We all know by now that linen is not the summer fabric that the fashion industry labels it as. It’s a versatile, valuable textile that is a brilliant natural insulator for year round wear - during the warm months it allows air to circulate around your body & wicks away moisture to keep you cool, during the winter it allows that air to warm you up when you layer it, while still being breathable so you don’t overheat.
How do you have year round wear with your linen dresses for maximum versatility? Layering is the key. Natural fiber fabrics are the most comfortable for both hot and cold conditions. Cardigans, sweaters, tights, socks are going to help keep your warm and cosy this winter. The good news is that there is an abundance of great brands offering well made, thoughtfully designed, natural fiber options, and I’ve tried and tested many over the years - I’ll also give some budget friendly options further down.
As always, shopping with a smaller business will give you credible insight and accountability into the garment, the business and the people behind it.
Some of my favorite, tried and trusted brands for layering are:
L’envers Fashion - the best wool sweaters and cardigans. Timeless, well made and beautiful wool garments.
Jungmaven - all hemp clothing….sounds a bit hippy, but I would argue that they have some incredible basics - classic t-shirts & long sleeved tops. I’m a big fan of their cropped sweaters which work perfectly with our dresses and skirts - their range of colors is incredible!
Babaa - another wonderful option for cotton (and wool) sweaters and cardigans. I think they give our dresses are very modern feel - the jumper No.18 is my fav.
Swedish stockings - I’ve always liked this brand and have a few pairs of tights from them, but they didn’t have natural fiber tights - update! now they do! Wool, cotton and cashmere options. They are sustainable and ethical, the most responsible tights and socks maker that I have found!
Hansel from Basel - the cutest socks you’ll ever see. Socks can make an outfit! Look for their ‘Made in Japan’ socks. (I’m not so sure about the ethics or sustainability of the other lines of socks that they carry.)
What about Budget friendly?
I’ll tell you a secret. I love to shop second hand clothing, especially to try out independent smaller makers and brands - here are my favorites:
Noihsaf Bazaar -this is truly THE place to go if you are looking for unique, high quality second hand garments. I can spend hours admiring all the beautiful garments looking for homes. You’ll also find some P&S dresses here once in a while….
Poshmark - little known fact. Nearly all the shoes you see in our photoshoots are from poshmark! I can find a wide range of second hand, ethical shoes here and nearly everything else under the sun.
Ebay - honestly, who doesn't love eBay....yes, it's overwhelming but if you are looking for something specific (I found a size 10 pair of beautiful Frye boots here for a steal!) you can usually find it on Ebay.
Depop - I’ve not used this one, but I’ve heard it’s very similar to poshmark.
Buy, Sell, Trade.
Slow fashion is what sustainability is all about. Not over producing garments, instead producing limited amounts of thoughtfully created and produced garments that will last for years versus disposable garments that the fast fashion industry produces.
With this slow fashion movement, a community has risen of folks who look to trade or buy/sell from each other, which is both incredible and inspiring.
Lucky Sweater - the coolest app and a great place to trade slow fashion, and connect with like minded folks for fashion styling and inspiration, started up by some amazing women!
Facebook Groups - ok, Facebook might not be the happiest place in the world, but just for the Group pages, it’s worth having. There is a group for Pyne & Smith garments (not run by me but just really good people who love linen dresses!) I’m pretty sure there are groups for almost any established brand, so be adventurous and seek them out!
Crossroads - this one is new to me, I just stumbled across it but it looks pretty good.
Swap Society - a good online place to swap or buy used clothing
Many of our dresses from the current collection are a rich, earthy tones which means they go with just about anything. You can focus on an accent color in the dress or just go for a bold color which would be versatile year round. I love playing with textures and colors! Share your style on social media, and please tag us so we can share too! #pyneandsmithstyle