Linen is a natural fibre that keeps you ventilated and cool. It’s a brilliant fabric to wear in hot and humid weather when you want to feel covered without overheating, especially when the styles are roomy. Like wool, linen can be a little scratchy, but there are plenty of soft versions that feel really good.
Linen does, however, crease uncontrollably, and the creases escalate throughout the day. For some, the high crease factor of linen is a reason not to wear it. Yet for others, it’s part of the appeal. But one thing is for sure, you have to be at peace with the crease when you wear a linen item of clothing. Embrace it, and enjoy the fabric for its unique qualities.
Linen pants were extremely popular in the ‘90s until they took a backseat in lieu of fancy fabrications with stretch. 100% linen pants seem to be gaining momentum though, which might have something to do with the ‘90s revival we’re seeing in fashion at the moment. The styles below are representative of the look. Most silhouettes are slouchy and casual. Some have a drawstring waist, while others feature structured waistbands. Pockets are common, but tailored fits are not. Lengths vary from cropped to full length, and colours are for the most part neutral.
I believe that you can look polished in a pair of casual linen pants if you choose the support act carefully, and if you have an inherently polished style. Linen pants can also work for business casual when paired with sufficient structure, a dressy integrity, fashionable footwear, and neatness. Linen pants also look great as part of an intentionally “rough around the edges” or RATE look. In that case it’s more dressed down, but just as fab.
My clients run the gamut when it comes to linen pants. Some loathe linen in any shape or form because of the incessant creasing and pajama-esque vibe. Too casual, unpolished, and not very stylish to their eye. Some will wear a linen top but draw the line at linen pants. And some will happily wear linen pants because of their tropical integrity, relaxed vibe, comfort factor and breezy wearability.
I wore linen pants in the ’90s when we lived in a much warmer climate. In fact, I used to wear linen everything back then — suits, dresses, skirts, pants, tops and shorts. I loved it, and thought it was chic. Linen pants don’t work as well for me in Seattle because I run too cold. That said, if I lived in a warmer city, I would wear them again because I still think they look fab. Hot weather Slouchy Chic at its best. So I’m a yay vote all the way. In the meantime, I happily wear linen shirts and jackets with warmer bottoms and will enjoy linen pants on others.
Over to you. Do you or would you wear linen pants? Can you make peace with the crease?
Pairing linen tops, tees, knitwear and jackets with jeans and bottoms in crisper fabrics is one way to balance out the creased effect of linen. A lined linen jacket tends to crease a little less too. I’ve found that these tricks help me make peace with the crease, and I happily wear linen shirts and jackets. Actually, I like the way a slouchy linen shirt creases when worn with a pair of jeans or crisp pencil skirt. Plus a linen shirt screams Summer to me, and is perfect for a hot day.