Cool & Covered: My Favorite Way to Wear a Linen Shirt

A linen shirt can be a versatile player in your warm weather wardrobe. Today’s outfit features a classic button front linen shirt.

For many of us, warmer weather presents its own set of style challenges. Maybe we prefer to keep certain body parts covered. Or we find it difficult to balance our clothing for fluctuating temperatures between warm exteriors and cool, air-conditioned interiors.

Linen is the fabric I reach for most often when the weather warms up. It’s breathable, and comfortable in a range of temperatures. For those of us who like to stay more covered up, either to limit sun exposure or just by personal preference, a linen shirt like this one can be a real workhorse in warmer seasons.

Susan B. wears a light yellow linen shirt, off-white tee, light olive jogger pants and gold sandals, carries a straw bag.
My sizes: Shirt – Petite Small, Tee – XS, Pants – Small

Here I’m wearing a Banana Republic linen shirt in a casual outfit over a tee shirt and silky cargo pants. The shirt keeps me from getting chilled when I pop into air-conditioned stores or offices. (In Southern California, public spaces are often kept at what I consider frigid temperatures from May to November.)

Susan B. stands on sidewalk wearing a light yellow linen shirt outfit with off-white tee, light olive jogger pants, gold sandals, and carries a straw bag.

And it provides some sun coverage on my arms, as well as adding another dimension to the outfit.

Budget-friendly options for this look:

Shirt | Pants | Bag | Sandals

And of course you can always wear the shirt buttoned, as a single layer. Or knot in the front for a fun look! What do you think? How would you wear this linen shirt?

More linen shirts

Looking for more cool & covered tops & dresses? Check out Bright & Breezy Styles (In Every Seasonal Palette)

There’s still time…

We still have a couple of spots open for personal color analysis this weekend during the Red Leopard Color Event! Manina from Red Leopard and I will be doing color analysis sessions in Los Angeles, with makeup by professional makeup artist Brian Haugen. This was such a fun event last time, and I hope you can join us!

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  1. Hi there,
    I was wondering if anyone in the Houston area does the same color analysis that you do ?
    Kathy Garcia

  2. I love the idea of linen, but I find it can be rather ‘scratchy’. Unfortunately, I’m super sensitive to anything remotely irritating, for example I can’t wear wool. Have you any suggestions for ways to soften linen clothing?

    1. A lot of linen pieces are starched when you buy them, to make them crisper. I wash mine and line dry, (then put in a not-hot dryer with wool dryer balls for just a few minutes) which will soften it up. It also really depends on the linen weave and density. You might also try linen jersey pieces, which will be softer.

      1. Thank you. I’ll try washing and drying. Unfortunately, we don’t have a tumble dryer, but maybe things will soften up if I was them a couple of times. It will be worth a go as linen is such a good fabric for summer.

    2. Chiming in. I’m super sensitive to scratchy fabrics and don’t wear wool at all anymore. Lately, I’m finding linen to be scratchy, too. The solution is a higher quality, longer fiber fabric, and for me, that means Eileen Fisher’s linen tops. There’s just no comparison. Yes, they cost more than some brands, but they will last a lifetime. A bonus to that is, they’re readily available at resale sites, esp eBay.

  3. I love this entire combo on you. It’s playful and chic. You asked how we wear linen shirts — my summer uniform is a casual sleeveless dress of some kind, with a linen shirt open over it.

    1. Anna, I thought so, too. The pants look too heavy and casual to work well with the rest of the outfit. I would wear them in cooler weather with boots and a sweatshirt layered over the shirt.

  4. I love this look. You look cool in any definition of the word 🙂
    Very West Coast casual.