in the machine will reduce the stiffness of linen.
- Remember to iron your linen pieces while they are still damp, to get maximum straightness.
- Hang them, don’t fold them. Unless you have time to iron your outfit before every use, remember the stiff characteristic of the fabric and keep them hung on a rack or in your closet.