Keep it light this season

If there’s a fabric that can give cotton a tough competition during summer, it’s got to be linen. It’s light, comfortable, classy, fashionable and available in colours that match the moods of the season.

Designer Anita Dongre, whose brand AND has launched a Spring Summer line dedicated to linens, explains why the fabric is just perfect for summer:

“Linen is woven from the finest flax fibres. It keeps the planet clean and green since the fabric is available naturally. It’s a summer favourite because the fabric is lightweight, breathable and absorbs moisture and perspiration.

Linen can easily absorb up to 20 per cent of the moisture, making us feel more comfortable. Moreover, the natural fibres let the fabric breathe with ease and keep our body cool during summer.”

And if you thought that was the good part of linen, here’s the best part — it can help you easily slip into any look: casual, formal or semi-formal. Linen shirts, shirt dresses, blouses, skirts, shorts, trousers, jackets…you name it, this versatile fabric has got it all.

Designer Veda Raheja too loves the fabric: “Linen picks up colour very well and is available in a wide range of colours. Apart from the classic white, sunny hues like yellow, orange and khaki too look lovely in linen.”

As far as accessorising linen outfits are concerned, Veda says, “It is the key to keep the essence of the fabric in mind and go for minimal jewellery. Wooden bangles work well. Stay clear of high heels and opt for strappy flat sandals.”

While both cotton and linen work well as summer fabrics, pure linen absorbs moisture better than cotton. But that said, it does have its drawback — it is easily prone to wrinkles. Anita Dongre offers a solution for those fussy about wrinkles: “Opt for linen-cotton blends which are wrinkle-resistant, lightweight and retain heat more effectively than pure linen. Linen-cotton blend shirts also shapes and falls better.”

Linen look by Anita Dongre

• Linen dresses are an amazing way to incorporate the fabric and style trends. Add a citrus belt to the shirt-style linen dress to give it a dash of colour. Complete the look with tan heels.

• Linen jackets and coats can be clubbed with loose linen pants/trousers and a bralet for a trendy appearance. Complement the look with wedges in brown or natural colour.

• For a hot sultry day pair a linen top with white shorts or calf length pants.

• You can also pair linen trousers with summer print shirts for a formal occasion.

• Make a statement with linen trouser/pants with a tank top in dark hues and pearls.

• Linen also makes for comfortable and stylish travel wear, where one can pair an oversize cotton blazer with a crisp white tee and loose-cut linen pants.

Designer Nikhil Thampi’s style tips for men

• Linen suits and shirts are chic, classy options for men’s formals this season.

• Linen pants teamed with a slim-fit shirt or linen shirts teamed with a good pair of denims make for a perfect casual look.

• Linen jackets are trendy and currently gaining popularity; both men and women are going for it.

• A good pair of denims and slim-fit shirts work well for the day and when teamed with a light linen jacket can be perfect for the evening.

• Linen jackets teamed with shorts and T-shirts create a chic casual look. Swap the shorts for a coloured slim-fit trouser for a formal look.

While both cotton and linen work well as summer fabrics, pure linen absorbs moisture better than cotton

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