29 Linen Looks To Keep You Cool All Summer Long

Designed by Meg O'Donnell
Long relegated to resort-wear and our summer holiday packing, over recent seasons linen has become a mainstay on the runways and in our wardrobes. Like veganism, the secondhand shopping boom, and even fashion's return to the '70s – the period in which the environmental movement took off – linen's return can be credited to an ever more eco-conscious consumer and a wish to return to simplicity (such as woven textures, other raw materials and earthy tones).
On the SS19 runways, Jacquemus, Tibi and Rejina Pyo continued to make the most of the fabric, in the form of flowing, goddess-like gowns and daring uber-mini dresses (Jacquemus), relaxed incarnations of the Bermuda short (Rejina Pyo) and oversized suiting (Tibi). Indie label Kage even dedicated its SS19 lookbook to the fabric, offering textured separates and playful jumpsuits.
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Thanks to its lightness and natural breathability, linen is the ideal choice for hot, sticky summer days. The high street is awash not only with holiday-ready sundresses and jumpsuits (check out ASOS and Nasty Gal) but also office-appropriate blouses and suits (& Other Stories and Mango). At the higher end of the scale, our favourite brands for linen pieces are Staud (think prairie girl blouses), Faithfull The Brand (which has garnered a reputation for pretty linen sundresses) and Zimmerman (a Sydney-based brand favoured by Aussie fashion girls like Emily Yates and Olivia Cooke).
While many of us have a linen horror story to tell ("it looked fine on the hanger..."), in 2019 it's time to embrace the creases – they're part of linen's easy, breezy charm. If you're still scared, aim for structured pieces such as blazers, form-fitting tops, dresses that cinch at the waist and pieces with detailing that will distract (like pockets, print and buttons).
Ahead, we've rounded up our favourite linen pieces, from shirred tops to Bardot dresses.
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A powder blue linen will make you look cool in the office and feel cool on your stuffy commute.
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A mini, belted playsuit is structured enough to keep creasing to a minimum.
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Button up to look professional and put together; unbutton over a cami and shorts, or even use as a swimsuit cover-up for an easy, holiday look.
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Amp up the sweetness of this fitted, puff-sleeve mini dress with kitten heels and a structured bag.
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Loewe is one of our favourites for SS19 linen. This asymmetric maxi skirt looks extra cool with a graphic T-shirt tucked in; we would also style with our favourite trainers, big gold hoops and a denim jacket for a Sunday brunch.
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Embrace linen's roots and go for a natural, earth-tone dress like this one by Rejina Pyo.
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Did you hear? Shirring is back. The pretty, prairie detailing looks great in linen.
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Add a sunny pop of marigold to your summer wardrobe with a linen camisole; it looks great with other key SS19 trends: white denim, lightweight knitwear and animal print.
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Add a pair of straight-leg linen trousers to your shopping bag, stat. We promise that as soon as summer's heat hits, you'll thank us.
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Nineties spaghetti straps? A square neckline? Shirring? A peplum hem? Sign us up to this linen beauty by indie brand Kage.
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This button-up, belted nude linen dress by Mango offers a retro '50s silhouette (ideal if you've just binged Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).
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This is one way to stand out in a sea of black, navy blue and grey as you battle through the rush hour crowds.
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Wide-leg white linen trousers are a summer season must. Pair with your bikini top for poolside drinks, a sexy cami for date night and a blouse and blazer combination for the office.
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Not only is this ASOS number a great holiday buy, it also comes with pockets – win win!
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Bermuda shorts are everywhere this season. They're more structured than a maxi skirt, offer more comfort than trousers or jeans on a hot day, and can double up at the beach.
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An oversized blazer is a staple item in any woman's wardrobe. Update the look in linen for a more casual, summer look (we all know that the office dress code tends to slip a little as the temperature rises).
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This Jacquemus dress is proof that linen can be sexy and grown-up.
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For that family barbecue you have coming up – style with simple leather sandals and a straw boater (just watch out for grass stains and rogue ketchup).
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We'll be styling this pretty, '90s-style linen blouse as seen here: with our favourite slinky maxi skirt and the chunkiest sandals we can find.
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Sometimes the simplest pieces are the best.
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Going on holiday and worried about your luggage allowance? A linen jumpsuit is great because you not only have an outfit in one, you can also double it up as trousers when teamed with blouses/cardigans.
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Summer is the time for The Little White Dress. Wear with woven, raffia accessories, as seen here.
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Who doesn't want a Barbie pink suit for the dullest of days?
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All hail the holy grail clothing item: dresses with pockets.
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A shirt dress can either be buttoned up, as seen here, or unbuttoned and worn as a swim cover-up.
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Because we're still loving SS19's puff-sleeve trend. Wear with lace-up sandals and layered gold jewellery for a destination or beach wedding.
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If you've got a little more money to splurge on your summer wardrobe, we recommend Theory's linen edit which features great staple pieces like this shirt - it's cut like a man's shirt for a slightly more relaxed, oversized look.
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A lightweight linen jacket makes for the perfect summer alternative to your denim number. Pack a light coloured piece like this to match all your holiday outfits.
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