June 10, 2008

Ode to Linen

In this record-breaking heat wave, through which much of America is suffering at the moment, and in which it's already 85 and muggy when you wake up at 6am, and no cold shower can combat a sweat gathered just from walking door to car, I immediately toss on the linen, like a reflex from touching a hot stove.

It's cool, breathable and looks incredibly sophisticated. Plus, even structured linen pieces are breezy, due to the nature of the fabric, and it's appropriate for work, the bar or weekend errands. And don't try to tell me, "Oh, but it wrinkles so easily, and I hate ironing!" I don't even own an iron. Part of the charm of linen is its hopelessly wrinkled state, from sitting in the car or bending down to put on shoes. But if you're wearing linen, it's summertime and it's hot, and who can be bothered to iron in those conditions?

Tropical Linen Shift, Gap, $59.50

Linen Pleated Skirt, Banana Republic, $69

Linen Wrap Dress, Gap, $59.50

Favorite Fit Logan Pant, JCrew, $98

Martin Cuffed Safari Short, Banana Republic, $59

Split-Neck Shift, Banana Republic, $130

Antonia Dress, JCrew, $165

Context Full Linen Skirt, $35.99

Favorite Fit Linen Cropped Pants, JCrew, $69.50

Irish Linen Skirt, JCrew, $88

And just a few guidelines to make all of your linen experiences breezy and delightful...
- White is clean, classic, and coolest. It also requires the right undergarments - always wear beige/flesh tone under white, or go commando.
- Hand-wash good linen to keep its shape and resist pilling over wears.
- Don't wear two billowy pieces at once; pair wide-legged linen pants with a tailored oxford or camp shirt, or pair the loose linen tunic with form-fitting Bermudas.

Stay cool everyone!

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