It’s time again for our monthly style report with Cindy and Sarah and we are talking about linen. Linen pieces are a chic choice to upgrade your closet, last for years, and feel good too.
Linen is one of those fabrics that looks luxe on the hottest days and even when wrinkled. I love the look of a linen button up on women and men. Nothing looks as Katherine Hepburn, or Diane Keaton (aka Coastal Grandma) as linen shirts, and white linen suits, linen pants..
Once you begin wearing more linen or linen blends, it’s hard to wear synthetics. I just love the feel of a linen t-shirt in summer. I even sleep in one in winter as they breathe and get softer with each wash. Linen dresses and pants are also the most cool and breathable.
Linen is better for the planet
If you want to build a wardrobe that is more sustainable, long lasting and looks luxe, linen is a fantastic choice!
Did you know linen comes from the flax plant and has been around since ancient Egyptian times and perhaps longer? The nice thing about linen is it uses less water and pesticides than cotton does in the growth process. It’s much better for the planet and it is fast dying. The best way to care for it is to wash in cool water with a gentle detergent and never use a fabric softener on it which will coat the fibers ( It’s generally good to never use fabric softeners anyway.) If you care for your linen it will last and get better over time!
Why linen may have a bad rap..
Did you wear linen the 80’s? Some of us remember it had a big heyday then, and particularly in oversized linen pleated pants and blazers. The linen look back then was ironed and starched within an inch of its life. It was a lot of work and the minute you wore it, it looked bad. That turned a lot of people off linen, including me, a person who hates ironing…The linen of now is worn softer, slightly if at all ironed, and has a casual vibe.
I started collecting linen pieces again the last time we were in the south of France. I noticed all the women wore linen tunics and tops and bottoms there were tons of it in the shops and big stalls of linen dresses at the Provencal markets..
I bought a white dress and the man there told me never to iron, or bleach, wash gently and smooth dry with your hands and lay flat to prevent it from yellowing and to keep the linen fibers soft. I try not to iron and if I do, just lightly without starches.. The soft slightly wrinkled look is modern and feels better too.
I snapped a photo of this chic lady in a linen ensemble at Isle Sur la Sorgue..our favorite market..And next to it my dress from the same market with my guys in 2018..
What pieces do you need?
Pieces I use over and over again in my closet..
A linen blazer
(mine bought at consignment, but similar here and here and here.)
My latest is this by Tahari. I have a few and they all hang beautifully and look great. A perfect layering piece and for travel!
I found a few similar t-shirts here at Eileen Fisher on sale.
Majestic Filatures is also a great brand that has some fantastic linen pieces. This layered white t-shirt is on my list..and Banana has this nice one in many colors..
I also like linen tanks for layering and J. Crew has this and Banana Republic has this with a scoop neck.
I have these Maeve linen blend pants, ( above with the white blazer) and they are my favorite pant this summer. They can be casual or dressed up. They come in a few different colors and they have a bit of cotton/vicose in them too which makes them feel light.
Madewell also has a relaxed linen/cotton trouser here, and this popular Frank & Eileen pair is on my wish list and comes in 6 colors.. The blouse on the left is also a linen blend from Madewell ( runs large fyi- I bought xs.)
Linen is also in many drawstring and relaxed elasticized type of jogger/lounge pants. My favorite plant to travel in are these Camo linen pants by Sanctuary, which are still being carried by Nordstrom. I have had mine for years and they’re super comfy and show no dirt which is nice on a trip, and look cool for a day exploring with a sweater or a tank top, depending on the time of year..
These also caught my eye at Anthro.. Pull on surf pants in linen blend..
Linen button ups
It’s hard to find a linen button-up that is a classic and regular proportioned, but this Tommy Bahama one is about as close as I can find to a perfect linen button-up. It comes in 7 colors and I think I may order the sand color, but there are a lot of lovely colors to choose from.
Anthro also has this linen button up with a cool ruched sleeve detail in eight colors by Maeve..
Rails also has a nice selection of linen button ups in stripes and I also like this Jocelyn top..
And thanks to a reader, Laura, I almost forgot to mention J. Crew’s Irish linen shirts, which come from one of the best makers of linen in Ireland are now marked down! It’s a good time to grab a nice one for the wardrobe..
A linen or linen blend dress..
I have added two linen dresses in the past month to my closet that are turning out to be great additions that feel good and kind of bridge that gap between dressy and California casual..
This Angelina Dress from Rails ( love this California company), is easy, feels light and look polished for anything.. I’ve worn it just to do errands as well as a day out like last weekend when we stopped by the big art show at Filoli to see my friend Heidi and view her art for sale..
I topped it with a white denim jacket when it got windy. ( I just received my new market basket from Mersea and added my tassel.)
Really nice about the Rails pieces, you don’t need a slip with most of their dresses as they have a lining in the bottom half or a double layer of fabric like this dress does.. It doesn’t wrinkle, and has a soft feel that I LOVE! It’s a great piece to travel with and I am taking it to Carmel next week too. I bought this in a Medium and it is longer on me at 5’4 than the model here..
I also have this Rails Jasmine dress with a longer sleeve. Similar fit and love the comfort.
I tried their Tara dress in the black and I wish I bought it. It’s super flattering, with a bit of stretch, and feels great. All of these pieces work for so many different kind of occasions..
Another option in linen dresses is this Jenni Kayne t-shirt dress I’ve been eyeing for a while. I like that it’s linen which is less clingy than a typical t-shirt dress..You could do so much with this.. layer and wear it in fall with an unbuttoned white blouse, or with a sweater over the top..
Etsy is a fantastic source for linen pieces and many are made in Lithuania or like this account Simply Grey, which its out of Slovakia.. How cute is this dress and beautiful blouse? The account is SimplyGreyLife.
Some of the items mentioned in this post..
I’d love to hear your thoughts on linen! Do you have a brand you love or pieces that are your favorites?
If you like this post you can pin this photo on Pinterest..
Now please pop over to see what Cindy and Sarah have to say about linen…
Thanks for being here!
You might also like July’s Signature Style on packing and travel.
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