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Style Advice

Why linen should be your summer fabric of choice

Why linen should be your summer fabric of choice

Linen has been in the style game for a long time – the warm-weather fabric dates as far back as ancient Egyptian times – and it’s really no surprise. Linen evokes all kinds of carefree, relaxed vibes, and it keeps you cool in even the most torturous of temperatures. That’s because linen yarn is spun from natural fibres found in the flax plant, and those fibres are porous, so they breathe incredibly well. So it should really come as no surprise that when the sweltering summer months roll around, it suddenly feels like everyone is clad in linen. 

And there are more feel-good benefits to the summer fabric than its natural cooling qualities: it’s also one of the most sustainable fabrics available. Growing flax requires a lot less water than cotton – another favourite fabric in warmer months – it yields minimal waste to produce, and requires fewer pesticides than cotton (organic linen requires none at all). Linen also tends to be incredibly durable, so it will last longer than your average fabric, which is good because the more you wear and wash it, the softer and silkier it becomes. 

Unsurprisingly, the fashion industry has capitalised on linen and its laundry list of benefits. And while there's no shortage of stylish linen shirts and shorts available this season, we love how it allows you to wear longer layers and trousers, even in peak summer. If you’re expected to wear a suit to work, for instance, swap your wool jacket for a linen blazer. It will still look smart, and it will make your commute into work exponentially more tolerable. A linen button-down shirt is also a great alternative to your classic Oxford silhouette when the temperatures rise. When it comes to trousers, there are a variety of elevated linen styles that are refined enough to wear to work and social events, as well as casual drawstring designs that deserve a place on your holiday packing list. 

But our all-time favourite way to wear linen during the warm-weather season is as wedding attire. The paler-coloured options and lightweight, unstructured designs make them perfect for a beach or destination wedding in particular. Just be sure you opt for a fitted style, as many linen suits can look baggy and sack-like. And you’ll want to steam yours before heading to the venue – even after thousands of years, linen still hasn’t managed to avoid its crumpled fate. But it’s all good because, well, it’s summer, and everyone is in a laid-back mood. So be sure to remain zen, even when those arm creases start to multiply. 

Words: Allison Pavlick
Photography: Jon Cardwell
Styling: Toby Standing