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A Wrinkle in Time: How to Wear Linen

It may be the holy-grail summer material but how do you wear linen without it crinkling? We’ve got just the tips to breeze you through it
By: Maddi John

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A Wrinkle in Time: How to Wear Linen Like a Pro

A Wrinkle in Time: How to Wear Linen Like a Pro

It may be the holy-grail summer material but how do you wear linen without it crinkling? We’ve got just the tips to breeze you through it

By: Maddi John

The humble linen shirt is the unofficial emblem of British Summer Time. Lightweight and airy, this ultimate summer fabric can make your outfit inherently more elegant and wonderfully cool on warmer days thanks to its natural texture and high absorbency. But if you too, jumped on the Coastal Grandma Chic trend last year, you’ll know the struggles of wearing an entire linen outfit, because while it may rest beautifully on a rail, linen can be frustratingly quick to crinkle. So how do you wear linen without looking like a crumpled mess? Liberty curates the ultimate stress-free guide to wearing, washing and styling linen.

Read More: The Best Basket Bags of the Summer

How to Wear Linen Shirts

Linen shirts are one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe. Whether it be for a smart day in the office or a day lounging on the beach, a linen shirt is prepared for anything. It’s wise to curate a collection of classic shades, including a light blue linen shirt, a navy linen shirt and of course – the staple – white linen shirt, but this summer, earthy tones are also on the horizon. Think beige, taupe and khaki. For holidays, pair your linen shirt with raffia pieces, like woven shoes and basket bags with a matching pair of shorts or casual beach trousers to fully embrace the effortlessly cool aesthetic.

Style tip: Create a visual illusion with your outfit to distract from fabric wrinkles. Stripes are excellent for tricking the eye, drawing attention away from any unwanted creases, or opt for linen shirts with large buttons or patterns down the front to distract from the rest of the material.

Shop Linen Shirts

DESMOND & DEMPSEY Helios Oat Embroidery Linen Cuban Pyjama Set, £215
KORI Daisy-Cut Buttoned Top, £120

How to Wear Linen Dresses

Less is more when styling a linen dress, but don’t forget accessories can elevate even the simplest of dresses from a casual daytime look to a sophisticated evening outfit. Off to the beach? Pair your linen dress with a summer hat and a wicker basket big enough to fit all your essentials. In the evening, swap the flip-flops out for a pair of espadrilles or heels and layer up on the shell or pearl jewellery particularly when heading out for holiday sundowners .

Read More: Liberty's Definitive Guide to the Best Summer Dresses

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SLEEPER Atlanta Linen Midi-Dress, £245
ERDEM Wisteria Linen Dress, £775
CECILIE BAHNSEN Beth Linen Plissé Dress, £1,300

How to Wear Linen Trousers

Next up: linen trousers. There are various shades and styles of linen trousers, from a tailored, wide-leg office pair, (TOTEME, AJE and Aligne have plenty to choose from), to the white linen beach trousers all over Instagram. No colour is off-limits, but like your linen shirts, the neutral shades are the easiest to style. If you’re trying to achieve the pyjamas in public look, then opt for a loose lightweight t-shirt or oversized shirt you can tuck in and pair with loafers or clogs. Alternatively, layers are a safe bet, so look to a fitted vest or tight t-shirt you can wear with an oversize jacket or cardigan.

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ACNE STUDIOS Tailored Linen-Blend Trousers, £460
ALIGNE Hainault Wide Leg Linen Trousers, £79
FORTELA Jaleh Linen Trousers, £281

How to Wear Tailored Linen

If you’re not keen on the crinkled look, a linen blazer will be your best bet on tackling the trend as they’re the most crease-proof, and are great for formal occassions. Alternatively, waistcoats are everywhere this summer, and the linen kind will keep you cool. Style with a matching pair of tailored trousers to master a monochromatic outfit or a summer slip skirt to balance textures.

Shop Tailored Linen

MARANÉ Lightweight Linen Jacket, £195
AJE Primrose Tailored Vest, £250
FARM RIO Off-White Tailored Shorts, £150

How to Look After Your Linen

How to Wash Linen

Thanks to its durability your linen can last a lifetime when properly looked after. Always wash your linen clothes on your machine’s most gentle cycle and avoid washing in cold or very hot water to prevent shrinkage. Pre-washed linen clothing and fabric is less likely to shrink when washed, but always check the care instructions on the label before washing.

How to Get a Stain Out of Linen

If there is a stain or mark on your linen garment try to pre-treat it before washing. The trick is to do it quick, so get (or make) a suitable stain remover (baking soda and white vinegar are good home solutions) and dab the stain immediately. Then wash normally in the washing machine.

How to Dry Linen

Always try to air dry your linen clothes flat. To ensure your garment does not lose its original shape, avoid drying on hangers or clothespins as they can create marks on the fabric. Natural wrinkles are great for some, but if you prefer to iron your linen clothes, do so while they’re still damp.

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