I may have an addiction to linen. In fact, I think ‘may’ is incorrect. Guys, I have an addiction to linen. Here is why…
LINEN SUMMER CLOSET UPDATES
I was just planning on making this blog post about summer closet updates, then, I realised I’ve got SO many looks from the summer months that I’ve yet to share, that I am going to have to make it a two-part series. Plus, there was a definite trend going on within these looks below. Not to mention the four outfits I have hanging on the back of my door which, weather permitting, I’m planning to wear and shoot this weekend.
They all involve linen.
Because I am addicted.
IT’S A SUMMER NO BRAINER
Basically, on hot days, all I want to wear is linen, in any form. Dresses, shorts, shirts, tops, skirts, pants, jumpsuits and even as a blazer. You better believe I am also sleeping on linen bed sheets and a linen quilt cover. Heck, even our new bed and cushions are all beige linen. It’s gone so far over the years that I wonder if I don’t bite the bullet and just start a brand using linen as a core focus. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
So, what’s the deal? I recently watched a couple of documentaries on how they make linen. Cause I am that cool. If you also want to watch these documentary videos, simply google ‘how is linen made?’ and enjoy.
HOW IS LINEN MADE?
Linen is made from the flax plant, a plant that grows easily enough, worldwide. Though the best linen comes out of France, Ireland and Belgium.
Once picked, the fibres have to be retted which can be done in a number of ways, essentially using bacteria to decompose the pectin which binds the fibres together. It can be done manually or chemically, but that process isn’t great for the environment, though it is cheaper and quicker. Once retted, the fibres are ready for scutching – a process that removes the woody stalks for rolling and crushing them between rollers. The waste is used for things like linseed oil. Yep, no part is wasted, which is another reason linen is so sustainable. The fibres are then heckled – combed out into natural fibres to be spun into yarn, and woven.
WHY IS LINEN SO POPULAR?
Linen is breathable, making it great in summer and even in humidity. Plus it’s naturally moisture-wicking. It draws steam or sweat out of the skin and dries quickly. Both linen and cotton are hypoallergenic, with linen being a slightly better option for people with allergies due to the loose weave (it’s less likely to trap dust particles).
Being a natural fibre, of course, linen is biodegradable which is great. The natural colour is stunning but it also holds dye well. With more wear or use, it becomes softer, making it perfect for table cloths or bed sheets. Not only versatile, but linen is also practical and beautiful too!
THE LINEN BLAZER
Now that I’ve gone over my nerdy research on how linen is made and why it’s so practical, let’s get onto my summer closet updates. First of all, the linen blazer. The one I am wearing here is basically a classic natural linen blazer that is a bit blocky and masculine.
To be very open and real, I found this blazer by accident. I was walking through Target to buy a book and spotted it on a sale rack in the boy’s kid’s department. haha so it is literally a random find that does the job but ultimately filled the gap in my closet of linen blazer. I’d been borrowing Mario’s linen blazer but it was a little too big and I’d had trouble finding the right one for me.
My point? It’s probably not the ‘one’ long term (though, it might be), but you can find a staple linen blazer like this in so many places. It is one of those blazers that act as a versatile piece to wear with your core wardrobe staples, to mix and match. It is a great addition to your summer closet for cooler nights or as a light jacket for the office.
THE LINEN SHIRT
I’ve somehow managed to accumulate so many linen shirts! It’s one thing I reach for several times a week, almost all year round. A classic white linen shirt is a great summer beach cover up, it can be worn over dresses or as a light ‘jacket’ layer. Let alone pairing it with jeans or pants.
Brand-wise, I have a lot of shirts from Uniqlo, Assembly Label, Boden Clothing, and more. Those would be my top three brands to go back to and I definitely don’t overlook the men’s departments for a larger fit linen shirt too.
THE SLEEPER DRESS
Okay, I loved the dresses I kept seeing on Instagram from UK brand Sleeper. Loved them! When I first noticed them it was the beginning of winter, so I wasn’t in a rush to buy one. But they kept coming up and I finally thought I’d order one just to see if it is that good. Personally, I find them to be a little pricey. In the end, reading they were unlined, I wanted to buy a dark colour. This maxi dress in green was top of my list, though a navy mini came close.
Essentially, I love this dress. It’s a beautiful linen, colour, cut and I feel amazing in it. Do I think it is worth the price? Not really. They aren’t lined, which is fine for a dark colour, though it is noticeably sheer in direct sunlight. I’d be concerned with a lighter colour for sheerness. At the end of the day, though I love this dress, I have found other alternatives that are more affordable and still offer incredible quality too. So, I don’t see myself buying any more from Sleeper in a hurry. I am wearing this dress in an XS if you are interested.
Speaking of more affordable brands who create beautiful high-quality linen dresses (and pants/ skirts/ tops etc), I love Aere. Exclusive to The Iconic, I’ve now ordered three of their dresses. They also have a menswear line, so I’ve ordered a ton of essential pieces for Mario too (and he loved them all).
This black backless maxi dress was my first, and I’ve loved it. It is a little too warm to wear in high summer, as it is lined. So, I am looking forward to wearing this one closer to autumn again. The other two dresses I have are so beautiful and are both hanging on the back of my door to be photographed to share with you soon. Though I have worn them already and am so happy with them. I’ve sized up in Aere, having heard that they run small. I’m wearing an 8 pictured here and the fit is a little big but I am comfortable, as it doesn’t need to be super fitted.
THIS CONVERSATION IS NOT OVER
By now, I am sure it is obvious that my love of linen is to be continued. Actually, I filmed a video or two yesterday with some new linen pieces I’ve yet to shoot to share with you up here. I’m so excited to have found another affordable linen brand this month. More on that soon! Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here and turn on the notifications to see that video soon and more. I’ve been trying to get back into a video a week and there are a couple of staycation vlogs that went up thus far this year. Let me know what you think!
If you have any brands that you love that specialise in this beautiful fabric, please let me know below so I can check them out.