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Women’s Linen Clothing Style Guide

Ahead, our complete guide to summer dresses, plus how to wear them, plain and simple or spiffed-up and fancy. It used to be that when it came to summer dressing, linen got a bit of a bad rap: Not only was it relatively expensive, but the fabric tended to crease and wrinkle easily, leaving one looking frumpy and un-put-together. Not so today, when linen is often blended with other fabrics like cotton, rayon or polyester, making the weave softer, more durable, and more rumple-resistant. The cuts and silhouettes of linen clothes have also gotten smarter. Rather than working against the natural texture of linen, billowy dresses, swingy pants and drapey tops work with the fabric for a low-key, lived-in look


Linen is made from flax fibers, which are longer than traditional cotton ones. The longer fibers lead to a looser weave, which both breathes more readily and dries more quickly. Translation? Linen clothes are some of the coolest you can wear in the summer months. Here are all the linen pieces to add to your closet this summer, plus tips on how to effortlessly mix-and-match. 


Express Womens Linen Pants

Linen Pants


A flowy linen pant is a foundational summer wardrobe piece. You’ll want the fabric to hang loosely from hip to ankle, just skimming your hips and thighs, but not tugging or pulling. The leg should be wide throughout, not belled or flared. And you’ll want to make sure the heels of your hems aren’t dragging. If you’re planning to wear linen pants for work, look for a high-waisted fit that can be belted for a finished look. If your linen pants are going to the beach and back, a drawstring waist will be easy to pull off and on. 


Happily, there are tons of ways to style linen pants. To contrast with the exaggerated proportions of a wide leg pant, consider a tight top, neatly tucked. Look for one in similarly natural fabrics like cotton, silk and wool, and don’t shy away from color. Linen tends to come in neutrals like black, white, navy and taupe, so a vibrant shirt—melon, berry, emerald—provides a welcome counterpoint. 

Linen Suits


No doubt a linen suit is more casual than its wool or tweed alternatives. A few simple style tweaks, though, can help elevate your favorite two-piece linen set. First, you’ll need to decide what you’re pairing it with, and in this case, it’s best to keep things simple. You won’t want a linen suit with a ruffled blouse, a garish pattern or a top with tons of embellishments. The styles are too disparate. Instead, stick to the classics, like a fitted tee or a classic button-up blouse.


When it comes to accessories, though, you can start to get more creative. Because linen has a more relaxed vibe, big-time accessories are a welcome addition. Chunky earrings, a tangle of layered necklaces, an armful of bangles or a statement watch could all amp up the cool factor. And the same goes with shoes. Rather than pairing a linen suit with something expected—say, a flat leather sandal—try a taller, flashier heel for a new level of dressiness.


Of course, with a linen suit there’s always the option to break it up into pieces. Linen suit pants would look cool with a denim jacket or a floral top; a linen blazer could look great on a summer night over your favorite sundress.

Express Womens Linen Suits
Express Womens Linen Shirts

Linen Shirts



A relaxed button-up shirt is a cool-girl staple for a reason, namely for its ability to make even your most basic pieces look effortlessly put-together. Summer is the perfect time of year to swap out your go-to white oxford shirt for something even breezier (and vacation ready): a linen-blend button-up. Simply throw on over a bikini top and high-waisted denim shorts and get ready for a day in the sun. Or, tuck into wide leg dress pants or jeans for a more elevated, but still comfy, vibe.



Linen Tanks & Tees



Here’s where things get really interesting. Once you try a linen t-shirt or tank, you might never go back to cotton again. Ours have a blend of linen, rayon and spandex for an ultra-soft feel, an elegant drape and minimal wrinkling. And because linen dries quickly and wicks moisture away from the skin, linen tanks and tees are especially lovely on summer’s hottest days.


A linen tank or tee should never fit tightly—that’s not the aesthetic. Instead, look for one that fits properly through the shoulders without feeling constrictive, but hangs loose and unfettered through the torso. As for the neckline, take your pick. A crew neck has a preppy charm, ideal under suits, while a v-neck works well dressed down with skirts or jean shirts. A bateau-neck is another work-ready option, and would look great with linen suit pants.


Linen tanks and tees can be worn untucked with low-rise jeans, shorts or skirts. Go a size down if you plan on tucking the top in for a more polished finish. 



Express Womens Linen Suits