A style expert explains how to wear a linen shirt for maximum versatility this summer

Here's how to wear a linen shirt so you can look and feel great in the heat

how to wear a linen shirt shown at H&M, J.Crew, Frank & Eileen
(Image credit: H&M, J.Crew, Frank & Eileen)

Learn how to wear a linen shirt and consider your summer wardrobe sorted. A linen shirt silhouette can come in many different guises but the one thing that makes linen shirts stand out in the summer in their breathability, making it the ideal choice for scorching hot days. 

As temperatures soar, nailing how to wear a linen shirt will ensure you'll never struggle with what to wear in the heat. Known for its breathability, a linen shirt will ensure that air flows to your skin, keeping you cool throughout the summer. An item that never goes out of fashion, a linen shirt is perfect for your summer capsule wardrobe and classic colorways and shapes can be worn year after year. 

Appropriate for nearly all occasions, there are numerous ways to style a linen shirt too. Wear a more fitted iteration for your 9-5, keeping oversized styles for relaxing on holiday. An excellent extra layer, you can even wear a linen shirt unbuttoned with a tee or camisole underneath instead of a denim jacket or cardigan.

How to wear a linen shirt

A linen shirt can be worn for everything from the office to casual weekends, but regardless of what you're wearing your linen shirt for, you'll need to take good care of it. Prone to creasing, you can minimize how much your linen shirt will crumple by opting for a blend. This will usually mean that the fabric is a combination of natural linen and a crease resistant synthetic fiber, meaning you can spend less time ironing. If you do opt for a linen-blend, be aware that some linens are blended with less breathable or heavier fabrics, making the final result slightly less breezy.  

1. How to wear a linen shirt with pants

A timeless combination, pairing a linen shirt with pants is guaranteed to get you style points. Linen shirts work brilliantly with a linen pants for work, but they will also work with all manner of pants of all different leg shapes and fabrications. One of the most stylish tops to wear with jeans, a linen shirt and your favorite denims offers a more casual feel that still has polish, thanks to the tailored shirt.

Anything oversized should be tucked in, or half tucked in order to highlight your waist. Alternatively, try leaving your shirt unbuttoned and wear a vest or t-shirt underneath. When it comes to colorways, neutral hues offer instant Stealth Wealth vibes to any ensemble, but for a bold summery feel, opt for a brightly colored linen shirt for a hit of dopamine dressing.

2. How to wear a linen shirt with a skirt

When it comes to how to wear a linen shirt with a skirt, as with any kind of shirt and skirt combo, the most important part is highlighting your silhouette. If your shirt is fairly fitted, nipping in slightly at the waist and finishing just below the waistline, you can wear it tuck in, or out with any skirt silhouette. However, if you're opting for a more relaxed fit shirt through the torso, you should consider the skirt cut that you're pairing it with. A more fitted skirt will highlight your curves naturally and therefore you can choose whether or not to tuck or half tuck your shirt. If you're opting for a flared or A-line skirt, tuck or French tuck your oversized shirt in, to highlight your waistline. This will help to create a natural hourglass body shape.

3. How to wear a linen shirt as a co-ord

The best linen dresses mean you only need to worry about minimal styling and the same is true for a linen two-piece. Offering the same one-and-done aesthetic, a seamless look of coordinating items, pairing a linen shirt with a matching pair of pants, skirts or shorts will help you put together some seamless holiday outfit ideas this summer. Depending on the print, color and cut, this look will also work well for summer occasionwear. 

Most commonly, a linen coord has a relaxed silhouette, usually a linen shirt and some wide leg pants - that are perfect for a travel capsule wardrobe. You can sharpen these up for the office with a well cut blazer. Brighter iterations, or more tailored linen coord will work well for wedding guest outfits too.

4. How to wear a linen shirt as a beach cover-up

Thanks to its generally oversized silhouette, relaxed feel, and breathability, a linen shirt makes for one of the best beach cover-ups. While you can opt for any colorway, coordinating with your swimsuit if you so choose, a longer line design, that strays into the territory of shirt dress is possible the most versatile. Wear open slipped over your bathing suit for lounging by the pool, or button-up over your swimsuit to head down to the beach, for dining or ambling through the lobby. 

Rivkie Baum
Fashion channel editor

Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with over fifteen years' experience in the industry. Having studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, Rivkie fell in love with styling and journalism, covering fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York. 

Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has been a regular talking head on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.