How to wear linen?

And why?

Because linen is the most ecological fiber that exists:

  • 80% of it is produced in Europe and France is the first producer in the world (ok I am promoting french trade here, greetings US readers, plant your own crops!)
  • it requires very little water (normandy’s rain is just enough)
  • it requires little to no pesticides (choose organic)
  • although super light, its fiber is very resistant

Ok, ok, good girl are you thinking, but isn’t linen for middle aged ladies wearing Birkenstocks while enjoying holidays in sunny South of France? (at least in France that’s what you think).

Of course not. You can be stylish in linen!

I even spotted quite a lot of it in the 2017 runways.


First of all, the fabric can look very different depending on the way it is sewn: fluid as a jersey knit or more rigid as canvas.

It has imperfection that are part of its style. Do not expect to iron it to perfection: that’s a sisyphean task.  Folds are part of its nature and you shall embrace them (it may even train you to embrace your owns).

With linen, even the most formal clothes feel a bit bohemian.

I hope I convinced you, and now let’s see how you could incorporate linen into your wardrobe.


I/ What clothes can be made of linen? 

Everything dear!

1/ Pants

With a modern tailoring, the linen pants can look stylish.

A convincing look from the Isabel Marant runway

Generally, belting flatters the natural fluidity of linen

As you can also see here on the always fresh looking lady Moriarty 

2/ Top 

As a kind of sloppy shirt on Death by elocution or as a more structured white blouse, the linen shirt is a summer basic! 

Kimono Polder

When knitted as jersey for T-shirt the linen unveils a subtle transparency. 

It can also be rigid and thicker as on this graphic Sézane top

3/ Blazer

A piece of clothing you would not spontaneously think of when thinking of linen. But the softness of it make it perfect for a relaxed boyish summer look. Do not forget to roll up the sleeves!

Soft and wrinkled by Miroslava Duma

More rigid in the Massimo Dutti lookbook or  here in a sky blue shade

4/ Dress or skirt

Short draped and knotted by Hunter the label 

A waist belting technic that also looks adorable on a mini short.

Here a pencil, skirt, not what you would expect, but looking just great and refined

5/ Scarf

Isn’t a linen scarf perfect for spring? 

II/ What to wear linen with? 

Spontaneously, you feel like remaining in natural fabric

1/ Linen

Linen on linen is relaxed and nice especially when the outfit is punctuated with some leather

2/ With coton

A very classic mix, just pay attention it does not look to sloppy. 

3/ With jeans

I like the contrast between the raw strenght of denim and the natural delicate aspect of linen

4/ With leather

As you may have noticed, the pictures above use a lot of leather for accessorizing, the contrast between thickness and softness being very interesting.


And you? Do you wear linen? 

16 Responses to “How to wear linen?”
  1. Stella Mary says:

    It is pretty and adorable to appear in the linen cloth. Liked by men and women for the special qualities of breathable material. It can be worn throughout the year. Thank you for the data shared. The pics show how to make this fabric more lovable.

  2. libby says:

    My favorite part of these pictures is that the women in them are not wearing gigantic foam brassieres. I live in the US and I’m delightfully small-busted and also thin, but it is extremely difficult to find bras in my size that aren’t meant for little girls or don’t have an inch of padding all around. Are there European brands of brassieres that aren’t designed based on the assumption that all smaller-busted women want to look like they’ve had boob jobs? I would love to go bra-less but it’s considered wildly inappropriate here.

    • Robin says:

      Libby..I m a large size C and believe me when I say I hate the bras on the US market as well! My size comes with foam padding in the average lingerie isle, and it’s unnerving! I don’t need it and it’s hot. Why does any women irregardless of her size need foam insulation when it isn’t winter?
      Women with large breasts suffer in the heat as it is, and then there’s the PERSONA of the padded looks like it could sit up at the opposite end of the table and hold its own in conversation!
      I long for breathable, sensual, supportive bras too.
      Oh, and as a polite nod to thread we are actually supposed to be discussing, I LOVE LINEN. In sub-tropical New Orleans it’s a must wear fiber! <3

      • Aloïs Guinut says:

        Yes, in the US padding seems to be the norm. I felt like it was changing but sounds like I was mistaken.

      • libby says:

        Wow I didn’t realize that – typical though, to try to make all women feel like they need “help” meeting the standard for anything. I’m in Tucson so I pretty much live in linen for much of the year too – it’s hard not to feel like a little old lady in it sometimes, good post!

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hihi, indeed I hate those “faux boob job” bras.
      In Europe we do have plenty of those brands, love classic lace brands like Lejaby or Aubade have regular padding free shaped bras, then more minimal (and crazy expensive) Eres, specializes in cute brallettes, for cheaper options you can check princesse Tam tam (not this cheap) or Spanish Oysho (cheap).

      • libby says:

        Thank you! I will look these up, and try to figure out how to style differently (which you have already helped me with immensely) so that my clothes don’t rely on foam triangles to hang properly!

  3. eveange66 says:

    Belle idée, mais, en dépit de tout, où trouver de vraies pièces en lin qui soient bien faites ? Un pantalon en lin : introuvable sinon un truc made in China mal fait.
    Quelle dommage que cela ne soit pas plus représenté !

  4. MABdeParis says:

    Chère Aloïs,
    Je vous suggère le site ULTRALIN pour tout savoir sur le lin, sa culture, son entretien, son utilisation en mode et décoration.
    Je me souviens aussi d’une exposition extraordinaire de 12 robes d’exception (100% lin.) à la Maison Champs-Elysées à Paris. Absolument bluffant! De quoi changer à jamais son regard sur le lin.
    Et puis les mots “linge” et “lingerie” viennent bien … du lin.

  5. MABdeParis says:

    J’aime beaucoup le lin, pour son côté écolo et production France. et surtout pour son potentiel mode.
    En fonction de son tissage plus ou moins serré et de sa densité, le vêtement en lin sera plus rigide ou plus lâche.
    Plusieurs vestes achetés chez Caroll il y a quelques années (production du lin et fabrication française) vieillissent ultra bien et prennent une superbe patine. Des robes, jupes et même pantalon tissés serré font le fonds de ma garde robe d’été.

  6. Sometimes I see beautiful linen pieces that do crease and crease a lot, and then I’m on the fence. When do you think wrinkles and creases are flattering/chic and when not?

    To clarify: I really hate ironing. And I know that linen blends often don’t crease much, but sometimes I see a piece in pure linen that I like.

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