Friday, 29 June 2012

Pre-Sale Closet Analysis

This is a NEED post. The last week in June makes me start thinking about summer sale shopping. In France, my first priority this year is my linen closet not my clothing closet. I'll be going to Bordeaux to visit the Yves Delorme store for some fitted sheets. I have purchased some beautiful "ancien" linen flat sheets but I prefer fitted for the bottom sheet and Yves Delorme sheets are my first pick. But that's my linen closet, sorry for the digression.

As far as the clothing closet goes . . .

Analyze your closet (whether linen or clothing) before you start sale shopping.

1  Organize all your clothing in categories - tops, blouses and shirts can be one category, pants (that are not part of a suit), skirts (that are not part of a suit), suits (jackets and bottoms together), stand alone jackets and knit cardigans may constitute one category and "dress-up" or "formal wear" and any other category you have. Remember underwear, pyjamas, and bathing suits.

2  Organize the categories of clothing by colour from lightest to darkest. Whites, beiges, light colours to their dark counterparts, for example light blue to navy, greys, blacks. Denims go in their relative colour categories.

3 Within the colours, organize the tops and dresses from sleeveless to long-sleeved. Your closet then has sleeveless white tops, short-sleeved, three-quarter length sleeves and long sleeves, followed by off white and beige in the same sleeve-length range, next light pink to reds, mauves to purple, light blue to navy, browns and black.

4 Do the same for sandals, shoes, boots, and other accessories, categorizing based on your own criteria.

Now stand back and look. What do you see? Analyze relative to wear. Whether expensive or not, your choices can be evaluated by "cost per wear". If you paid a cheap price for a t-shirt you have worn once, the cost of one wearing is the price of the t-shirt. However if you bought a t-shirt that you love and wear all the time and you paid a designer price for it, guess the number of times you have worn it and divide into the price you paid. You may be surprised to find that your cost per wear may be less than the cheap one. Another thing to think about is the quality. The cheap t-shirt probably would not have lasted the number of wearings and washings.

As you analyze your pre-sale shopping organization, you begin noticing where your colour focus is. Do you have six pink sleeveless tops? If so, you will not even look at a pink sleeveless top, no matter how inexpensive it is, when you are sale shopping. The same applies for trendy colours since you are buying at the end of the season and may only wear a particular trendy colour till the end of the summer.

Be realistic! In all that stands before you - what do you wear over and over again? If your cost per wear is minimal, in what condition are those favourite clothes? If they are showing wear, replacing those items should be the priority on your sale shopping list.

5 Decide what clothing needs to be relegated to the "consignment store, charity, the "dirty" work clothing, the rag bin (I have a friend who is a carpenter and uses a lot of cotton rags) and the garbage. Having four or five bins ready for this purpose makes the process more efficient.

What is missing? What do you NEED? When you look at something, can you say, "if I had a . . .  I would wear those . . . more often." Put the missing blank on your sale shopping list.

Consider the cost per wear when buying on sale. This is your chance to buy an expensive item, that you will wear a lot, at a reduced price.

Now you know what NEEDS to be replaced in your clothing closet. The same principle works for the other closets in your home. If you don't NEED anything, you can still go shopping but you will have a clearer mindset about the clothing you have, the clothing you have not worn, the clothing you wear all the time and the clothing you would like to have.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Flip Flops: the summer selection for footwear

Summer Footwear Choices

Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet. 
- Bob Marley (lyrics) 

Closet Content Analysis: Flip Flops

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW

"But he is an Italian," was Umberto's sensible reply. "He doesn't care if you break some law a little bit, as long as you wear beautiful shoes. Are you wearing beautiful shoes? Are you wearing the shoes I gave? . . . . principessa?"

I looked down at my flip-flops. "I guess I'm toast."

- Anne Fortier, author of Juliet (2010)

The following are some observations of flip flops worn and seen, oftentimes precarious, sometimes awkward, and other times predictable and even a little eccentric.
  • The "split-splat" of synthetic hitting the boardwalk reminded me that it was summer.
  • She was tall and attractive but moved inelegantly as she clattered down the hallway in her wooden flip flops. 
  • With toes pointed outward her gait was off and she looked like a duck waddling down the street.
  • My toes tried to grasp the flat sole to prevent the uncontrollable flop that insured the impossibility of entering the room quietly.
  • The pebbled surface made walking precarious as the back end of her shoe flipped and her bare heel flopped onto the uneven surface.
  • Her toes pointed to high noon, but the back of her right flip flop was at 20 after and the other at 20 to the hour.
  • His feet slid out of his flip flops as he tried to maneuver up the slippery slope.
  • She looked rather austere dressed in navy on a warm summer day, but her lime green flip flops indicated another possible personality. 
Leather flip flops I'm living in during the summer of 2012.
There are leather, wooden, fabric and synthetic and rubber flip flops and depending on where you are going you don't need many other shoes in the summer. Although there are limitations especially regarding terrain.

At Work: A leather flip flop is a sandal; whereas a rubber flip flop is beachwear. Does that make sense?

Out for Dinner and Weddings: Essentially, mules are flip flops with heels. Of course, it's the height of the heel that distinguishes a mule from a flip flop and so why would I tell you to wear a mule rather than a flip flop. It's that formality discussion again. You just look more formal wearing a heel; call it what you want. That being said, I would not hesitate to wear my black Accessoire flip flops (the middle ones on the ladder) out for dinner with the little black dress. 

NEED: Two or three pairs of Brazilian flip-flops, either Havaianas or iPANEMA Gisele Bündchen in all three sea, sand and sky summer colour choices.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Bag & Packing for the Weekend or Longer

Selective Choices

Closet Content Analysis: The Travel Bag

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW

My favourite way of packing, for the weekend or months away, is to roll. My husband, on the other hand, does exactly the opposite; he takes the biggest suitcase and lays everything flat, with as little folding as possible. I take the smallest suitcase and roll. You have to know that we have always had the "carry your own bag" rule when traveling together; "you pack it, you carry it". I have never carried his suitcase and he has never carried mine.

NICE: My lug weekend bag with wheels. It is large enough to carry the clothing I want and the outside pouches, are perfect for all the extras including toiletries, hair stuff and medication. This bag serves as my carry-on when I'm traveling to Europe. I just can't pack it fully, like I do for weekends, or else it will exceed the airline dimension parameters.
NOTE-WORTHY: Here's what I do as a "roller". For a weekend I plan the outfits and then roll them up with all that I need, including shoes, underwear and accessories - the shoes are in a cotton drawstring bag. Of course there is overlap so if I know exactly the events I'm attending, I roll relative to the order of what I am wearing when.

This sequence of four photos does not include underwear, socks, jewellery and shoes because I usually don't roll them all together for longer hauls. When I took these photos, I was packing for Europe.

Now, simply take the shoe bag and underwear and roll it up inside whatever your ensemble of clothing is. If you have socks, tuck them inside your shoes. Zipper-lock/Zip-loc plastic bags are great to pack accessories, jewellery, and any other small necessities. I put potential "leakables" in these types of bags even if just going away for the weekend. On long hauls, I take extra bags with me to put in the small stuff I buy. It makes for easier disclosure at customs if necessary.

With shoes and such, "the roll" will be a bit bulkier but when you arrive, just unroll and everything is there! This eases the frustration level of rummaging through the entire bag and all the pockets when you are thinking, "I know I packed it, where is it?"

More travel wardrobe tips are given on an earlier post and I expect other posts will be written as your comments and questions inspire me. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Search Words & Phrases That Brought You Here in June 2012

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
- Anais Nin

Perhaps Anais Nin's words are far too poetic for what I have been doing over the past couple of hours but it seems to hit a note for me. I have been re-reading my posts and have been analyzing the search words that have brought some of you here. For this post, I have taken some of those search statistics, questions and phrases, and will address 5 of the most popular "closet fashion content analysis" search retrievals over the past week. I do want to elaborate on each because I believe that even though Google has brought you here, sometimes you don't always get the information you want. It also gives me opportunity to elaborate. The search keywords are in italics.

1 What time of year do you wear lined linen pants? Most often linen pants are lined with polyester fabrics, which doesn't make any sense at all if you are wearing them for the coolness that linen offers. (Linen, June 1, 2012 & Summer Pants = Linen Pants, June 7, 2012) Hot tropical locations aside, the best time to wear fully lined linen pants is the spring and fall when cooler evenings offer opportunities to tolerate the lining. Lined linen pants are always great for spring and summer wear in office/work spaces that are air-conditioned. Getting to work in the heat is quite another thing!

2 how to follow trends with minimalist wardrobe - the easiest way is with "pops of colour" through accessories. A beige linen skirt, pants, or capris, a black t-shirt and turquoise chandelier earrings or necklace will take you many places in the summer of 2012 and you'll look up-to-date with the addition of only one accessory that can be kept beyond the trend. If you are so inclined, a t-shirt in a colour of the moment will also serve you well through a trend.

3 how many t-shirts should I own - I re-read my post on t-shirts, and it pretty much covers all that I need to say about t-shirts, except brand loyalty. So, when you do find the brand that fits perfectly, and you are not a minimalist, buy it in every colour available or at least in every colour you know you will wear. Those with minimalist wardrobes will stick to white, black, navy, beige, or grey but as you have already read, a t-shirt could also be an easy trendy colour pop. Some are devoted to brands and one ex-pat in France, whom I am aware of, swears by the Japanese-owned and inspired Uniqlo t-shirts. For my friends in the Philippines, a Uniqlo flagship store was just opened on Friday, June 15, 2012 in the SM Mall of Asia. When it comes to t-shirts, I really don't care what the brand is, as long as they fit well and the price is reasonable.

4 office blouses for women - When choosing any blouse or shirt for work, simplicity, discretion and a perfect fit will lead you to the perfect choice. Save the ruffles and bling for evening wear. Although as you see here, I have a shirt with a subtle silver stripe and the tiniest ruffle, which looks great with a black blazer. It's all a matter of degree and discretion.

5 new 2012 summer dresses for grade 12 graduation -  Go shopping physically, as in face to face in a dress shop. When you are there, try dresses on and take note of the company names or design labels of the dresses that you particularly like. With names in hand, you are now ready to search the web with more specific key words, company names, and sizes that will give you better results. Online, you can see what the latest styles are that the company offers and compare prices. And you can do it right there in the store as you are trying dresses on. Here is a conundrum: you try on the dress, you love it, you go home to think about it, do a web search, go back to the store and it's gone. My travel rule might fit here, if you love it, buy it, don't compare and don't look back.

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. 
- Anais Nin


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Stripes in the Summer

A Sometimes Difficult Choice

Closet Content Analysis: Striped Tops

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW

No matter what one writes about, one will always be accused of generalizations and stereotypes. Perhaps that is why I chose my five Ns - Nice, No Thanks, Note-Worthy, Need and New to organize my closet and my writing and to provide a balanced cross-section. I also wanted to demonstrate through the posts and provide opportunities through the comments that one person's NICE is another person's NO THANKS! 

The striped top for the summer is the focus of this post, a NO THANKS for many because stripes tend to bring horizontal challenge to the physique. Yet, there are those fashion-oriented authors who attempt to write of French chic by presenting any striped top/shirt as tres chic, NICE in this post's vocabulary. Well, that's debatable.

A moot case: A group of friends had gathered for dinner. Not only did two female guests, of whom I was one, arrive at exactly the same time, we were wearing striped tops, in classic black and white. If I had thought I had any sense of chic, it was gone when our host asked us how the Marcel Marceau auditions went. Of course, we chided each other for the rest of the evening on this happenstance. 

Brigit Bardot in Le Mépris, 1963
Marcel Marceau Photo Credit: Galaxy FM 1983
And so, take your pick - clownish or French chic? That being asked, it is NOTE-WORTHY that stripes have held their own over the decades and manage to be fresh each summer. 

Armor Lux striped long-sleeved top with circular embellishments.
NICE 1: When in France or actually anywhere in the world you are, take the opportunity to buy an Armor-Lux striped top. Armor-Lux is a company from the French region of Brittany that has become famous for those sailor stripes - marinière. Apparently the stripes, worn by sailors, were easy to see if one was unfortunate enough to be washed overboard. Functionality precedes fashion and what was practical work-wear is now fashionable. I bought this Armor-Lux long-sleeved top at the Marques Avenue outlet mall in Romans, France in 2010.  

In times past, celebrities who have worn la célèbre marinière are Pablo Picasso, Kirk Douglas, Jean Paul Sartre, Madonna, Brigit Bardot, and Marilyn Monroe.

"Orly" beige and white striped top, hanging on my bedroom window.
NICE 2: This one is not Armor-Lux, but I like it because of the subtly of beige and white.

If you like stripes but shy away from them because of the "horizontal stripes make you look wider" notion, then try beige and white. More subtle, than black or navy and white and quite acceptable for the person who wants to lose a few pounds/kilos/stone before wearing stripes.

Display of striped tops in a Canadian clothiers, April, 2012.
NOTE-WORTHY: Striped tops without embellishment will take you from one season to the next; whereas, you can tell the year you bought the piece by the embellishment. However, if you are enamoured with stripes and buying at least one striped top is part of your summer clothing allowance, the embellishments can give you a myriad of choices in your summer wardrobe. 

NO THANKS: A friend, from France, was with me when I bought my first Armor-Lux top. I wanted to buy one without any embellishment but he convinced me, Frenchman that he is, that the one I bought with the three sparkly circles was more chic. I do like the one he suggested, but the next Armor-Lux top I buy will not have any embellishment on it. And to me, that is more chic, but then again, I am not French.

NEED: An unembellished Armor-Lux light blue or beige and white striped top. Sounds like reason enough to take a trip to the south-east of France to shop at Marques Avenue or to Biarritz, closer to where I am, to shop at the boutique store there. Yes, I know I can shop online but in-store shopping is always more exciting and provides good reason to visit and re-visit interesting places and affords me the opportunity to practise my French. For me, it's as much the experience as the purchase! So if I don't get the opportunity to buy one this year, I have time; there is always next year.

Monday, 11 June 2012

5 Summer 2012 Fashion Jewellery Guidelines

Call it what you want, fashion or costume, jewellery for the summer should always be fun. In the summer, beachwear influences our daily wear so that colour, size and texture abound and we tend to go brighter and bigger.

Very often, when a trend is introduced in the spring, it appears bolder in the summer and then evolves through the fall and winter. The following spring another trend will appear and develop in more or less the same way.

The following five 2012 jewelry trends are based on a collection of viewpoints online (from yahoo to squidoo and several others in between).

Apparently the tiara is a fashion trend that is picking up speed (as suggested by a yahoo writer); I'd like to suggest that you forget the tiara (unless you're 8 years old) and go for . . .

Sterling connects faux elements and clear quartz into a chunky choker necklace.
1 The Chunky Choker Necklace - it is not a "choker" in the true sense of the definition, that which wraps around your neck, but rather one that sits higher on the collarbones.

Oversized round turquoise beads form the basis for this choker.

2 Blue - choose semi-precious stones from turquoise to deep dark azure.
Turquoise cross beads form the base of this choker featuring Italian silver.
3 Crosses - were introduced in the Spring of 2012 but will gain momentum as we move to the fall. And so you have here the chunky choker necklace with turquoise crosses. Of course, this is an interpretation of how one might bring together two of the trendy elements into a signature piece that could be worn for more than one season. The asymmetry in this choker makes it just a little edgy as it sits on your collarbone.
Byzantine cross pendant with black onyx.

4 Stacking - bangles, bracelets, cuffs and watch bracelets is particularly "in" for the  summer of 2012. For a summer colour "pop", add white or some bright colours to your black, brown and metallics for a variety of colourful and metallic mixes, contrasts, and matches.

5 Feathers? - some (ie. at least two Squidoo contributors) are saying feathers are all the rage for the summer and fall of 2012; while others (ie. Huffington Post) are saying they are done. The feather craze began in the spring of 2011 and reached its peak in the fall and winter. The celebrity types, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, have now abandoned feather earrings so that may be our first clue. The spring and summer of 2012 saw a decline in the display of feather earrings in the shops so I can't see how they are going to bounce back for the fall. I'm speculating that those who got on the bandwagon late want to continue capitalizing on them or those who have hundreds in stock have to sell them; therefore the online promotion. But like shell jewelry bought on the beach, they are whimsical and can be abandoned after a short time of "frivolity and funnry". However, that being said . . . do you love them? . . . then continue wearing them.

. . . Necklaces featured on this post were made by JoyD. . .

Fashion Jewelry Shopping Tips: 

Hold back the urge to buy at the beach or in touristy spots, unless of course you are on Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy (famous for its jewellery shops). On those summer vacations at beach or seaside resorts, many of us have come home with earrings, necklaces and bracelets made of shells or braided raffia, yarn and ribbon. What possesses us to buy these poorly made tourist trinkets?

When it comes to semi-precious stones, whenever you buy at a market or "on the beach" you do run the risk of buying "fake". Before you buy, take the stone and touch it to your cheek, if it is stone it will feel cool or even cold against your skin; if it is synthetic, it will be warm to the touch. 

You will undoubtedly come across jewellery makers in the markets and at summer exhibitions and shows. If you are traveling and see something you like but it is too long or too short, ask to have it altered to your specifications. For the most part it can be done, but perhaps not on the spot so be prepared to take it, if you love it, and have someone at home do it for you. But remember that may add as much cost as the finished product depending on the work. If someone tells you it cannot be lengthened or shortened, it usually means that it will be too laborious, perhaps needing to be re-strung. If it was handmade by the person, they can tell you exactly what needs to be done. I once had a vendor "shoo" me away and tell me I asked too many questions - she obviously was not the jewellery maker, although she was passing herself off as such.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Summer Pants = Linen Pants

Summer Trouser Choices

Closet Content Analysis: Linen Pants

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW

Photo Credit:
I like that minimalistic casualness that this photo portrays. 

NICE: I had a great pair of navy linen pants that I bought in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I still have them but I don't intend on being that size again so they will eventually make their way to a consignment store. In recounting why in fact they were/are so NICE, it has to be a combination of elements - the fit, the feel, the length, the look . . . all of the above. They were lined with a lightweight linen, heavier than, but gauzy like cheesecloth, and only from the waist to the top of the thigh, which gave structure but not bulk. 

NO THANKS: My NO THANKS pair were a white pair of lined linen trousers. Now you would think that lined linen pants would have a great look and they did. The problem is that it's summer and it's hot! Perhaps if they were lined with a lightweight cotton muslin, some other natural fabric or like the NICE navy ones, they would have been fine; however, a polyester lining defeats the purpose of keeping "cool" with linen.

NEW and NOTE-WORTHY: These do not belong in the NICE category because the tie at the drawstring waist  and the back pockets seem to "cheapen" these unlined linen/rayon blend pants but the price was NOTE-WORTHY (in fact, they only cost $20.00 Cdn. for a pair) and the fact that I bought three pairs is also NOTE-WORTHY. As well, perhaps NOTE-WORTHY but not true is that they were labeled as a size 4 and I'm a definite classic 6. I bought the 55% linen and 45% rayon blend wide leg trousers made in Cambodia in a camel beige, white and black. According to linen purists, the negative attributes of the rayon outweigh the positive of the linen. Nonetheless, these pants don't crease as much and feel pretty good to me. 

NEED: After the purchase in triplicate, I do not NEED another pair of linen pants for a good while. 

Taking Care of Linen Pants:

When I iron my linen I sometimes use a spray starch. It gives them some crispness and makes for a smoother finish, at least for a little while. 

See my linen post for more care tips.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Summer Colours in My Closet

Sea, Sand & Sky Colour Choices

Closet Content Analysis: Summer Wardrobe

NICE                   NO THANKS         NOTE-WORTHY            NEED          NEW

NOTE-WORTHY: After a winter of grey and black with a smattering of red, I enjoy researching new spring colours and tend to pay more attention to spring colour trends. For the summer, like the winter, I have chosen a very neutral palette and have been satisfied with it for a very long time. When I go shopping for summer clothing, I think, "sea, sand and sky" (no matter where in the world I am) - essentially, blue, beige/sand and white (with some black still providing the base). It has served me well. In fact the "sea, sand and sky" palette provides my bedroom and bathroom colour choices as well. There's something easy and cool about it for clothing, peaceful and calm for the bedroom and clean and bright for the bathroom. It also makes shopping easy.

Linen top and trousers as jewelry backdrop display, Spring "11.
NICE "SAND" CHOICE: I love Sorrento, Italy. Maybe it was the first ever seaside town I visited in Italy but it is one of my favourite places. There is a store here that fits right into my summer palette choices. I can't remember the exact name of the store, maybe it was "sea, sand and sky", however, everything in the store is offered in those shades. I bought my best NICE sand colour choice in that shop in 2009. I've taken this outfit on every "warm" weather vacation or place I have visited. It is a loose-weave linen and is a cool dress-up or -down. As the photo indicates, I have even used it as a backdrop for my jewelry sales. I like it with the burnished gold chain and turquoise.

Linen striped shawl draped over new hydrangea buds.
Of course, I had to buy the linen shawl that was displayed with the sand choice in the store.

NICE "SEA" CHOICE: The blue striped shirt that you saw in my Shirts, Blouses and Tops post has to be the most functional blue piece I have ever purchased. Same shirt on a smaller body. That pale blue and white stripe is so crisp and clean looking on hot muggy days when you need to wear a sleeveless tank but just in case you are somewhere that requires a cover-up . . . it is my pick. 

Blue and white linen pull over top with 3-buttom closure.
I have another blue and white stripe tunic top cut on the bias that I bought in Sorrento, at the "sea, sand and sky" store. It is linen but it is like a pullover top so it is not as functional as the shirt. I  am presently lamenting a summer in France without it. I left it in Canada. Sigh.

High heeled mule, open-toe in pink leather with beige threads.

 NOTE-WORTHY "SAND" CHOICE: This pair of heeled mules is actually beige and a pale pink but they're perfect if I want to dress-up my Sorrento "sand" outfit. I bought them sometime after the spring of 2009 when I was in Romans, France, thinking about that "sand" outfit. Short of a major trendy heel change, these will serve me a long time. However, those too are in Canada.

Linen pants: same style in black, white and beige.

NICE & NEW BLACK, WHITE & SAND CHOICES: I have always had linen pants in these three colours. The style is loose-fitting, usually with a drawstring at the waist. For my trip to France this year, I bought the same style in the three colours and will leave them here. I also have a variety of lengths of shorts and capris in the same three colours.

What "sea,  sand and sky" colour choices do you have in your closet? 

What is your summer palette?

Friday, 1 June 2012


Cool in the Summer Choices

Closet Content Analysis: Linen Apparel

NICE                   NO THANKS              NOTE-WORTHY              NEED               NEW

It's the beginning of June and temperatures in the south-west of France are hovering around 28 to 33 Celsius. Finding the perfect "cool" clothing, as in temperature cool, is at the very least, a six month pursuit here. And so in the evening, after perusing blogs, forums and lurking in on discussion boards regarding linen clothing, the ultimate "cool", the conclusion is the same for me as for many - there is a love/hate relationship with linen. Wearing linen is like maintaining a relationship of any kind, you love it for many reasons and you put up with the flaws, in this case the wrinkles. 

I found a fabric store post, specifically entitled Linen - The Preferred Fabric for Clothing of Healing, Healthy Living and Well Being that informs the reader about the positive attributes of linen. Who knew? The healing consequences of wearing linen and using it in your household and your bed are new to me. (Although I do find a very special feeling when I sleep between very old linen sheets, but that only happens in France. The rival to those old linen sheets are my Yves Delorme cotton ones.) Relative to clothing, linen doesn't garner static electricity and linen's heat conductivity keeps skin temperature 3°to 4°C below that of other fabrics including cotton and silk. You will sweat less in linen clothing and when you do, linen has a high absorption rate thus keeping you cooler. In cool weather linen holds in warmth. What's a few wrinkles with all that going for it?

NICE: Although all those healing attributes are apparently lost when blending linen with other fibres, I do find it more manageable and wearable when it is blended with rayon or some other synthetic. Mind, if you're wearing it for the healing benefits, the last thing you'll care about are the wrinkles.

NO THANKS: I once had a gauzy linen shirt that literally came apart at the seams. When I read about linen's strength and that it actually becomes softer and more supple with washing, I was surprised and perplexed when mine essentially disintegrated with each wash. It was purchased in an independent clothiers not a discount center or market, yet after that experience I do check the fabric and I would hesitate to buy such a soft loosely-woven gauzy linen again, particularly in a white shirt. 

NOTE-WORTHY: If you get into a zen-like state when you iron and take pleasure in the moment, at the most a few moments, linen will happily and now I know, healthfully exist as a wearable item in your wardrobe. Those who are not into the zen of ironing but still want linen, look for clothing made by manufacturers, who put a special finish on the fabric to make it less crease-able or blend it with synthetics to get a longer-lasting smooth finish.

NEED: A white linen shirt, a little longer in the body, and one where I can roll up the sleeves. In my mind's eye, I can see it . . . or you can see an example of a long linen shirt that I think I would like very much by clicking on Eileen Fisher.

NEW: Three pairs of linen and rayon drawstring wide leg pants for the summer - that calls for another post.

Taking Care of Your Linen Clothing: 
  • Linen may shrink slightly so be aware of that when buying 100% linen.
  • You can wash linen in hot temperatures but dry on cooler temperatures. (I've researched that and am relating it to you but can not tell you the reasoning behind it.)
  • Iron on the wrong side, or over a damp cloth; you can get shiny spots when using the direct heat of an iron.
  • Iron damp or use a good steam iron to get out the crinkled look. Apparently, the more you wash and wear linen the nicer it becomes and you too slowly grow out of that "crisp" expectation.
  • When traveling with linen, stuff the sleeves of jackets and legs of pants with rolls of other clothing, then cover each piece with a plastic dry cleaner bag. I have never done this! The point is to not fold your linen items. Now if everything you take is linen, stuff the sleeves and legs with tissue. You'll have to take your largest suitcase but it will be light. Good grief! I roll my linen but I pack it without ironing. I iron it when I need it or I just wear it crumpled. Whether at a hotel or a bed and breakfast, I have always been able to find an iron. I used to pack a travel iron but not anymore. What with weight a significant airline issue, who needs a travel iron?
What do you love or hate in your closet that is made of linen?