Fall in love with linen again

Fall in love with linen again: Forget boring beige, think rainbow brights (and learn to embrace all those creases!)

  • Jess Wood shared her advice for embracing this season’s linen fashion trend
  • British style expert said linen is perfect for summer because it’s a natural fibre
  • She revealed a selection of colourful linen pieces available from online retailers 

Of all the chores in the world, if I could choose one I’d never have to do ever again it would be ironing. Many people draw the line at bedlinen, and debates rage about pressing jeans.

But I, dear reader, have long refused to iron anything — at all, and for this reason, linen and I have a love-hate relationship. One of the fashion looks I’ve always longed to pull off is the cool, safari-inspired chic shown off by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa.

 A few years ago, I bit the bullet and invested in a camel linen jacket. I belted myself into it, feeling sharp. Twenty minutes later, I looked in a mirror and realised I had more lines and creases than an Ordnance Survey map.

Jess Wood shares advice for embracing this season’s linen trend. Pictured: Linen jacket, £169, matching trousers, £119, cotton T-shirt, £25 & trainers, £99, all hobbs. com

Linen jumpsuit, £139, straw bag £79, shoes, £119.25, all whistles .com

The acres of plain, neutral-coloured fabric were the problem. It was swiftly relegated to the back of the wardrobe, to be replaced with my trusty denim jacket — the more lined and worn-looking, the better.

But now, linen is back with a vengeance. I’m giving it another go — and you should, too. All the reasons it’s loved for summer still stand: it’s a natural fibre, and the way it’s woven makes it ideal for conducting heat away from the body. 

But the big difference this time around is the way it’s dyed every bold colour of the rainbow and cut in relaxed shapes that mean the focus is on the style, not the pristine-factor (or not, in my case) of the fabric. 

Embroidered jersey top, £26.60, linen trousers, £70 & raffia sandals, £70, all boden. co.uk

Linen dress, £120 and square toe sandals, £85, both stories.com

Linen jersey dress, £295, chintiand parker.com

This bubblegum-pink dress from &Other Stories is a case in point. With all that smocking, it’s about embracing the creases. 

Similarly, the chevron stripes of Chinti & Parker’s rainbow-hued dress will mean you get noticed for your flair with pattern, not a hot iron.

If you want to dial up the smart factor, Hobbs have the ultimate summer suit. The pleat-front trousers and slightly shrunken jacket look artful without any pressing necessary. Hallelujah — even I might pull these off.

Breton top, £25, linen wrap skirt, £80, wedges, £98 and necklace, £40, all boden.co.uk

Trench, £99.95, linen shirt, £49.95, linen shorts, £69.95, all massimo dutti.com

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