Natural Fabric Outfits To Wear In A Heatwave

You don’t need to do much digging to read about the pros (eco and otherwise) of natural fabrics – but if I’m being honest, until recently I had my doubts about linen. First of all, it gets hella crumpled. Then you need to wash it on a gentle cycle. And if you live in the UK, temperatures only creep into linen-wearing territory a few months a year.

But with the south-east of England cooking in a heatwave, and a bunch of travel plans in my diary, I’ve done a U-turn. Because on the flip-side, linen is a light and comfy option for long journeys (making it a top choice for airport outfits), breathable enough for the beach, and never goes out of style.

The same can be said of cotton. When I think about the pieces I associate with these au naturel fabrics – a simple cotton blouse, classic T-shirts, flowy linen trousers – they tend to be timeless favourites that I can wear on high rotation every summer. All the better that they come with the bonus of being kinder to the planet.

It’s not all daytime boho styles either, these days you can get your hands on sleek linen pieces that are polished enough for evening wear, like stylish playsuits and minimalist dresses. Here are my picks for a (theoretically) long hot summer.

 The All-Purpose Playsuit

Simple and versatile, the Skyla playsuit is a piece I can wear for work, weekend plans, or after-hours drinks. Made from a lightweight mix of 55% linen and 45% cotton, it has cuff sleeves, a deep lapel and drawstring belt that really defines my waist. I like styling this with black Birkenstocks (although it’s also great contrasted with brightly coloured ankle-tie sandals) and gold jewellery.

Skyla Linen Playsuit Black By Pretty Lavish | £55.00

 The Oversized Top

One for when temperatures rise. This roomy round-neck cotton top is the perfect piece to throw over your well-worn denim cut-offs, and I love the subtle hem detail. If you want to avoid the sun, this shape gives you some extra coverage, and on cooler days, it’s just as good loosely tucked into a pair of high-rise jeans. I like adding a simple pendant necklace and some woven block-heel sandals to elevate the outfit, or if I’m on the move all day, some chunky white trainers.

Oversized Top With Contrasting Hem In White By Bella and Blue | £30.00

The Romantic Blouse

One of the speediest ways to dress up your summer basics is a frilly white blouse. This 100% cotton broderie anglaise option has full-length sleeves – so you’ll get some wear out of it in other seasons – and pretty frill detailing along its V-neckline. I’ve worn this with jeans and all kinds of shorts, from denim to tailored to leather. Perfect for a summer night in the city, or a beachside dinner. Swoon.

Broderie Blouse With Frill Detail In White By Bella and Blue | £42.00

 The Little White Dress

With its square neck and simple cut, this little white dress is mostly minimal in style, but the statement puff sleeves add a touch of Little House on the Prairie, which I love. An invisible zip at the back makes this piece easy to wear, and it’s cut from 100% cotton for breathability. This is one to pack in your suitcase for that upcoming holiday, but you could also wear it for a summer date night or rooftop drinks. Add a rattan beach bag and your favourite sandals, or city-proof it with some tie heel sandals and an oversized jacket that can accommodate those sleeves.

Square Neck Linen Mini Dress In White By SNDYS | £49.00

The Low Maintenance Jumpsuit

Full disclosure, this button-up jumpsuit comes in a linen-blend. The fabric is a mix of 30% linen and 70% viscose (a semi-synthetic fibre), but is still lightweight and breathable in summer. Easy to throw on in the morning, this everyday piece has roomy chest pockets, a smart shirt-style collar and a waist-shaping belt. I love this look with a pair of square-toe heels, but I’ve also worn it with flatform sandals in the daytime. Any outfit that you can wear to an all-important interview as well as the pub garden gets my vote.

Yumi Button Up Linen Jumpsuit In Black By Yumi | £59.00

The Beach Throw-On

Another light and airy fabric blend here. This time we’re talking 30% linen and 70% rayon (also a semi-synthetic fibre). Ideal for keeping cool on the beach or at a festival, the St George playsuit comes in a neutral grey colour and has a laidback fit with knotted tie straps. On the practicality front, it has front pockets and a zip in the back. Whenever this strappy style feels too skimpy to wear out and about, I layer it over a T-shirt for a 90s-inspired vibe. I usually style with a wicker beach bag and flip-flops, or flatform sandals.

St George Playsuit In Grey By Charlie Holiday | £62.00
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