My Summer Obsession: Linen

29 April 2019

At this time of year when the weather starts to get better, I stare at my wardrobe (and the chair full of clothes in the corner of my room) for a good 10 minutes, and question what on earth I am going to wear. I did this four times over the last weekend, when it hit 25 degrees in the U.K. A common dilemma for fashion bloggers everybody.

What can I wear that is cute, but will also allow me to stay breezy easy? No-one wants to be that person that goes out in a cute summer dress at 1pm, to be overheating when on a sweaty bus, but freezing when the temperature drops at 8pm.

Introducing Linen (I’m writing this like it hasn’t been around for decades)

The natural fibre made from stalks of the flax plant, Linum Usitatissimum. Not to sound like your high school History teacher but linen was coveted by the upper classes for its cool and soft feeling against the skin, so became a mark of wealth and social standing. Nowadays, you can get it in Primark for a reasonable price. And, it still does a great job at making breathable, lightweight and cute outfits perfect for a hot summers day. If you suffer from hay fever (allergies to summer), Linen is the ideal fabric, as it is hypoallergenic. Sweat is less likely to break down its fibres - a win win for both you and the people on the sweaty tube/bus.

And not to sound like a Surf advert but linen gets softer with every wash, so if that’s not a reason to wear it in the heat then I don’t know what is….

But then how do I wear linen without looking like a sack of potatoes, or a middle aged man on holiday in Spain? (Sorry, Dad). Time to remove the stereotypes of linen, and introduce the lazy girls guide to linen.

A linen dress is my personal fave. I love the way linen dresses sit on the body, and can be dressed up, or dressed down depending on the situation. This button down dress is from Nasty Gal*, and is the perfect combination of loungey meets military, thanks to the button up details. Wear it with a white shirt underneath or on its own like I did. And let’s not talk about how comfortable it is, because that’s a whole other blog post. I personally think Linen looks better oversized. Which is a rule I didn’t adopt when I bought this Nasty Gal dress in the size down as it was the only one in stock (The hypocrisies of a panic shopper, I know).

In my recent blog, the 5 suits I am loving this spring, two of the featured items were linen numbers. A two-piece linen suit bridges the gap between smart office wear and going to the park for a couple of glasses of prosecco in the sun (it’s a fine line). There is something ‘summer in the city’ / ‘cool, calm and collective’ about a linen shorts and jacket suit – it allows for ultimate comfort with little effort, and most importantly as I say in my suits blog post, it looks like you’ve got your life together. My favourite Linen suit is this is little two piece blazer and trouser number from Primark - what’s nicer than a loose-fitting feminine take on a men's linen suit. Team it with a with a crisp white shirt and it’s the perfect outfit for a Spring/Summer wedding.

My only bug bear about this beautiful (and practical) fabric is that it creases. The good thing is retailers don’t want consumers to go through the pain of having to get out the iron every 5 minutes, so try to blend linen pieces with cotton or silk to minimise the crease factor. But whilst we’re on the topic of silk, how nice would a nude silk vest top and light wide leg linen trousers look? Think summer night abroad, the air is full of the sun cream smell and you’re off to a nice restaurant for dinner. DRE-AMY.

But, if and when it does crease, how does the lazy girl deal with that? A clothes steamer. I feel like it’s a definite sign you’re getting old when you ask for a steamer for your birthday – roll on 23!

And there we have it, the short and sweet guide to my favourite fabric of the year (I never thought I’d say that).

What are your favourite linen pieces?

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