For me, nothing says Summer like linen does. I know what you are you thinking: isn’t linen for middle aged ladies? Is it worth making friends with the trickiest of fabrics?
When it comes to summer dressing this year, it’s all about raw, natural fabrics and linen is one of the world’s oldest fabrics dating back to 4500 B.C. Similarly to cotton, it is manufactured from a plant, the Flax plant, which makes it a fully natural fibre. It has a much lower thread count than cotton, so it’s very breathable. Also, while linen is 30 percent stronger than cotton, its chief advantage is its longevity. It tends to become softer and shinier with each wash too, whereas cotton does the opposite.
One disadvantage is that linen creases easily. Sometimes even just by looking at it. The trick is to iron linen when damp, first on the wrong side to eliminate creases, and then on the right side to give a sheen. Steam works best on pure linen, so be sure to check the label. Also, many of today’s creations come in a cotton mix, which means you still get that natural look with a bit less creasing.
Audrey Hepburn wore it. Jackie Kennedy wore it. So did Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election. Linen is timeless, as are the silhouettes. It’s all in the pieces you choose. There is something crisp about white, but beiges, soft and navy blues are all beautiful. Linen looks particularly great with the bright colours. Don’t be afraid of simple patterns either, just remember to choose your shapes wisely.
Photo: Brand Archives