Lovely linen pieces to try: your summer self will thank you…

Happy Monday! I’ve been keeping an eye on the spring collections now arriving. On my style radar this month: linen! This is the best time of year to shop for linen clothing for women, and today I’m sharing a few of my “first round” picks.

Why linen and why now (when many of us are still bundled up against winter’s chill)? Linen is breathable, lightweight, washable, and can be comforable in a range of temperatures. If you have warm-weather travel planned, linen pieces can be an excellent addition to your travel wardrobe.

I’ve always found that late winter to early spring is the best time to find classic and basic pieces (with more coverage) in linen and linen blends. There’s a good selection of sizes and colors now too. Once the retail season switches over to summer, the styles are a little more beachy and bare, or more picked over.

Linen knits

Susan B. wears a coral linen sweater, vintage glass bead necklace, brown leather belt, brown utility pants and gold fisherman sandals.
My sizes: sweater XS, pants 6

While out doing some retail reconnaissance last week, I happened to pop into Banana Republic just as they’d finished putting out a bunch of new linen pieces. This easy linen sweater in a pretty coral color came home with me. And I have a couple more pieces from their linen collection on order to try. (Sadly, they no longer carry any Petites in the store.) There’s a short-sleeve version of the sweater too.

The pants (though not linen) are a new favorite from Frank & Eileen. They’re incredibly soft and comfortable, and a flattering cut, not too snug, not too relaxed. (This color is sold out, other colors available in sizes 0-12.) They run true-to-size.

Those gold fisherman mules are comfortable and really fun! They can dial up a casual look, or ground a dressier one by adding a funky element. They run true-to-size.

Susan B. wears a beige linen cardigan tied over the shoulders over a coral linen sweater, brown utility pants, gold fisherman mules. Holding an ivory leather bag with a resin handle.

To finish the look, I tied a linen cardigan over the shoulders, and added a bag. The cardigan is J.Crew from last year. This was a popular style and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come back soon.

In the meantime, here are a few similar styles…

The beauty of linen knits is that they wrinkle less than woven linen fabrics, and will dry faster than cotton. So they’re a good option for summer or warm destination travel.

It’s not always easy to find long sleeve tees in linen jersey. This one’s available in several colors, sizes Petite P-L , Misses XXS-3X.

This linen-blend tee has a flattering split neck, also available in pink. (Plus | Misses).

Such a pretty blue! I think this color could work for Springs, Autumns, and some Summers. Sizes XXS-XL. Here’s another pretty soft blue in sizes Petite P-L and XXS-3X.

Woven linen

There’s just something about a striped linen shirt that says “summer” to me. (And I think this green is good for you Summers, too.)

This easy linen duster jacket is available in Regular sizes XS-4X, also in Petite and Tall sizes.

For those of you who have been asking for more full-length pants, this style in a stretch linen blend is available in five neutrals, Misses sizes 00-24 (32″ inseam), also in Petite and Tall lengths!

An easy, breezy long shirt dress in a subtle stripe. (You could also wear this open as a duster, or as a beach cover up….) Sizes XXS-XL.

Personally, I’ve come to embrace creases as part of linen’s unique charm. But if they’re a deal-breaker for you, these no-iron linen shirts from Chico’s might win you over. I have a couple of these from prior years, and wear them often on the warmest days. Winters, this bright fuchsia pink is for you! Other colors available, sizes 00(0/2) to 4(20/22). And here’s the same style in white.

More linen knits and woven styles to shop now…

Do you like to wear linen in summer? What styles do you wear most often?

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  1. Yes, I love linen even if it’s rumbled. The summers where I live are hot, humid and full of mosquitoes. So, no matter what you wear you’re rumpled. Especially, if you are outside frequently, like me. My top summer wants this year are linen pants for at home and for out and about. The ones I have are on their last leg.

  2. Great roundup! As usual, you are doing an awesome job, lots of attractive possibilities. Thank you for your hard work.

  3. I tried a couple of the no iron linen blouses from Chico’s. I thought I would suffocate. Their linen is very hot and not breathable at all in my opinion.

  4. I love the coral linen sweater, but Banana Republic’s “hits at hip” description isn’t helpful at all. Would you please share the length of your sweater? Thank you for any help you can offer!

  5. Hi Susan,
    Do you think the coral sweater you’re wearing from BR can be autumn compatible or is it a bit too bright for the autumn coloring ?

  6. I love and wear linen shirts 3 seasons of the year. I just live with the wrinkles — the no-iron versions are coated with something that make them feel suffocating. The beauty of linen is its breathability. Eileen Fisher has some stunning colors in its linen shirts this season, definitely something for everyone!

  7. I love your look! That sweater is such a lovely color. Especially the shoes…but am I the only dork who can’t walk in backless shoes? Any kind of mule just makes me have to shuffle as I walk or else I trip, and if there’s a heel, my toes have to painfully grip the sole with each step!

    1. Ditto! I can’t walk more than two steps without the shoes coming off. Major tripping hazard. Although I love the idea of mules, I gave up on them a few years ago.

    2. I, too, cannot keep mules on and gave up at least 30 years ago. I don’t wear flats either b/c I need arch support — so, I guess that makes me a double-dork, LOL

  8. I’ve always envied people who can wear linen and look fabulous and somehow not wrinkled mess. I am the complete opposite. It wrinkles terribly on me.
    I did just purchase a couple of these short sleeve T’s for summer. Your timing was perfect for me as I was hunting for some new T’s. This will be my first time trying a linen blend T. I hope I love it as much as I love my cotton T’s.

    1. I like linen shirts and live with the wrinkles. Anything coated is too hot. I brought a couple of linen and cotton tees last season to try – but found them hotter than straight cotton tees. I wear them on cooler days. Pima cotton is the most comfortable for me. I also found the drape of linen-cotton blend less forgiving and had to get fitted for a couple of new bras. A new season is a good time to do a bra stocktake and assessment.

      1. Thank you, Kathryn P. on your take on linen cotton. I had been eyeing a linen cotton EF tee on eBay, but will stick to the linen ones for now. And you are absolutely right about Pima cotton.

  9. Susan, thanks for the long pants. I love the way the brown ones look on you.
    I am very sorry to hear that Banana Republic no longer stocks petites in their stores. I will skip visiting them. I wish they would at least stock samples to try on for fit.
    Just this morning I looked online at J Crew. They have some Irish linen shirts, in petites, on sale!

    1. Hi EE, I don’t know if it’s ALL stores that no longer stock petites, or just the one near me. You might want to check with your local BR.

  10. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for these suggestions. I love to wear linen too.
    On the Frank and Eileen button up striped green shirt, do you think this color combo works for autumns? They also offer a solid green option in the same shirt, and I’m wondering if it is more for springs. Thanks.

    1. Hi Shira, I haven’t seen this one in person, but on my monitor it looks like more of a Summer (or maybe Spring) green. I’m seeing a lot of great Autumn greens out there though, will be doing a post soon on this season’s color trends for every palette.

  11. My favorite gauze cover-up started showing signs of yellowish sunscreen stain last Summer. It’s more important for me to wear and reapply sunscreen (sometimes in a messy way) that to preserve my favorite cover-up. I washed and bleached, but the material is, by design, flimsy and it isn’t going to go back to being white. I went looking for a replacement in August and that was a nothing in stores that I liked. This is the time to be shopping for this kind of thing. If you wait until the weather is hot all this stuff, in your size, will be gone.

  12. Love, love, LOVE linen and have been wearing it in warmer weather for more than 40 years. I must share that some of my now-favorite brands for basic slacks, shirts, and jackets (e.g., FLAX, Quince) were recommended (over many years!) by your readers, so thank you to you AND them! I’ve also gotten a few neat linen and linen-cotton duster-dresses in the last year or two from the Swedish brand Gudrun Sjoden, which I just love. (Excellent experience ordering from here in the US.) Her stuff, when worn full Lagenlook, can be a bit MUCH, but a lot of her pieces pair back beautifully to my Quince and FLAX solids. She does some very cool prints. (The brand is also a great source for sheer wool challis scarves and some very cute and bright! housewares.) Re Chico’s, I don’t care for their no-iron pieces much, but I do love their regular linen dresses – I have several that I love. Sure they wrinkle, but I’ve always maintained wrinkles are part of linen’s charm, just like they’re part of the charm of a woman “of a certain age.” 🙂

  13. Susan,
    Thank you once again for this wonderful post with such great items.
    I purchased the coral linen sweater yesterday and love it!