I’ve worked in the fashion industry as a stylist and editor now for almost a decade, and it’s only recently that I’ve started getting to grips with summer dressing. As a minimalist, I find that winter is easy—just layer classics like shirts and cashmere in a mix of neutral colours, throw on a good coat, and you’ve got a dependably chic look. But summer I’ve struggled with in the past. Part of me is drawn to all the colour, prints and frilly dresses, but then I remember it’s just not very me—as well as having to navigate not boiling to death on a London Tube while still looking polished and not too, well, naked.
A few summers ago, in a desperate bid for inspiration, I looked to some of my favourite stylish people of all ages to figure out what it was they were all doing so right. Turns out linen was the common denominator in all of their outfits—from dresses to shirts and even tailoring. Of course, I went straight out and started building up my collection, and I’ve never looked back. The epitome of summer ease, linen, unlike certain recognisable prints or colour trends, is timeless, and the quality is long-lasting, so you can pull out the same classic pieces year after year. As soon as the temperatures rise, the light fabric works for relaxed weekends pottering around the house, it works for the office, and it even works as occasionwear. What’s not to like?
Despite linen being so superior in style and quality and looking darn polished, luckily, you don’t actually have to spend loads to add it to your wardrobe. Linen has become a huge category for the high street, and honestly, some of the best pieces I’ve found this year have been from more affordable spots.
Unsurprisingly, Arket—the minimalist mecca—does amazing linen pieces, and I can personally vouch for its shirts, shorts and linen trousers I lived in last summer. H&M also has an excellent edit of everyday pieces this year, most of which sold out instantly before it was even warm enough to wear them. Don’t worry, though. There are still plenty of new linen pieces landing on the site every day. For smarter linen, I suggest looking to & Other Stories, whose dress-and-tailoring collection rivals any designer pieces I’ve seen to date.
Keep scrolling, then, for 30 of the very best linen pieces worth investing in this summer. You’re welcome.
3. & Other Stories