If linen were a person: it would be a cool, wise, older woman in your life with excellent taste who’s into slow fashion. The fiber is ancient, appearing on the historical record as early as 4500 BC — and, despite several millennia’s worth of advancements in fabric technology, we’re still growing flax and spinning linen in the manner of our ancestors. Based on this image of the world’s oldest dress, the patterns haven’t changed much either (we're envisioning something very similar on Etsy). There are countless reasons as to why we reach for this age-old fabric again and again when the temperatures climb; below, we've outlined a few along with some shining shoppable examples.
As a biodegradable and renewable material, linen is much better for the environment than its synthetic man-made cousins (like polyester). It outranks its peers in the natural world (like cotton) by requiring significantly less water to grow and offering more durability in the long-run — meaning that linen dress of yours will last longer than that poplin button-down. Plus, linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture without feeling sodden. Although it is admittedly wrinkle-prone, we’ve all been known to buy distressed denim or pre-scuffed shoes — so some gentle rumpling on your top or dress shouldn’t be cause for concern. TLDR: If there’s a fabric you can trust to keep you naturally coolest in the summer that's better than linen, we've yet to encounter it.
Ahead, find 15 breezy examples (in garment form) that prove it — from lightweight jumpsuits to flowy pants, frocks, and beyond.
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