How To Keep Your Linen Outfits Wrinkle-Free All Summer Long

Much like cotton, linen should be your staple fabric for when the weather gets warmer. Easy to throw on as well as stylish, linen will also keep you cool thanks to its high absorption of moisture, which means sweat won't build up as quickly. Whether you're aiming to create a summer capsule wardrobe or simply need a few more pieces for your summer looks, there's no denying that linen is one of the fabrics that should be in it.

However, a major drawback of linen is that it wrinkles easily. No one wants to have to wear a crumpled pair of pants on vacation or look disheveled in a linen dress that has been squashed in your suitcase. Plus, as most items made from linen feature neutral or bright colors, wrinkles will be more obvious than they would on, say, black clothing (though you can buy linen clothing that's black if you prefer).

Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your linen clothing items looking fresh and wrinkle-free so you can slay all day no matter where you are.

How you wash and dry your linen clothes is important

The first rule of keeping your linen wrinkle-free is paying attention to how it's washed. When your linen clothing needs to be cleaned, you can do so in a standard washing machine. That being said, there are some precautions you should take before just throwing it in. 

Always make sure that your clothing is untangled so it won't get even more wrinkled in the machine. This means that shirts and pants should be smoothed out and unfolded. If you throw something in that's scrunched in a ball, chances are it will come out looking even worse. You might want to wash all of your linen items together so you can use a milder detergent or set the machine to a less heavy cycle. Also, when your wash cycle is complete, don't let your clothes sit in the machine for long. Take them out as soon as the wash is done. Leaving clothes in the machine = lots more wrinkles. 

As for drying your linen clothes, air drying should be your first option. Hang them outside or over a towel for best results. You can put most linen garments in the dryer, but you also run the risk of damaging more delicate items if you do so.

When out and about, try these tips

Linen items are going to wrinkle to some degree, especially on a hot day. We all naturally move around, creating folds and grooves, but being aware of how you sit and lie down can help. For example, when getting in a car or sitting down on a train, smooth out the bottom section of your dress or skirt. If you're wearing a linen top, do the same for the back of the top. This latter move is something we don't do naturally, so you may have to keep telling yourself to do it during the summertime. Still, it's a good lifelong habit to get into!

If you're going to be sitting next to a lot of people or taking public transport, fold your dress/skirt up so the sides don't get sat on by other people. The folding-up motion will still cause some creasing, but nowhere near as much as someone sitting on your outfit will. Smoothing out your linen pieces is especially useful for long journeys where you won't be standing up much and will prevent wrinkles from becoming deeply settled.

Not all linen items are suited for some occasions

This next tip isn't necessarily how to prevent wrinkles, but more about different linen garments. Linen may be strong in terms of moisture absorption, but it's a delicate fabric overall. Because of this, you should think about which linen items you're going to wear to which occasions. You may love the idea of wearing a tank top and linen pants to an evening meal, but if you are commuting to get there, maybe think twice.

In general, pants are best to avoid if you'll be sitting for a while. As mentioned above, you can somewhat smooth out the fabric of shorts, dresses, and skirts to try and prevent the worst of the creases. However, you can't do this with pants, and when you stand up after your journey, you'll be left with a very rumpled pair of pants. Basically, keep linen pants for walking and standing events unless you have a jacket that will cover up the worst of the creases that will inevitably happen.

Steamers can be a lifesaver when traveling

When traveling, it's a fact that your linen clothing items will not emerge from your suitcase in the same condition in which they were packed. Often, hotels will have an iron you can borrow or offer an ironing service. If not, you need a steamer. Many steamers now come in a small size specifically for traveling and are compact enough to take anywhere. Keep in mind that if you're traveling on an airplane, you usually have to take the batteries out of any items that will be checked in, though most airlines will let you take batteries in your carry-on item.

Alternatively, if you don't have access to a steamer, use a bathroom instead! Once you have showered and the bathroom is sufficiently steamed up, hang your linen items on a towel or shower rail. The steam will naturally iron out wrinkles without you needing access to anything else. Just make sure not to leave your items in a steamy bathroom for too long, as they will become uncomfortably damp after a while.

Don't have much time? No problem

As we've already established, linen is a difficult fabric to keep looking its best, and the stress of trying to make it less wrinkled can take its toll when you have to be somewhere. If you're short on time and can't hang your item in the shower room or even iron it, don't worry. It may sound unusual, but one of the quickest ways to get your linen looking fresh again is to put the item in the dryer with an ice cube and set the timer on low for 10 minutes. Though it isn't recommended to put linen in the dryer for long periods, 10 minutes won't harm the item and will help to refresh it. If you don't have access to a dryer, another great tip is to use a hairdryer and move it around the worst of the wrinkles for an extremely quick fix. 

Of course, you can also just buy some wrinkle-release spray. It won't get all of the creases out, but wrinkle-release spray is a great thing to have on hand both when traveling and at home.

By following the above tips, you should be able to save your linen garments from looking too crumpled, leaving you to enjoy your summer both looking and feeling cool and fresh.