I love wearing linen garments in the summer, and that’s no secret. It’s strong, beautifully textured and keeps me and my clothes cool and dry when I’m making it through those summer months. But not everyone is a fan of it, so let’s go through these reasons, and how we can resolve them.
It’s Not Soft
Okay, so this isn’t the most soft kind of fabric you can find. You want something that feels nice on your skin, not just a fabric that’s practical. So there’s a few options with how to deal with this.
Firstly, give yourself the chance to wash the garment a few times. Linen is known for its strength, and as a result you will find the fabric a little crisp and hard for your liking. But after a few washes, maybe even in warmer water, you’ll find the fabric start to feel a little more flexible. It helps to add a bit of fabric softener too in your washes to speed up that process a little.
Or if you can’t wait that long and want your linen to be softer sooner, you could try the next idea.
If you’re desperate for the kind of linen that seems more supple, well then buying pre-loved might not be a bad shout. If you’re buying linen garments that are pre-used, then some one else would have had the opportunity to have given it many washes. It is also true that with age these fabrics become much nicer, and you should find both these things when they’ve been previously owned.
It’s also a perfect way to waste less, and give garments and second lease of life, whether you’re receiving it from someone else you know or it’s being purchased from a thrift store. Either way it’s a good thing to do, and you might even be helping a charity that the thrift store suports.
This is probably the biggest issue that most people have with 100% linen garments – they wrinkle really easily! The reason for this is totally natural, and something that we can’t stop – it is a natural fiber, made from the flax plant.
Being plant-based, this means that it has a property of breath-ability, so moisture can be absorbed easily into the fabric. This absorption however is the reason for the wrinkles, as its retention of water means that those folds and creases you accidentally made just stays there!
Yet you still want a bit of linen in your life, for those good cooling properties, right? Well you can always go for a linen blended fabric. These fabrics are hybrids of linen and another fiber, and the main reason this is created is to counter the wrinkling properties. A popular blend is linen and viscose. Viscose is a manufactured-natural fiber, but it is softer than linen. This property helps to balance out the wrinkles because although it can absorb water, it doesn’t do this as well as linen. It’s softness can also counter the feel of a pure linen fabric.
This isn’t an isolated case, as any fabric can be see-through, or fairly translucent as they call it. This means that you can see about 50% through the material, so anything you’re wearing underneath it just shines like a light!
Now especially so for us ladies, we really really don’t want that do we? So here you’ve got a few options. You can wear another layer, which is great for concealing yourself. Maybe a white tank top under your white linen tee. But this won’t always be possible, especially if you’re linen garment is a pair of shorts.
In which case, the second option is to wear nude color undergarments, or anything that can match your skin color. The affect this will have is amazing, given that you can find undergarments that closely match your skin tone. Because it will blend with the color of your skin, you’ll find that you won’t have any awkward lines that show what you’re wearing under your translucent linens, and you can feel a bit better rested about your look.
But you might not like the idea of wearing white or natural, light brown-colored linen pieces, which leads to the next point.
Natural Linen Color
The color of most natural linen fabrics is a light brown, oatmeal kind of color. It’s a nice, neutral toned piece than can work with warm or cool toned color palettes, but not everyone likes to wear this color which is fine. But you don’t have to, as linen actually comes in more colors and dyes, if you just search for it!
Now I didn’t actually realize that linen clothes were made in more than 2 colors, but maybe that’s just my naive mind. Linen can be dyed in black, navy blue, grey, even pink, and these are the colors that I’ve seen so far. But they really do do an array of other colors that will not only work better with your ideal kind of wardrobe, but may even be better at being more opaque.
So you can find many solutions to your linen problems, if you’re willing to look around, but in the end pure linen is just kind of wrinkly. If you can warm to the fiber like I have, then maybe you can look past the wrinkles and see the charm in it.