Style by Claire Lopez

Let’s talk linen

There is a running joke among my school friends about me and linen, when on a post-A-level girls’ holiday to Portugal, a rather drunk me was wandering around obsessing about the lack of sheets on our arrival. I can’t deny I am a bit of a square and generally a clean and tidy soul (for that read neat freak). Luckily it all went suitably downhill on the debauched front from that point on. But fear not I am not about to change tack and write a post about bed sheets. It’s just that I cannot say the word without remembering that holiday. Anyway I digress…

There is a huge move towards natural fibres this summer, with raffia and straw featuring across the board, and linen is part of this trend. It’s a fabric that either has hippie or old-fashioned connotations. This season, however, linen has had a total makeover and become the fabric to wear. the key is to go for modern silhouettes that are simple and pared back.

The linen dress

Warehouse has a few real goodies on the casual front including this Tie Front Linen Dress £39 but it is already out of stock in some sizes.

I am having a bit of love affair with the terracotta colours everywhere and this Zara Off the Shoulder Dress £29.99 ticks lots of boxes.

Or for something smarter for the daytime, try this Linen Twist Shirt Dress £39 which comes in black and rust. There is limited stock on the black.

Jigsaw’s navy Wrap Linen Dress £64 in the sale is another option. This is only in stock in sizes 12 and up.

This Chevron Stripe Linen Dress £49 is perfect for the office in the summer but another one that is already out of stock in some sizes so hurry!

Or try Oasis’ Stripe Safari Midi Dress £60 which is another good office/smarter day style.

Or for a striped option try Zara’s Long Striped Tunic £39.99

The linen top

If you are a t-shirt wearer through and through, why not swap your simple jersey for a linen one. The texture and drape often make for a much nicer look – I have a black linen tee that I got in New York a couple of years ago that somehow looks much cooler than my plain jersey one.

Try Hush’s Striped Dover Linen Top £45

Or Vest £39

Several of their t-shirts/long sleeved tops are linen too, some of which are in the sale but worth checking out.

Zara also has several colours in this Linen T-shirt £12.99 although it is pretty low cut…

Zara’s Linen Top with Buttons £25.99 would be a great addition to your wardrobe and something you could wear to work with trousers or pop on with shorts or jeans.

Not a top but Zara’s best-selling blazer is re-designed in linen which is the perfect way to update your summer work wardrobe: Blazer with Gathered Sleeves £69.99

The linen bottom

A striped trouser is another big trend for this summer so go for a linen one with these Wide Linen Blend Trousers £34.99 from H&M.

Or for a more tapered leg H&M’s Linen Joggers £24.99 are great and come in several colours: khaki, navy, natural, dark grey, white, blue…

For a pair of shorts, H&M’s Linen Striped Shorts £24.99 are lovely.

And finally, thinking about a skirt, I like Autograph’s Linen Blend Textured A-Line Midi Skirt £55 which you could look sophisticated in for the office with sandals and dress down with a tee and trainers for outside work. This is online only and already low in stock/sold out in some sizes.

This is the tip of the linen iceberg and if you want to keep natural then pair with your woven basket bag and a straw hat. To dress things up go for a leather sandal or pair of espadrilles and make tortoiseshell your partner, either for sunglasses or buttons.

But whatever happens you have to embrace the crease – it’s an inevitable part of the laid back look!

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