If you’re headed to a beach resort or other warm-weather destination for vacation, don’t forget a linen shirt. You might decide to bring more than one, since women’s and men’s linen shirts come in a myriad of colors and prints for plenty of outfit possibilities.
Linen is a natural, sustainably sourced fiber derived from the flax plant. Although it shares characteristics with cotton, there are some distinct differences. Linen dries more quickly than cotton, which is why it’s often the preferred fabric of summer. This fabric is also stronger than cotton and holds it shape well, even after plenty of wear and washing. The more you wash linen, the softer it becomes without losing structural integrity.
Linen is grown in cooler climates, with Belgian flax linen considered some of the finest in the world. It’s used for apparel such as shirts, pants, and dresses, along with housewares including bedding and table linens.
One of the best features of linen is that it’s a lightweight fabric. In addition, the fabric is highly breathable so you stay cool. Linen has moisture-wicking properties and dries quickly, so you feel confident and comfortable even on the balmiest days. The temperature-regulating properties also make linen sheets a popular choice for summer.
Linen shirts are easy to layer. If you’re headed for an evening walk or concert at the beach, bring along a lightweight sweater to wear over your linen shirt if you get cool. A women’s cardigan sweater is an excellent choice for summer evenings and air-conditioned environments. Jean jackets are another fashion option that add light warmth and an ’80s-inspired touch to your outfit.
The majority of men’s and women’s linen shirts are easy care, meaning you can toss them in the washing machine. Refer to the garment tag for full care instructions, including the best way to dry your shirt. Linen dries so quickly that line-drying is definitely an option, especially when it’s warm and breezy. Thanks to the natural texture of linen—which is slightly crinkled—there’s no need for ironing.
There are plenty of ways to wear linen shirts. As previously mentioned, you can layer one beneath a summer sweater on cool evenings. There are sleeveless linen shirts for wearing to casual establishments and for sightseeing in the heat, along with button-down linen shirts that can go almost anywhere. You’ll find linen/cotton-blend T-shirts, too, for when you want a look that’s casual and comfortable.
You can make lots of outfits with one or more linen shirts. For example, women’s capri pants are an elegant accompaniment to any style of linen shirt, but you can also opt for women’s Bermuda shorts or a flared midi skirt if you want to make your outfit dressier. Another option is a pair of cropped wide-leg linen pants. Just like linen shirts, linen pants are light and breathable for all-day comfort.
For guys, linen shirts can be worn with everything from chinos to cargo shorts. A men’s linen button-down also goes with men’s swim trunks if you want to throw something comfy on after getting out of the water. Slip into a pair of water shoes or flip flops for a trip to the juice bar or outdoor café. Linen tops can also go with men’s and women’s jeans, as most every type of casual and dress pants go well with this fabric.
Whether you’re headed to a high-end resort or a casual summer campground, a linen shirt is always appropriate daytime attire. You can wear linen while lounging on the beach, shopping at the mall or exploring a museum. It’s also perfect for picnics and barbecues. Linen shirts have a vacay-ready look that’s not overly casual but not too dressy, either.
If you want to add dressy flair to a linen shirt, accessories can do the trick. Gold or gold-tone jewelry adds instant elegance to any look, even if you’re wearing a casual outfit such as a relaxed-fit linen shirt with skinny jeans and wedge sandals. Another way to dress up a linen shirt is with a blazer on top, which is a look that works for cool indoor environments even during the summer.
Another reason to love linen shirts for vacation is because they pack well. They’re wrinkle-resistant and already sport a slightly crinkled look, so you don’t have to worry about your shirt getting crumpled in your suitcase. Linen shirts are thin and light, so they fold into small squares and tuck easily into suitcases and women’s weekender bags.
Now that you know all the reasons to love linen shirts for vacation, all that’s left to do is shop for your favorite styles. Don’t pack your linen apparel away when you get home, as this versatile fabric can be layered with warmer pieces for fall, winter, and spring.