Want A Non-Boring Way To Wear Linen? Follow These Guidelines

Pro tip: Color makes everything better.

by Shelby Ying Hyde
Originally Published: 
linen outfit
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If you’re looking for a summer staple that’s lightweight and can catch whatever little breeze an August day gives you, it doesn’t get more comfortable than linen outfits. The gauzy material has always been a favorite for those seeking reprieve from the heat. And though the look tends to have a Coastal Grandmother vibe about it, we’re here to tell you that there are many ways to spice up the fabric this season.

An expert-approved tip is to embrace bright and colorful printed pieces — one way that Shakalia Forbes-Bell, the fashion psychologist and author of Big Dress Energy, says that shoppers are trying to stand out this season. “It’s about taking risks and embracing change,” she says, explaining why one might opt for a Barbiecore pink dress or lime-green set over a flaxseed-hued shift.

Another unexpected way to wear linen is by opting for a “borrowed from the boys” look. New York-based stylist and television personality Zana Roberts Rossi recommends juxtaposing two very different worlds together by pairing your favorite airy staple with a motorcycle jacket for example. “You’ve got the edgy texture of the leather there,” she says. “Something a little more tough with softer elements to make it feel more effortless.” That said, you might want to save this outfit idea for the tail end of summer as leather and 90-degree weather don’t mix well.

For those who typically associate linen with a sense of escapism, the next styling tip might suit your sartorial tastes: easy breezy boudoir dressing. Forbes-Bell says she sees fashion girls are embracing this vibe with crisp striped boxer shorts paired with a simple white tank and featherweight skirts with oversized T-shirts on top. Intrigued? Get the low-down on these looks and more nontraditional ways to style linen this summer below.

Hot Child In The City

What often comes to mind when one thinks of linen is relaxed beachwear. But for the city dweller looking to incorporate the fabric into their summer wardrobe, zhuzh up your look with boots, a baseball cape, and an oversize T-shirt. You’ll look practical and cool.

Bright Sets

Linen sets for summer are nothing new, but if you want a fun take, look for them in bold colors or prints. This influencer-approved, two-piece look from Aussie label POSSE, for instance, updates the style from downtown chill to uptown cool. Keep your accessories simple to let the outfit speak for itself.


Take the concept of top-drawer dressing to new heights by styling a pair of mens-inspired linen boxer shorts with your favorite white tank top and thong sandals. Just add a colorful biker jacket for a subtle edge and to keep warm in when the temperature drops after sunset.

Summer Smart

If your style skews more streamlined and polished than billowy and undone, follow model Elsa Hosk’s lead by opting for a tailored jacket and shorts combo. Sporty sunglasses and loafers will tie the whole look together.

‘70s Prints

In Pat Field’s highly-anticipated documentary, Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field, the iconic New York stylist explained that the key to successfully mixing prints is ensuring that the colors are complementary. A prime example is this ‘70s-inspired look, which pairs similar laid-back designs from the Simon Miller x Mango collab with playful retro accessories, like a sequined metallic handbag.

Dark Romance

For those who want to embrace a romantic look while maintaining their all-black aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with a dark linen midi dress. Style with knee-high boots and chunky accessories for an air of moody glamour.

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