Cool, natural and sophisticated or a crumpled mess? What’s your take on linen?
If you are one of those gals who love the look and feel of linen in summer, then here are some breezy linen looks that are relaxed and dreamy.
For staying cool in the muggy summer heat, there’s no better fabric than linen. It’s made from fibers of the flax plant, making it extremely absorbent. It wicks away moisture, which is why it’s so popular in tropical hotspots like Africa and Egypt. No other fabric can keep you so cool and dry and prevent you from overheating.
But What About All Those Wrinkles?
Yes, linen wrinkles; there’s no getting around that. Linen lovers will tell you it’s simply a part of the fabric’s charm. All that crinkling and wrinkling gives linen a hip, effortless vibe and a kind of old- world, casual elegance.
Of Course, Not Everyone is a Fan
I like the look of linen….. on other people. When it’s styled right, it comes across as chic and monied. Every few years I buy myself something linen. Two years ago it was an orange linen boyfriend jacket, while a few weeks ago I bought a pink linen shirt. But here’s the problem….After wearing linen for half an hour, I start to feel shabby.
Call me terribly tidy but, I don’t like all the creasing, and I’m just not comfortable in such a rumpled look. I also get bugged by the scratchy feel of linen, even though it does lessen the more you wash it.
I really should know better by now, but I keep on trying to love linen.
Are You Like Me or Are You Truly a Linen Lover?
If linen is your thing, then there are some lovely pieces out there this spring. Eileen Fisher, a top brand for women over 40, is heavily into linen. I’ve also noticed some really cute linen shorts, and 70’s inspired wide leg pants from at the department stores.
Structured vs. Unstructured Linen Pieces
Linen pieces are super casual, so work well for weekends and vacation time. Think drawstring pants, relaxed shorts and loose, flowing tunics and dresses. Slightly more structured pieces like elegant cropped linen pants and linen blazers can sometimes be suitable for work if you work in a casual work environment (or if you want to wear one on a dress down casual Friday).
If you want your linen to have a crisp look, set your iron to high, place a wet cotton cloth (not terry) wrung out over your linen item, and iron over the top of the cloth with steam. This prevents scorching and helps smooth out linen. Keep in mind, though, that linen will wrinkle no matter what, especially the more you move around and sweat.
What To Wear With Linen?
The thing with linen is that it gives off a relaxed vibe, so the rest of your outfit needs to be in sync. Linen goes best with other natural fabric such as cotton, denim, silk, and wool. Soft, natural accessories in leather, canvas, rope, and wood complement linen. For example, a slouchy leather bag and rope espadrilles are in tune with laid-back linen.