Linen dress ideas we love
It was whilst devouring last week’s Sunday papers, the day after Harry and Meghan’s wedding, that I decided dresses could be the way forward.
There was a feature in one of the magazine supplements all about this season’s fashion essential ‘the market dress’. A somewhat pretentious way of describing what is essentially a simple button-through dress, mid calf in length and figure skimming (not hugging). More often than not made from linen or a printed cotton floral. Worn with simple sandals or white pumps and accessorised with a basket. I did snort a bit. Particularly at the paragraph which explained that the basket needs to be large enough to hold a baguette, a simple bunch of wild flowers and seasonal gourmet produce bought from the local (probably southern French) market. The snorts were fair comment, I feel, for obvious reasons.
But the feature did get me thinking. As someone who tends to live in jeans, the idea of adding some simple and flattering linen dresses to my wardrobe really appeals. I do love the texture, look and feel of linen and it’s ages since I had a linen dress.
I headed to the From Britain with Love directory to see what some of the makers in our Clothing section are up to. It didn’t take me long to find some really lovely ideas (broadening my search to linen dresses in general). Then I spent more time than I’m prepared to admit on Pinterest looking for more ideas. And, if I’m honest, falling down a rabbit hole. To make myself feel better I decided to put all the ideas I’d found to good use and share with you here. I hope you find something you love. Hope you avoid spending far too long on Pinterest like I did, searching for Nordic lakeside cabins…!
I just adore this reversible pinafore dress by Justine Tabak. Worn either with boat or crossover V neckline in a washed and softened Irish linen. The perfect cool summer dress and also would also look great with a t shirt and jumper over on cooler days.
Also love these other dresses by Justine: White Petticoat Lane linen dress; gingham linen Maida Vale dress and Cotton gingham Primrose Hill dress. The last one not linen, I know, but I didn’t want to miss it out as I love the soft tiers, ruffled hems and the soft bow at the waist.
I know this dark linen beauty is a skirt rather than a dress, but I had to include it. I love the frivolous touch given to what is a practical, apron-inspired skirt made from washed Irish linen. Love.
If you’re of a handy persuasion and fancy making your own linen dress, you can’t go wrong with Merchant and Mills patterns. Really like this The Factory dress.
I couldn’t talk about linen of any kind without mentioning Teresa Green. I have loved her designs for years and am very excited to discover that she makes the perfect simple linen slip dress. Perfect for wearing over a simple top (or stripes like shown). Love the bright red clogs…
What I love about this scarlet red linen shift dress by Plumo is the relaxed simple A line shape and notched scoop neck. Oh and also the amazing true scarlet colour. Bound to put a bit of a spring in the step.
I am a sucker for cross back dresses. I think it’s because they make me think of linen aprons. Which I have a bit of a thing for. Anyway, this beautiful indigo stripe linen dress by Toast is definitely worth having in the wardrobe I reckon… I love that it’s been dyed using true indigo.
There’s also a really lovely dark blue cotton linen cross back dress…
And there’s a clue in the name of this Anything Goes dress by Nadinoo as to why I like it. Worn either front or backwards with a loose fit body and made from a beautiful mini check linen cotton fabric with a soft finish, this is probably the most comfortable – and adaptable – dress you’ll ever own.
I would throw mine on first thing on sunny weekend mornings so I can head out to do some work in the garden without getting caught in my pyjamas by the postman. Available in soft pale grey and white micro check or plain navy.
Also really like this Charcoal linen dress, also by Nadinoo with slim Peter Pan collar and relaxed shape.
The Bungalow dress by Old Town clothing (listed in our directory here) has been a favourite of mine for ages now. Available in a range of natural fabrics, including blue check linen, I love the simple utilitarian mixed with retro housecoat/overall sensibilities.
Not strictly speaking a dress – more a coat dress I guess. But don’t you love the button detail on this lovely charcoal grey linen design by Terry Macey?
If you’re a lover of pretty florals and vintage inspired prints, check out these two linen dresses by Palava: Flowerpot and Foxglove prints.
I always like to check out Margaret Howell’s collections as I love the simple lines, the quality of the fabrics, attention to detail and workmanship. This white linen tee shirt dress and cobalt blue linen shirt dress would both work really hard in any wardrobe.
Love this Rosie sleeveless dress by London label Under the Cloth – available in short and long lengths. The Short version (below) is made in crisp pretty blue cotton, with side pockets, pretty button detail and soft gathering. The full-length version (below, bottom) would be the perfect holiday cover up.
Love the crisp dark blue dotted cotton and minimal shape of this Sam short dress also by London label Under the Cloth. I think it’s what they call effortless chic…
Funnily enough it was Jannine from Under the Cloth who first introduced me to clothing brand You Must Create. I love this navy and cream linen Eileen dress in an easy A-line shape with side ties. The soft blue and white stripe version is also really pretty.
I looked at this pale blue linen dress by Brora online and liked it but wasn’t sure if it would suit me. Then I saw it hanging on the sale rail in the Brora shop in Guildford on Saturday, reduced from £169 to £89. They had one left in my size and I absolutely love it! I think I’ll be living in it this summer with white pumps or flip flops.
Also love this simple shirt dress by eco fashion label People Tree
And finally, this has to be the most perfect off white linen button through dress ever. With Peter Pan collar, nipped in waist and pretty cap sleeves, this is just so pretty.
I can imagine slipping it on to wear around a southern French market, basket in hand. Feel free to snort now… X
Nadinoo is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
Teresa Green is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
Palava is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
Old Town Clothing is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
Brora is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
Under the Cloth is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
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