Linen just has to be one of our go-to fabrics for the tropical Philippine weather, humid and rainy seasons notwithstanding. A number may steer clear from it given how easily it crinkles and how stiff it can be, but no one can deny how light and breathable it is. If you’re up for a casual worn-in look, an intentionally wrinkled linen shirt isn’t half bad at all. And the stiffness? With just a little time and use, it’ll soften and smoothen eventually. (Pro tip: with the sturdiness of linen, it seems you can often get away without a bra for optimum comfort!) For those looking for even softer linen-adjacent fabrics, maybe linen blend ones are your go-to. With its natural fibers that hold dye easily, linen can even come in any color you fancy. It really is that versatile.
Linen’s a wise choice for those on the path of an environmentally conscious and sustainable living, too. It’s naturally anti-bacterial, biodegradable when untreated (i.e. when it retains those earthy hues), and lasts much longer than cotton. With the abundance of cuts and silhouettes out there to choose from, we’re rounding up ways you can style those linen garments, with a little showcase of some local brands, too.
How to Wear Linen Pieces
1. We love this black and white look from Melissa Gatchalian, who paired an open-collared sleeveless linen shirt with black shorts that fall just slightly above the knee. The pearl-beaded sling adds some luster to the look, topped off with sleek slingback sandals. It’s perfect for casual mornings out strolling and relaxing.
2. Liz Uy dons some loose linen pants gathered at the waist for this ranger-themed look. She accentuates it with a braided white leather belt, and pairs it with a yellow top for that much-needed pop of color. Everything about this look screams summer-ready–from her billowy hat and tinted sunnies down to her net bag carrying a handful of mangoes–but something chic and easy-to-miss is her pair of snakeskin-effect sandals peeking from those loose pants, lending itself to the same limited earth tone palette but with added texture.
3. Cuban collars are a frequent sight for linen fabrics, and the cuts and the color blocking on this Isabelle Daza look is just exquisite. The cropped top and high-waist pants combo has never looked this crisp.
4. Camie Juan serves up a classic laidback look with a tied-up linen shirt and her trusty pair of Levi’s. With a circle buckle belt and gold hoops to match, there’s really no way this look can go wrong! Keep those buttons undone and sleeves rolled up for a loose and breathable feel.
5. This look by Tricia Gosingtian feels perfect for comfortable strolling under the summer sun. Her tied top and the ruffled hem of her button-down skirt give this outfit some elegant texture and extra oomph, while her woven sling bag provides her otherwise monotone look a much-needed pop of color.
6. The frayed detail on Jess Wilson’s bustier-style top is the star of this piece, and it's proof that there are several ways to play around with cuts and shapes when it comes to linen. Accessorizing is a must for these one-color looks, though, and her draped sunnies and straw hat sealed the deal. Some nude nail polish wouldn’t hurt, too!
7. Japanese model Serena Motola donned some bright red oranges fit for summer, but how she paired it with wide-cropped linen pants and a mustard-checked top made it appropriate for fall dressing, too.
8. What did we say about Cuban collars and linen? Chi Gibbs slays this belted yellow linen number with a woven hand bag and white slip-on sandals. Her center-parted hair makes this look even more polished.
9. From one button-down dress to another, we move on to Camille Co and her red-orange V-line maxi dress cinched at the waist, accentuating her slender figure. The loose bows of her dress and her large braided hat offer an elegant touch to this beachside number.
10. Kim Jones serves up another beach-ready look with this white worn-in linen dress. The plunging neckline ending right at the waistband, the boxy sleeves, and button-down skirt make for something breezy and breathable. More importantly, the dress has pockets! Pairing it with rectangular sunnies and a necklace and with her hair worn down makes for the most effortless look.
11. Who knew cropped long sleeved tees and high-waist linen pants would go well together? The soft texture and relaxed fit of the cotton shirt provide great contrast with the linen trousers’ structured and pleated look courtesy of local brand Araw.
12. This breezy gauzy grey linen top from local brand Anika almost feels like wearing nothing. The wrung straps add dimension and hold up the piece with its careful drape. Linen’s natural earth-toned fibers always lend themselves well to mixing and matching with similar earth-tones, in this case some beautiful beige bottoms with a bow detail at the waist.
13. This periwinkle romper from another local brand, Undo, comes with its own rectangular belt buckle for automatic accessorizing. These open-collar styles often call for some neck pieces, and pairing this linen outfit with a silk scarf definitely gives this look some added texture and color, with some chunky pink sunnies contrasting with the romper’s blue a la 2016’s serenity blue and rose quartz combo. The cuffed shorts and sleeves even give off that worn-in look, too!
14. Jackie Go slays this cool-toned look with some linen co-ords from local brand Weave. The top’s overlap design goes well with the cuffed trousers, lending the monotone look some extra dimension. Her wavy and ashy locks keep the tones cool and calm as she seals the look with chunky solid white heels.
15. While most of the linen fabrics and pieces on this list fall under dyed or natural, local brand Happy Mallow plays with some floral linen fabrics. Pairing the summery skirt with a plain white top definitely lets the bright hues of the print shine through, and the matching ruffled hems of the top and the skirt–not to mention the gartered sleeves–make the number extra dainty!