Long synonymous with hazy days and balmy nights, linen is universally regarded as the style set’s summer fabric of choice. Seen recently on the 2021 International Fashion Week runways at the likes of Zimmermann and Fendi, this lightweight material is a timeless solution to almost every sartorial summer occasion.
Linen doesn’t just look good though. If you want to embrace a more environmentally-friendly aesthetic this year, it should be your go-to: produced from the fibers of the flax plant, linen is one of the most sustainable materials available.
To find out more about buying, styling and caring for linen, marie claire’s Fashion Market Editor Ella Blinco Jury answers all your most pressing questions below:
Why is linen such a good summer material?
“Linen is a great summer material because it’s light and breathable, making it perfect for our hot Australian summers,” says Blinco Jury. “It’s also a really versatile, comfortable fabric. You can wear it over swimmers to the beach and then add some heels and go straight to drinks.”
This season, Uniqlo introduces a range of high-quality linen pieces at an affordable price point. From smart shirts to elegant dresses and free-flowing pants, it’s little wonder the Japanese high-street brand has earned such a cult following.
What’s the best way to wear linen this season?
“Personally I think linen worn head-to-toe is very chic,” says Blinco Jury. “Team one of Uniqlo’s beautiful linen pieces with a pair of their white jeans or linen shorts and you’re good to go.”
Our pick? The humble Uniqlo Premium Linen Shirt, $49.90, which pairs easily with almost anything you can think of, and is available in a range of colours including blue, pink and white. Team with a comfortable pair of trousers for work, or a cute pair of shorts for the weekend. Best of all, the linen button-up is part of Uniqlo’s Masterpiece range, with the design team aiming to refine each product every season so it becomes the perfect linen shirt.
We also can’t go past the Linen Blend Long Sleeve Shirt Dress, $59.90, which blends rayon and linen for a sophisticated look. Perfect for work or play, it will see you through the summer season with ease.
What accessories work best with linen?
“Pair linen with classic summery accessories, such as a great sandal,” advises Blinco Jury. “Gold jewellery also looks chic and compliments the texture.”
For our shoot, Blinco Jury opted for chic slides and wedges to complement the natural fabric fibres, and injected a hint of metallic via gold hoop earrings.
How can you avoid linen getting wrinkled?
“Always hang your linen pieces rather than folding and if you can, use a steamer to soften creases,” says Blinco Jury.
If all else fails, embrace the wrinkles—it’s simply part of the appeal of wearing linen.
What other fabrics pair well with linen?
Blinco Jury recommends working linen back with soft, light materials.
“Cotton and silk work well with linen as the textures complement each other.”
What colours work best when it comes to linen?
Linen looks chic in neutral colours, says Blinco Jury.
“I love linen in white and beige and think they pair well together. Linen in soft pastels and rich earthy tones always look great too.”
How would you recommend washing linen?
A cold hand wash is the best way to make sure your linen pieces will last as long as possible, advises Blinco Jury.
“If you don’t have the time, then a cold cycle in the washing machine is fine. Never wash in hot water or put in the dryer as this will cause the fabric to shrink.”
What occasions are good for linen?
The good news is, linen is the real MVP of summer fabrics—it can be worn almost anywhere.
“Linen is great for casual occasions, as it’s so easy to wear,” explains Blinco Jury. “It’s perfect for the beach or a day picnic. However, you can still dress linen up with the right accessories. Add a great heel, bag and some statement earrings and you’re ready for dinner or drinks.”
For new releases and info, make sure you download the Uniqlo app.