14 Reasons To Let Linen Into Your Summer Life

If linen were a person: it would be a cool, wise, older woman in your life with excellent taste who’s into slow fashion. The fiber is ancient, appearing on the historical record as early as 4500 BC — and, despite several millennia’s worth of advancements in fabric technology, we’re still growing flax and spinning linen in the manner of our ancestors. Based on this image of the world’s oldest dress, the patterns haven’t changed much either (we're envisioning something very similar on Etsy). There are countless reasons as to why we reach for this age-old fabric again and again when the temperatures climb; below, we've outlined a few along with some shining shoppable examples.

As a biodegradable and renewable material, linen is much better for the environment than its synthetic man-made cousins (like polyester). It outranks its peers in the natural world (like cotton) by requiring significantly less water to grow and offering more durability in the long-run — meaning that linen dress of yours will last longer than that poplin button-down. Plus, linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture without feeling sodden. Although it is admittedly wrinkle-prone, we’ve all been known to buy distressed denim or pre-scuffed shoes — so some gentle rumpling on your top or dress shouldn’t be cause for concern. TLDR: If there’s a fabric you can trust to keep you naturally coolest in the summer that's better than linen, we've yet to encounter it.

Ahead, find 14 breezy examples (in garment form) that prove it — from lightweight jumpsuits to flowy pants, frocks, and beyond.

We’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. 

A fire-engine red button-front jumpsuit in a breathable linen blend is the ultimate one-and-done summer outfit. Madewell’s got the motherlode of top-selling linen duds — everything from breezy tops to throw-on-and-go dresses.

Shop linen at Madewell

Madewell Linen-Cotton Pleat-Sleeve Jumpsuit, $, available at Madewell

Etsy is a known goldmine of linen delights, with sellers from all over the globe peddling easy-wearing trousers and bewitching wrap dresses rendered in the soft, long-wearing fabric. It’s hard to narrow down just one purveyor — some of our favorites include LinennaiveLove and ConfuseOffOn, and Saiko Eco Store. However, we encourage you to put your searching hat on and do a deep dive — you’re sure to surface something you’ll wear all summer long.

Shop linen on Etsy

Saiko Eco Store Goldenrod Wide Leg Linen Pants, $, available at Etsy

LoveAndConfuse July Dress, $, available at Etsy

Does this dress look familiar? Meghan Markle recently catapulted the breezy, asymmetrical Toscana Dress — from aptly-named Lithuanian label Magic Linen — to stardom when she wore it out and about in Beverly Hills on July 10th. Somehow, however, this exposure didn’t result in sold-out-dom — a common downside of the “Markle effect” — so you can still nab one. For now.

Magic Linen Toscana Dress, $, available at Magic Linen

Surprise, surprise — Amazon, the purveyor of everything, is also a great resource for all of your linen needs. Mordenmiss is a brand that specializes in some of the loosest and flowiest linen on the ’Zon — perfect for when the mercury hits sweat-inducing highs.

Shop Mordenmiss on Amazon

Mordenmiss Cotton-Linen Patch Pocket Pant, $, available at Amazon

No one does “boho” quite as well as Free People — and, in keeping with boho tradition, their linen section doesn’t disappoint. A quick search turned up everything from a sweeping maxi skirt to a Dad-approved, ’80s-hued Bermuda short. Our favorite? A shirred tie-back top that will help you keep it together on the sweatiest of days.

Shop linen at Free People

Free People Real Love Tank, $, available at Free People

We pulled this bright, beautiful maxi dress out of COS’s latest linen edit — the demure front belies a dangerously plunging back that gives this modest silhouette a sensual boost. There’s plenty more linen where this came from, all rendered with COS’s signature Scandi-flavored restraint.

Shop linen at COS

COS Exposed Back Maxi Dress, $, available at COS

Compared to other fabrics, linen requires more time and manpower to harvest, process, and weave — plus, it’s grown primarily in the “Flax Belt” of Europe, where labor and land come at a higher cost. However, you can still find the stuff on the cheap if you know where to look — off-price retailer Nordstrom Rack has a motherlode of discounted flaxen duds in their summer Linen Shop.

Shop linen at Nordstrom Rack

NANETTE nanette lepore Wide Leg Linen Blend Pull-On Pants, $, available at Nordstrom Rack

Another goldmine of well-priced linen looks? Uniqlo. When you marry the Japanese retailer’s clean, tailored aesthetic with our favorite fiber, you get a host of cool, cart-ready goods — including some very special marked-down separates from the brand’s linen-heavy collaboration with Swedish textile house Marimekko.

Shop linen at Uniqlo

Marimekko Linen Blend Shirtdress, $, available at Uniqlo

Eloquii — our go-to plus-size retailer — doesn’t disappoint on the flax front, with a host of summer-ready separates rendered in our favorite fiber. We’re particularly partial to the swingy spirit of this ruffled wrap-effect skirt.

Shop linen at Eloquii

Eloquii Cascade Ruffle Skirt with Slit, $, available at Eloquii

New York-based Linoto is primarily known for its locally-made linen bedding and homewares — but, thanks to the brand’s Zero Waste program, you can nab a pair of super-soft boxer shorts made from excess yardage that would have otherwise gone unused. These boxer baggies are available in ten muted and wearable colors, but of course, we chose red.

Shop Linoto

Linoto 100% Linen Boxer Shorts, $, available at Linoto

If you want linen that goes beyond the usual art-teacher trope, & Other Stories likely has the trend-forward flax you seek. All of your favorite of-the-moment styles — statement sleevesplayful power suiting, and shirt-jackets — can be found rendered in this low-impact, summer-friendly fabric.

Shop linen at & Other Stories

& Other Stories Oversized Hourglass Blazer Mini Dress, $, available at & Other Stories

Linen plays nice with a host of other fibers — even synthetic ones. These premium pink culottes feature linen blended with a touch of stretch for added comfort and flexibility.

Sally LaPointe Linen Blend Culotte, $, available at 11 Honore

Echo Park Craft Fair co-founder Rachel Craven is also the designer of an eponymous collection of luxurious, minimal separates. She uses a premium, heavyweight linen — ranging from 5.5 to 7.5 oz. — in pieces like the Agnes Dress and the Gaines Dress (pictured here), with soft, meandering silhouettes that will suit women of any age and body type.

Rachel Craven Gaines Dress, $, available at Rachel Craven

Two Days Off founder Gina Stovall started her eco-friendly womenswear collection after earning her master's degree in Climate and Society at Columbia University. She turns out a tightly-edited range of low-impact, natural fiber-driven separates inspired by her work in the climate change sector. The line is replete with wearable linen separates, like this slim, perfectly proportioned midi skirt.

Two Days Off Safia Linen Midi Skirt, $, available at Two Days Off

14 Reasons To Let Linen Into Your Summer Life 14 Reasons To Let Linen Into Your Summer Life Reviewed by streakoggi on July 19, 2020 Rating: 5
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