Linen used to be one of those fabrics we turned our noses up at; much like Birkenstocks and oat milk, it was for artists in residence, gardening-obsessed mums and violin teachers with eccentric jewellery. Now, of course, we're eating our words – we only drink oat milk, we won't wear anything but our Birkenstock Bostons, and we have come to love linen in a way that we truly never thought possible.
On the catwalks of SS20, designers from London to New York celebrated the loose and breathable fabric. Jacquemus gave us French Riviera sundresses and relaxed suiting, Acne Studios presented pleated trousers suitable for sundowners and the (work-from-home) office, while Rejina Pyo's lemon-hued blouses and gingham shorts had us longing for picnics in the park.
Of course, linen has long been a spring-to-summer seasonal favourite. Woven from the flax plant, the breezy fabric has been used since the time of Mesopotamia but has often received a bad rap due to its crunchy granola associations. Now that sustainability is number one on the fashion agenda, however, it's being cast in a different light and designers are taking note, using it as a luxury, eco-friendly alternative to cotton.
Since we're all on lockdown and stiff, structured 'outdoors' clothes seem thoroughly alien, linen fits into our lives and wardrobes even more seamlessly. As comfortable to wear at your makeshift WFH desk as it is to waft around the kitchen making banana bread in, it's more put-together than PJs but nowhere near as restrictive as a pair of jeans.
Ahead, we've found a slew of fuss-free linen dresses, blouses and trousers that'll see you from spring through to (a hopefully less isolated) summer.