If you’re looking to build your warm-weather wardrobe, there’s no better fabric to opt for than linen. Lightweight and breathable, linen clothing is a go-to for those who want to stay stylish all year round. Want the low-down on linen? From how it’s made to how to style it, here at Kit and Kaboodal, we’ve created a guide to all you need to know about your new summer staple.

What is linen?

First thing’s first; what is linen made of? Linen is a completely natural textile created from the stalks of flax plants during a long harvesting and manufacturing process. Records show that linen has been in use for many thousands of years, while the earliest records of a linen industry date all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Over the centuries, linen has been used for everything from table cloths and bedding to clothing and is still considered today one of the highest quality natural fibres to have in your wardrobe.

Breathability and Coolness

Due to its weave structure, linen is a highly breathable fabric and
doesn’t cling to the skin in the same way cotton does. Rather than drape
over the skin, linen clothes billow and let air circulate around, thus
cooling your body and helping to dry any moisture in the fabric. In
short, linen clothing makes hot days in summer a breeze (literally)!

Moisture and Absorption

Additionally, linen is both a highly absorbent and moisture-wicking
fabric that quickly evaporates any moisture it absorbs. This means linen
clothes can not only take more perspiration than cotton before feeling damp, but they allow you to stay cool and comfortable while the sun is beating down without having to worry about visible perspiration patches on your clothing.

Strength and Durability

Another big bonus when it comes to linen clothing is the fact that linen
is 30% stronger than cotton and known for its superior durability.
Linen clothes may feel stiff at first but will become softer and more
comfortable to wear with every wash. Due to its flax fibres, linen is also abrasion resistant and won’t stretch as cotton does. When looked after well, linen clothing will last the test of time.

How to wear linen

While there are many pros to linen clothing, the fabric does have particular notoriety for its tendency to crease. However, when you know how to wear it, the natural crumple of linen is part of its laid-back charm and effortless aesthetic. When it comes to how to wear linen clothing, we’ve got the tips to nailing the look this season.

Linen Trousers

Light, airy and versatile, a pair of women’s linen trousers are one of the
best ways to incorporate linen into your wardrobe. Linen trousers are
perfect for finding the balance of smart and casual, making them ideal
for whether you’re dressing down for a summer BBQ or up for an evening
out. When it comes to what to wear with linen trousers, they go with
pretty much anything! We love them paired with a simple blouse or
T-shirt tucked in to create a smooth silhouette. If you opt for a wide
leg, try heeled sandals to elongate your leg and complete the look.

Linen Skirts

When it comes to sophisticated summer style, a linen skirt is a wardrobe staple and will keep you cool even on the hottest of days. A midi or maxi-length linen skirt is a failsafe for achieving an effortlessly chic and stylish look at any occasion, and, like women’s linen trousers, linen skirts are easy to style. Simply pair with a light blouse, T-shirt or sleeveless top for a simple and elegant look that works with flat sandals, mules or heeled wedges. Our top tip: to help mask those natural creases in the linen, try opting for a skirt with ruffled detailing or pleats. 

Linen Tunics

If you’re looking for summer dresses to add to your wardrobe this year,
look to linen. Whether you opt for a T-shirt dress, a maxi or a tunic style, linen dresses will keep you cool throughout the day and are versatile enough to transition your look through to evening with ease. Linen is a great fabric to go for if you’re looking to achieve a floaty, casual style, but if you want to cinch in your waist try opting for a slim belt or tie-waist style. We love wearing our linen dresses on their own, over leggings or skinny jeans for a casual look or over our petticoats for evening glam!

Linen Tops

For hot summer days and balmy evenings, there’s no better way to stay cool than a linen top. There are so many options available to try to suit any style and, because linen doesn’t stick to the skin like cotton, it’s an ideal fabric for flattering every shape and size. Whether you opt for a short-sleeved number or a casual long sleeve, linen tops are easily
styled for day and night! Pair with your favourite jeans or cotton trousers and add simple accessories to tie the look together.

Linen Shirts

When it comes to linen vs cotton shirts, there’s a clear winner in our eyes. Light and loose-fitting, linen shirts will keep you cooler than cotton shirts and are incredibly versatile. Whether worn to the office or styled casually at the weekend, a linen shirt achieves a smart-casual aesthetic that works well with a variety of looks. Pair a long shirt over leggings or jeans for a simple yet chic outfit and try unbuttoning it for a casual, open shirt look.

Linen Jackets

Need a light layer this summer? Forgo your heavy jacket and opt for linen. Lightweight and highly breathable, linen is the best material for layering over your outfit on hot and humid days. Whether you opt for a cropped or long-line style, a linen jacket is so simple to style with
any outfit in your wardrobe. Pop over a blouse and a pair of jeans, a
summer dress or matching linen trousers for a stylish and coordinated
look. The natural feel of linen is always beautifully complemented with natural, earthy tones, or you can opt for a bright pop of colour to make
your jacket a focal piece in your look.

Can linen be worn in winter?

While linen is an ideal choice for keeping cool during the summer, it can also be an option to be worn during the winter months - it’s all about how you style it! Linen items can be easily transitional into autumn and winter simply by layering your favourite piece with warmer items in your wardrobe, such as tops, jumpers, leggings and trousers.

We’ve put together a blog post all about the best ways to layer our linen dresses so that you can wear your favourites all year round!