Easy linen shirt outfit with jeans - une femme d'un certain âge

An easy linen shirt is one of my summer essentials

More polished than a tee shirt without being too try-hard, a relaxed linen shirt is one of my summer wardrobe staples.

Susan B. wears a relaxed linen shirt, slim boyfriend jeans, Cult Gaia Coco bag, and strappy sandals

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. All ideas and opinions are my own.

An easy outfit with an oversized linen shirt

necklace | shirt | bracelets | bag | jeans | sandals

Since I can remember, we’ve been told that every woman should have a “crisp white shirt” in her wardrobe. But they never worked for me. Too classic, and (as I later learned) the wrong color. For several years I’ve had some iteration of a relaxed white linen shirt in my warm weather wardrobe, but since my color analysis, I’ve been on the hunt for one in a cream or off-white.

This shirt is a nice ivory/off-white. I’m wearing size XS.

Popping the collar on my shirt to keep the sun off my neck.

It’s a linen-viscose blend, so it’s softer than 100% linen, but still quite breathable. The fabric is opaque enough not to need another layer underneath. And the relaxed fit allows for plenty of air circulation. So it’s perfect to throw on when it’s toasty out but you still want some coverage. I like having a collar I can pop to keep the sun off the back of my neck, too!

How I wear a relaxed or oversized shirt

Susan B. wears a relaxed linen shirt and boyfriend jeans, carries a rattan bag.

Being petite, I’ve been wary of current trend toward very oversized shirts. It can easily look like I’m drowning in fabric. Here, the shorter sleeves allow my wrists to show, which adds some definition and structure. (If your shirt has long sleeves, you can roll or push them up.) And the shorter length in front helps too.

Wearing a slimmer bottom can help add definition. Here, I’ve worn slim, straight leg jeans to balance the volume of the shirt, and a nude-ish color shoe, which also helps elongate the legs.

Another way to wear an oversized shirt is to leave it open, and wear as a “shacket” over more fitted layers. Or try a half-tuck, or you can gather and tie it at the waist.

Susan B. sits on a park bench wearing an off-white shirt, blue jeans, nude strappy sandals.

If you don’t like the way linen wrinkles, or find it scratchy (though most linen will soften with wear and washing), cotton gauze is another option. Below, a few of my picks for linen and cotton shirts from Nordstrom. They carry a wide range of brands, and shipping and returns are free. If you’re in a hurry, you can often order online and pick up at your local store.

Click on the > to see more options.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See my complete disclosure policy here.

32 Comments

  1. Eileen
    June 15, 2022 / 6:29 am

    I love linen!
    I finally got your blog back again, thanks for your help.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      June 15, 2022 / 6:30 am

      Hi Eileen, I’m so glad and you’re very welcome!

  2. Deb Wostmann
    June 15, 2022 / 6:48 am

    Always great content. Loving your hair….

  3. nancy norcross
    June 15, 2022 / 6:50 am

    I really enjoy your blog, love linen and absolutely love your hair.

  4. Bette
    June 15, 2022 / 7:03 am

    I moved away from the city during the pandemic, and one of the things I miss the most is … Nordstrom! I do still order online and now have my eye on several of the shirts you’ve recommended, as well as your fabulous bag. Love!

  5. Deb
    June 15, 2022 / 7:06 am

    Lovely linen shirt! Do you think this color would work for a spring color pallet?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      June 15, 2022 / 7:06 am

      Yes! I’m a Spring. The color is just a skosh lighter than the “cream” in my palette but still warm, so it works.

  6. June
    June 15, 2022 / 7:06 am

    What size did you take in the shirt? I’m about your size so I always appreciate you letting us know that info. Thank you!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      June 15, 2022 / 7:07 am

      Oops, forgot to add that. I’m wearing the XS.

  7. June
    June 15, 2022 / 7:27 am

    Just ordered. It’s just what I was looking for Thank you!

  8. Leslie
    June 15, 2022 / 7:57 am

    Is there a good “white” for cool “summer” coloring?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      June 15, 2022 / 7:59 am

      Yes, a soft white. Not as bright as “optic” white but still cool.

  9. Re
    June 15, 2022 / 8:21 am

    Pretty. Would you say true to size or size down from your regular size? Thanks

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      June 15, 2022 / 8:32 am

      Thanks! The shirt has a relaxed fit but is TTS, I think.

  10. Pink Azalea
    June 15, 2022 / 8:32 am

    I like the neckline on this blouse. I’m not sure what to call it. With most button ups the necklace doesn’t
    show unless it’s on the outside. Looks breezy and comfortable.

  11. Jan Whichard
    June 15, 2022 / 8:32 am

    I love linen and linen blend but don’t like wrinkles or ironing…quite the dilemma. May I just say, no matter what my derrière looks like, I am getting weary of the “high low” cut. Too obviously created to hide parts we may not think are our best. Also, speaking of trends, I think the half tuck is interesting but on anyone with even a slight tummy, I find it unattractive as it highlights the bulge IMHO.

    I admire how great you look and how you didn’t skip a beat during covid…in fact, you used your time so well to get in to even better shape than before! YOU can wear all those “tucks”…thanks for your blog…it is daily reading for me.

    • Julia
      June 15, 2022 / 10:27 am

      You are quite right, half-tucks look awful if you have a bit of a bulge.

  12. Henderson Linda
    June 15, 2022 / 8:55 am

    I like this look on you. Very attractive. And your hair is looking so good!

  13. Nancy
    June 15, 2022 / 9:22 am

    These are great pics and poses! I especially loved the standing pose with the left leg forward & elevated.

  14. Jacquline
    June 15, 2022 / 9:35 am

    Just have to comment on how good you hair looks. It’s actually the first thing that captured my eye, not the outfit.

  15. Marilyn
    June 15, 2022 / 10:14 am

    I gotta say, after working with Karen in FW for almost a year now, I’m tucking in and belting these days. No more oversized for me! ((And yes, I followed your advice and made the commitment … I’ve never felt better!))

  16. Julia
    June 15, 2022 / 10:34 am

    You look great Susan and so does your hair!
    I agree with you about the so-called ‘crisp white shirt’ we’re all supposed to have in our wardrobes. Getting stains out and ironing cotton are a pain, not to mention the stiffness, creasing , organizing the sleeves so that they fit under your jacket or cardigan.I gave up on the white shirt quite a while ago. However, I’m willing to try a linen shirt if it’s not stiff.
    On another subject, denim jackets, maybe you’ve already done a blog on this , if so I can’t remember. I’ve been looking without success for a denim jacket that’s not heavy or stiff…….

    • Nancy F
      June 16, 2022 / 7:41 am

      Try Liverpool Los Angeles denim jackets, available at Nordstrom and on the manufacturer’s website — the fabric has a high lyocell content, which gives it a soft hand.

  17. Jan Whichard
    June 15, 2022 / 11:13 am

    Julia, Chico’s amazingly has the best denim jacket I’ve ever owned and for someone who has had denim jackets over the past 50 years, that’s something! It isn’t tight, it has a wee bit of something in it to make it soft, the cut is great and it travels like a dream. I have it in denim, yellow, and a tropical print. Check it out.

    • Julia
      June 15, 2022 / 1:37 pm

      Thanks for the tip Jan! I went to the site and searched denim jackets but there are several, which one is it?

  18. Sarah
    June 15, 2022 / 2:27 pm

    I’ve had my eye on this shirt for a while; like you, I’m a spring, and I struggle to find shirts in ivory or off-white. Did you find the XS corresponds to what you usually buy in a standard sized top? I take a 4 or 6 Regular in tops, and I often have to decide between XS and S, but when “oversized” is part of the mix I’m never sure.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      June 15, 2022 / 2:31 pm

      Sizing is all over the map these days, so it’s hard to know you’re actually comparing apples to apples. I’m usually a 6 or S in more fitted tops, 4 or XS in more oversized cuts. In this top, I’d suggest sizing down if you’re on the fence.

      • Sarah
        June 17, 2022 / 7:55 am

        Thanks, I’m the same on regular sizing, so this makes sense!

  19. Marci
    June 15, 2022 / 5:00 pm

    I’ve lost some weight recently and all my collared shirts were too big. I was trying to figure out what to do with them when a new trend appeared – oversized shirts! The timing couldn’t be better. 😉

  20. Tracy
    June 16, 2022 / 3:08 am

    I was on the hunt for off-white too! I had a super white button down linen/cotton blend from Lucky Jeans that I didn’t reach for often. So I dyed it using tea bags, specifically Twinnings Lady Earl Grey.
    The shirt ended up a creamy off-white and is perfect now. Yes, it’s a big risk but something to consider when the cut of the shirt is perfect but the shade of white needs tweaking.

  21. SuD
    June 16, 2022 / 6:06 am

    I love linen too! A crisp white color is not my friend either. I look best in a soft white or cream (no yellow hues). And as a petite v shape, the oversized look just adds unnecessary bulk to my upper body. I can surprisingly wear a neat squared off shape quite well.

  22. No Fear of Fashion
    June 17, 2022 / 11:32 am

    It looks like a terrific shirt.
    Greetje

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