How to rock the linen look and stay cool all summer

Linen is one of those fabrics, like velvet or silk, that seems just a little bit too hard: too hard to iron, too hard to keep crease-free, too hard to wear, too hard full stop.

But linen doesn't deserve this bad rap and instead should become a staple of your wardrobe, particularly as we head into the warmer months.

Laid-back style

Linen is cool to wear (both literally and figuratively), super comfortable and actually gets better the more you wear it unlike cotton.  While not in the normal guise of Stitched Up,  this couldn't ring more true with linen bedding, so try a good linen (fabric) quilt set coming into summer – your body will thank you for it and you'll sleep better, too.

But this applies for clothes too – there is nothing better than a well-worn linen shirt, paired with your favourite most comfortable pair of shorts, playing barefoot bowls overlooking the ocean in summer. Am I right?

Line is durable too, and known to be one of the strongest fabrics on the market, so an investment piece it is. As an added bonus, it's environmentally friendly with more and more brands actively producing linen as a core part of their collections.

How to wear it

Linen is a multi-occasion style fabric, and suitable (pun intended) as workwear, occasion dressing (if that's still a thing) and as casual outwear.

I have a rule of thumb when it comes to colour combinations with shirts and shorts – always wear the darker colour on the bottom. A good, navy or grey short will pair back well with any pastel coloured linen shirt, however the favoured choice is white – versatile with linen on linen, a denim combo or even a cotton trouser or chino.

If you're game enough (and be careful to avoid looking like a cheese maker in the process) you can rock a full white shirt and pant combo. The trick is to keep the pants tailored, while still a little looser in the fit than usual, and the shirt still somewhat fitted.

In this instance, embrace the crinkling as an added bonus for a more lived-in, relaxed look. Perfect for those Byron Bay Beach weddings or an afternoon margarita, it's a super fresh look you can quite honestly wear whenever you damn please.


Dress for the occasion

On the serious matter of suiting, whilst you may want to keep it to whites, creams and beige, your other go-to colour should be blue in all shades which allows you to mix back with white. Blue linen blazers are a great contrast against black denim – ideal for a night out on the town when the dresscode is an ambiguous smart casual.

Warmer weather is also a chance to bust out some more leisurely footwear. You can't go wrong with a linen espadrille-style  canvas shoe which will literally complete your head-to-toe look.


Lastly, there are a couple of things you should know about caring for your linen anything. A good cold wash will always work a treat, and then when drying (shirts namely) ensure its hung out on a hanger so it keeps its natural shape.

Iron on the hottest setting will be adequate, although a few creases in your shirt is essentially part of the look.

Ensure your linen jackets are dry cleaned only, making sure they're kept fresh and any spot markings are taken care of immediately.

Check out the gallery above to see some of the best linen looks to stay cool in.