Most people tend to think of linen as a strictly summer-only fabric, and while it’s true some seasonal textiles have their time and place (such as heavy wool in winter), you don’t necessarily have to cast your linen clothes to the back of your wardrobe until things start heating up again.
While linen is known for its temperature-regulating properties in hot weather, in colder climes it can also do a great job of helping to retain heat, thanks to its breathable woven structure. As temperatures drop, the key is to layer it with other pieces in your wardrobe to insulate you against the elements.
The best linen items to “winterise” are ones that you can layer with ease, and if you’re in the market for some new linen additions to add to your collection, the gorgeous range at Quince is well worth checking out. The key is to add more typically cold-weather fabrics to help balance out the look and create additional warmth.
It’s also a good idea to consider the colours of other items you’re likely to wear your linen pieces with to make sure you get the most wear out of them. Here’s the lowdown on the pieces to add to your winter wardrobe, and what to add to make them warmer:
Once the weather begins to cool down, some close-fitting layering pieces underneath a loose-fit linen dress will help to keep chilliness at bay. Turtlenecks are a chic choice for layering underneath dresses: choose something within the same colour palette to help tie the look together.
As with dresses, linen trousers are ideal for wearing with close-fitting pieces underneath: in this case, a pair of cozy leggings. For the top half, think warm, woollen and cropped to offset the light fabric and the length of the trousers: a sweater in a slightly boxy fit would work perfectly, or if it’s slightly longer, a French-tucked sweater.
Think of linen skirts in much the same way that you would consider wearing denim for autumn: add a pair of warm tights or long wool socks for your bottom half, and switch out the top you would normally wear in warmer months for something a little more substantial, such as a chunky knit sweater and a pair of cozy flats.
Jumpsuits come in all shapes and sizes, but arguably the most versatile multi-season styles are dungaree-style versions that can be worn with a fine-knit sweater underneath. Cropped styles are also great for showing off your new winter boots. If the cold begins to bite, you can then add a thicker woollen layer on top for extra warmth.
The button-down is a perennial favourite amongst capsule dressers, and with good reason: this simple, versatile classic can be mixed and matched with almost anything else in your wardrobe. For a louche, relaxed look, layer yours underneath a sweater vest with a pair of wide-leg trousers.
A slightly loose, structured linen top looks great on its own, but for maximum warmth and style, add a warm base-layer underneath to keep off the chill. The slightly more formal, structured style of linen tops works best with denim jeans. For winter, try a darker wash than you’d normally wear, and wear with boots.