My Bag

The Ultimate Guide to Linen Dresses in Australia

When strolling the charming streets of the French Riviera, a timeless fashion trend graces the scene. A harmonious symphony of designer sunglasses, chic sun hats, delicate silk scarves, casual strappy sandals, and, of course, the pièce de résistance – the elegant linen dress. Linen dresses are considered an exemplary choice amongst European fashion aficionados, as they offer the perfect combination of quality fabric and enduring style. Well, Australian women are no different! The linen dress has long been embraced in Australia for good reason. In our warm climate, a linen dress does wonders for keeping you cool, whilst offering a sumptuous look that oozes sophistication.

Why Linen Dresses Hold an Irresistible Allure in Australia

Linen dresses have secured a cherished place in the Australian fashion realm for several compelling reasons. Their allure is deeply rooted in the fabric's exceptional quality and unique attributes. Derived from natural fibres, linen has long been celebrated for its strength and resilience. Consequently, linen dresses made in Australia are adored by women and are a pragmatic choice for those who seek both practicality and luxury. Beyond its durability, linen's lightweight and breathable nature make it an absolute delight to wear in the warm Australian weather, while its textured richness ensures comfort, even when layered for cooler seasons.

The Timeless Legacy of Linen Dresses in Australia

Linen’s origins stretch way back, being used as a fabric in ancient civilisations including Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece, and the flax yarn continues to be woven to this day. Made from the flax plant, linen’s natural fibres possess great properties that make it comfortable to wear, which is likely why the fabric has stood the test of time. It’s a strong fabric that is long-wearing - your linen dress will likely last you years!

The amazing benefits of linen clothes

Linen has stood the test of time as a garment fabric for good reason. It offers some great benefits to the wearer, and here are just some.

It feels great on the body: Linen can feel very soft against the body. Being a 100% natural fibre, it is highly breathable, so it’s great to wear in warm to hot weather. It also absorbs water, so any sweat is absorbed and released away from the body. And its natural properties mean it doesn’t absorb odours the way some synthetic fabrics can, meaning it washes well and doesn’t hold onto bad odours.

It’s strong: Linen is made from the flax plant, which is a strong plant that can grow in difficult conditions and in the heat. This may play a part in the fact that linen is very sturdy, and doesn’t damage easily. It shouldn’t stretch through wearing it, or shrink when you wash it, and it will likely only tear if the garment has been worn on repeat for literally years!

It’s sustainably produced: Linen is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics you can come across. Firstly, the flax plant can grow easily in harsh conditions, meaning that little water is used in its production (much less compared to cotton production). Also, organically-grown linen should not involve the use of pesticides and fertilisers, although this type of linen may be more pricey to get your hands on. Additionally, once harvested, the whole of the flax plant can be used, which means there’s little wastage in linen production. Lastly, when pure linen reaches the end of its useful life and breaks down, it doesn’t leave microplastics in the environment.

It gets better the more you wear it: One of the great things about linen is that the more you wear it, the softer the fabric becomes. This is why linen garments, like linen dresses, skirts and shirts tend to stay on the favourites list when it comes to items in your wardrobe. They are reliable, always feel good to wear, and get more and more comfortable and soft as time goes on.

Linen blends

Sometimes you’ll come across fabrics that are a mix of pure linen and synthetic fibres such as viscose. Adding those synthetic fibres will give the fabric of the garment a little extra stretch, and it may not crease so easily. Whilst there are benefits in terms of wearability with these blends, note that the care instructions may be a little different to those of pure linen. For example, you may need to be more mindful when it comes to ironing the garment. Also, the garment may not retain the same qualities of moisture wicking in the hot weather, however if it’s a skirt or a sleeveless dress, this should not matter too much.

Popular Linen Dress Styles in Australia

You’ll see the linen dress worn all over Australia, and in many lengths, from short linen dresses, midi-length to even maxi length linen dresses. All have their charms, and you should opt for the styles you feel most comfortable in.

The Button-Front Linen Dress: The Practical Chic

Linen, known for its quality, can sometimes feel stiff. The button-front design solves this. As pure linen lacks stretch, buttons ease wearing. They offer convenience and charm, making button-front linen dresses popular in Australia, marrying comfort and style. Also, buttons are super cute!

The Linen Babydoll Dress: Airy Elegance for Australia's Climate

If you want to double the airy factor, then opt for a linen dress in a babydoll dress style! The breathability of linen combined with a dress design that drops away from the bust down allows the fabric to swing on the body and you get plenty of airflow. This makes the linen babydoll dress an optimal option for the Australian climate. 

Babydoll dresses also show off your legs, which can be welcome in spring and summer. What’s sometimes seen as a downside of a babydoll dress—looking too cutesy or too much like you’re wearing a nightie—is negated by linen’s solid and sophisticated appeal. Wear it with a wide-brim hat and some delicate jewellery for a sweet spring look.

Linen Oversize Dress: The Relaxed Chic

If you want a basic you can rely on, then a linen oversize dress is worth adding to your wardrobe. In essence, an oversize dress has a minimalist style, and isn’t fitted to your figure, so it doesn’t matter that it looks a little big. Similar to a babydoll dress, except less fitted around the bust, the oversize dress is loose, airy and super comfy. Wear it with sandals or canvas sneakers for a beachside look.

Versatile Linen Tunic: Blend of Dress and Shirt

Whilst it’s not strictly a dress, the linen tunic can walk the line between dress and shirt. You can wear a linen tunic over a pair of slim-fit trousers or harem pants, or on a hot day, just on its own.

Linen Maxi Dresses and Skirts

The maxi-length linen dress offers a timeless and stylish look. Just picture it billowing as you walk along the beach on a summer’s day! Some people may avoid the linen maxi dress due to concerns the fabric will be too stiff and or heavy in summer, but there are easy solutions to this. Firstly, linen fabrics come in varying degrees of thickness, and there are some quite fine and soft linens out there. Also, you could opt for a linen-blend if you’re worried about stiffness. Finally, certain maxi dress styles allow for easy movement, especially if there are slits at the back or the sides of the dress, or if it is a wrap-style. 

Don’t forget, if you can’t find the right linen maxi dress but you love the maxi look, try a tiered linen maxi skirt with a cami in a matching colour—it will look like a dress!

Linen Dress Styling Made Simple

Embracing the essence of linen style involves a fundamental principle: less is more. Linen's inherent charm lies in its understated elegance, often needing minimal, if any, accessories. To master this look, opt for restrained jewellery, selecting just a couple of pieces.

When layering a linen dress, consider pairing linen with other natural fabrics like cotton or linen itself—for instance, don a linen blazer in a complementary hue to your dress.

While rules are flexible, synthetic fabrics may not complement linen's natural texture. 

When footwear is concerned, opt for lightweight footwear to match linen's vibe. Embrace sandals, strappy heels, or even canvas sneakers for a harmonious ensemble.

What colour linen should I choose?

Solid colours like black, beige, and navy lend a timeless sophistication to linen dresses, allowing for easy pairing with various accessories. Alternatively, crisp white and vibrant red can also lend fresh appeal to a linen-based ensemble. And in spring, why not go for something bright and bold, like hot pinks and rich blues?

Caring for linen

As we said earlier, linen is a strong and durable material. When you first buy a linen garment, it may feel a little stiff, depending on its thickness, but it usually doesn’t take too many wears before it softens up.

There’s little to be concerned about what to wear with linen, but you might notice that it can easily crease, especially when it is a new garment. You can iron or steam the creases, but the garment will likely crease again when you sit down. Because creases are standard when wearing linen, your best move is to just embrace them as part of linen’s natural aesthetic!

Caring for Your Linen Clothes: Essential Tips

Wondering how to maintain your cherished linen garments? Here's a simple guide to keep your linen soft, absorbent, and well-preserved:

Washing Linen: To ensure your linen becomes softer after each wash, opt for a gentle wash cycle at low temperatures (lukewarm or cold water). A mild detergent is your best choice as it will help to protect the linen’s fibres. Of course, check the manufacturer's care instructions for specific guidelines on your garment’s care.

Drying Linen: Hanging linen flat is the ideal way to dry it. If you need to use the tumble dryer, use a low temperature setting. If you want your linen to remain a little soft after washing, then remove it from the dryer when it’s slightly damp.

Ironing Linen: Linen's natural creases contribute to its charm, however if you really want to iron your linen, iron it when it’s damp using a medium to hot steam setting.

Note that linen fabrics do have their limitations. Due to the limited elasticity of linen fibres, your linen dress is susceptible to gradual deterioration if you repeatedly bend or fold it in a particular spot—especially when ironing.

Also be careful when ironing linen blends. Read the care instructions carefully, and go easy on the temperature of the iron.

Storing Linen: The best way to store your linen clothes is to hang them in your wardrobe, without packing them in tightly. They will benefit from breathing space, and won’t wrinkle so much. It’s recommended that you use padded clothes hangers when hanging linen shirts, as it will limit potential creases around the shoulders from stiff hangers.

If you’re packing linen away, try to ensure it is very dry before you store it. Also, store it in a breathable fabric bag, rather than in plastic, as moisture can build up in plastic and mould may develop. (Using a dehumidifier in your wardrobe at times is always a good way to help reduce moisture on your clothes in general.)

In summary…

Whether in neutral or vibrant hues, linen dresses offer versatility and sophistication. Styles like button-front, babydoll, oversize, tunic and maxi length dresses are all popular styles in Australia and work for numerous occasions.

To complement your linen dress, embrace simplicity. Subtle jewellery and layering with natural fabrics like cotton enhance its allure. Opt for footwear that aligns with linen's lightweight nature—sandals, strappy heels, or canvas sneakers.

And don't forget, caring for linen dresses is hassle-free. A gentle wash and proper storage ensure longevity. With their enduring appeal, ease of maintenance, and adaptability, linen dresses perfectly embody the fusion of fashion and practicality in Australia's climate. Get your linen dresses at Femme Connection today!