Working in fashion, I’m expected to know a lot about fabrics. One that I get asked about all the time is linen. Linen is a summer staple in many a wardrobe and across a stack of popular brands. It’s a natural, lightweight, breathable, durable fibre, so particularly good for summer. With the introduction of new technologies in fabric production, there are new blends being developed all the time, and linen is no longer the super-expensive luxury choice it once was. However, it does crease very easily and has the potential to go from sleek to scruffy pretty quickly. I get asked a lot for suggestions of how to wear linen in a more polished, less beachy way so I thought I’d put together a little file of images and some styling ideas for you to refer to when considering making a linen purchase.
Idea #1: Prep it up!
Keeping your pants and accessories preppy and more on the conservative side help bring polish to the whole outfit. Another plus: stripes are great for hiding creases!
Idea #2: Try a tee
A lot of brands are doing linen or linen-blend tees (try these faves of mine from Witchery, Country Road, JAG or Sussan). These are especially great if you’re young and fear linen might make you look like your Mum or Grandma (although in my case I’m always flattered when people say I look like them) OR if you’re a curvy gal like myself and feel a bit frumpy in linen. Tees are the ultimate layering piece and choosing a linen one is a smart move for a blisteringly hot Aussie summer.
Idea #3: Keep pants roomy.
Tight linen is all kinds of uncomfortable, and can be all kinds of unflattering. Whilst it certainly stretches out a little (and actually doesn’t bounce back into shape very well), it’s not one to buy two sizes too small on your butt just because you like the skinny fit on your legs. If you do, you risk pulling and tearing. If in doubt, go oversized. Feel free to play with proportions up top, but always keep in mind your body shape and the overall look you’re going for with the outfit.
Idea #4: Have fun with colour and print.
As I said before, stripes can minimise the appearance of linen’s creasing, but so can other prints. And don’t feel constricted to a white linen shirt or cream linen pants. Colour is a great way to make your linen feel more youthful and fun, without being too ‘out there’. The natural, earthy texture of the fabric will tone it down a notch anyway, if you’re scared.
So, I hope those little ideas have inspired you to try something new and include a bit of linen in your winter wardrobe.
If you have any other fabric or trend you’d like me to investigate for you, let me know!
P.S. One more thing! When you do buy linen or a linen blend (or really any other fabric for that matter), please read the care instructions!! Every fabric is slightly different and can behave differently depending on the cut of the garment too, so following them will ensure your garments remain in tip top shape for years to come.