With the holiday season over for another year, the mortifying reality of returning to your mundane weekly routine has sunk in, with the added bonus of a few extra kilos around the waistband from one too many scoops of Christmas trifle. Whilst you may have already broken your promising New Years resolutions, redeem yourself by finally sorting out your summer wardrobe and kicking off 2016 in style. And nothing screams ‘summer’ and ‘style’ more than linen.
Crafted from plant fibres, this fine material is praised for its lightweight form and breathability, making it arguably the perfect fabric for when temperatures rise. Durable, strong, breathable and resistant to stretching, linen is arguably the perfect summer fabric. However, it does come with one major drawback: linen is notorious for creasing easily. But in the spirit of every motivational speaker, embrace the wrinkles. Not only does it give the fabric (and therefore your outfit) its own unique character, it also adds a touch of flair to any look.
To wear linen confidently, then, is to embrace its relaxed crumpledness. And the easiest way to do this is with a linen shirt or blazer, but perhaps not both at the same time. For example, a linen blazer worn with a crisp cotton shirt creates a smart contrast in textures, while a white linen shirt worn with tan chino shorts and boat shoes is the perfect Sunday drinks attire. Nonetheless, you will actually find it very difficult to find 100% linen pieces these days. Brands are well aware of the general aversion to creasing and consequently, they tend to blend linen with either cotton or silk. The result is a beautifully lightweight fabric with great structure, breathability and that distinctly European insouciance.
Linen is extremely easy to care for. A lukewarm hand or machine wash is the best way to clean linen. Once done, simply hang dry. A quick iron when damp is perfectly acceptable if the garment is excessively creased, but with modern linen-blends this will rarely be the case.