Ahh, linen. Light, breathable and a must-have material when the boiling heat comes around. We practically live in our linen bed set and stare at our linen drapes (the ones that let the sunlight trickle in), and the same goes for tops, too. According to data from the financing app Klarna, searches for linen shirts have increased by 108 percent over the past three months, and we’re expecting that number to climb even more in the coming months. So, we’ve made it easy to get your hands on this hot commodity. Here, 17 of our top picks for the chicest linen shirts for women that you’ll want to add to cart ASAP, whether you’re looking to remain cool or simply want a new staple.
17 of the Chicest Linen Shirts for Women That’ll Keep You Cool as Temps Rise
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How to Style a Linen Shirt in 2023
No gimmicks or fancy-shmancy hacks here. Like a canvas, linen is meant to be worn in its natural state, which is easy and breezy. According to TikTok creator missy_elz, there are a myriad of ways you can zhoosh your linen blouse up, like opting for coordinating linen bottoms, tucking it in leather pants or wearing it with your favorite denim shorts, to name a few. Taking inspiration from Karina Reske on TikTok, we even plan to pair a belted oversize linen top with bike shorts or style our linen shirts with workout sets when we’re not wearing our beloved blue jeans.
How to Wash Linen Shirts
Great news: Washing linen doesn’t need to be complicated. Though some linen will need to be dry cleaned (which you can attempt at home if you dare) or hand-washed (here’s our step-by-step instructions to assist you), most linen can be washed on a cold cycle—delicate is best for maintaining the shape and quality—and either tumble dried on low or line dried. We recommend that you check your shirt’s tag for the brand’s specific wash instructions.
How We Chose the Best Linen Shirts
When it comes to choosing quality linen, we consider several factors. Linen is best when at its true form, sourced from natural materials like flax. In this list, you’ll see a lot of muted, earthy tones and some pale yellows, which is an indication of great quality, though brands can utilize sustainable dyeing measures that give you more vibrant colors and patterns. And if you happen to notice these garments err on the pricier side of things, that’s an indication of some top-notch quality, as true linen is quite rare.
Below, you’ll find that we’ve included a range of linen and prices to accommodate every budget and style. For more information on how to assess linen for yourself, read on here.
The Best Linen Shirts at a Glance
- For the Capsule Wardrobe: Reformation Will Oversized Linen Shirt
- For a Date Night: Anthropologie The Audie Linen Puff-Sleeve Blouse
- For the Beach Coverup: Vitamin A Playa Linen Oversized Shirt
- For Vacation: Farm Rio Heliconia Halter Crop Top
- For the Trendsetter: Madewell Linen Katrina Crop Vest Top
- For the Weekend: Club Monaco Linen Wrap Top
- For Those Who Run Hot: Quince 100% European Linen Short Sleeve Shirt
- For a Summer Soirée: Jenni Kayne Margot Cami
- For an Extra Breeze: Zara Open Back Linen Shirt
- For Subtlety: Everlane The Linen High-Neck Tank
- For the Jetsetter: Anthropologie Cropped Linen Pullover Blouse
- For the Traditionalist: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Lightweight Belted Linen Shirt
- For a Picnic: Kaleb Linen Top
- For a Basic T-Shirt: Banana Republic Linen Sharp-Shoulder T-Shirt
- For the Coastal Grandmother: Santorelli Anya Oversized Linen Shirt
- For an Event: Abercrombie & Fitch Linen-Blend Plunge Top
- For a Girls’ Trip: Faithfull the Brand Tropiques La Fleur Linen Halter Top
For the Capsule Wardrobe
- Size Range: XS to XL
- Why We Love It: oversized, relaxed fit, sustainable material
An oversize, crisp white button-down shirt is a must in any capsule wardrobe, and this linen stunner from Reformation is the moment. Not only is the linen lightweight and oh-so breezy, but it’s made from flax that, according to the sustainable brand, uses no water and emits a fraction of the carbon as cotton. It has an extra roomy fit and long, billowy sleeves that can be rolled up for a more lived-in look, but if you’re seeking something less dramatic and more tailored, we suggest going down one size. To finish off this classic look is the flat collar that relaxedly lays along the décolletage and a shirttail hem that fabulously drapes in the back.
For a Date Night
- Size Range: XXS to 3X (petite options, too)
- Why We Love It: balloon sleeve details, six colorways, standard, petite and plus size fits
Anthropologie’s linen puff-sleeve blouse checks off all the boxes for our refined summer wardrobe. The large, balloon sleeves add a dramatic flair that’s both extremely whimsical yet wearable. There’s ruching at the end of the sleeves and along the neckline to tailor the ‘fit, but it’s the delicate button closures that steal the show. Fasten them shut or leave a few undone to reveal extra skin or display hints of your lace bra, if you’re feeling daring. Choose between many colors like this bold red, canary yellow or white in standard, petite or plus sizes. One reviewer compares the linen to a “stiff muslin” that isn’t heavy on the body or see-through despite the natural make of the material, while another writes, “On a shopping trip with my mom we both tried on (and bought) this top. Our body types are different but we both loved [it]. I am broad shouldered and found it generously sized. It will be so cute with a front tuck on some white jeans and cute flats. I can’t wait to wear it.” While it supposedly runs true-to-size, some reviewers report having issues with the fabric tugging around their chest, so if you have a larger bust, we suggest going up one size for a looser fit.
For the Beach Coverup
- Size Range: XS to L
- Why We Love It: lightweight and quick-drying, matching short set
This summer, we’re slipping on our bathing suits, grabbing our steamy beach reads, applying our tubes of sunscreen and heading straight for the beach, and this linen cover-up is the icing on top of our quintessential summer day for many reasons. Whether you’re headed to grab snow cones at the snack stand or drying off after a dip in the ocean, you can easily slip this shirt over your bathing suit for extra coverage. The material is on the thinner side, so it’ll dry quickly if it gets wet. If you want a complete monochromatic set, snag the matching linen shorts and throw on a pair of chunky sandals for the chicest beach-to-cocktail ensemble.
- Size Range: XS to XL
- Why We Love It: vibrant print, halter cut, beaded tie-closure
We can always rely on Farm Rio to supply vibrant prints like this stunning halter crop top. The linen-blend fabric gathers at the chest, creating a beautiful crossover silhouette and dramatic draped open back that’s both sexy and sophisticated. You can forgo wearing any necklaces thanks to the fabric-covered beaded tie-closure. As for the bottoms, well…are you sensing a theme yet? We adore a set, and the matching wide-leg pants are *chefs kiss* for a vacation outfit.
For the Trendsetter
- Size Range: US 00 to 14
- Why We Love It: tailored at the waist, curved piping
ICYMI: Vests are trending, especially amongst our coastal cowgirls. And we understand the hype around it after looking at this linen beauty from Madewell. It has a deep V-neckline that draws the eye inwards and buttoned closures at the waist for a cinched, tailored finish. Oh, and did we mention the subtle curved piping along the front? Exquisite. One reviewer writes, “I’ve been looking for a vest for years, and this perfectly matches the quality, style and fit I was searching for. Fair warning [though, it] runs large like all Madewell clothing. I’m always one size smaller than I am compared to other brands like Anthropologie.” Madewell offers free 30-day returns after your purchase, so you have time to exchange your vest for the correct fit if needed.
For the Weekend
- Size Range: XS to M
- Why We Love It: slimming waist ties, volume in the sleeves, elegant neckline
If we didn’t know better, we’d think this blouse came straight from Shiv Roy’s closet. Classy, breezy and versatile, this linen wrap top comes with long ties that are uber-flattering and waist-defining. The sleeves are slightly puffy, so they won’t tug or clip around your arms, creating that dreadful pull at your skin. It also has a tasteful V-neckline, so you can spruce up your look with a few of your favorite necklaces. Pair it with a sleek denim midi skirt for cocktails with the girls al fresco or slip on your wide-leg jeans for a polished weekend outfit. The brand’s fit runs true-to-size, so stick to your usual for a bespoke blouse.
For Those Who Run Hot
- Size Range: XXS to XL
- Why We Love It: 100 percent European flax, boxy fit
“As soon as I received this blouse, I did a quick wash and hung it to dry,” says one reviewer. “I was really pleased at how good it looked straight out of the dryer, didn't even really need to be pressed. Looks nice, I think it will get a lot of wear this summer.” Indeed you will, and that’s because this Quince shirt is made from 100 percent European flax, which is not only extremely cooling, but it’s purportedly “more sustainable and less resource-intensive to grow.” Not to mention, it’s a great everyday short-sleeve T-shirt with a loose, boxy fit, making it no-brainer for those who run hot and don’t want to deal with the worry of sweat stains under your armpits, on your back or under your boobs.
For a Summer Soirée
- Size Range: XS to XXL
- Why We Love It: square neckline cut, gentle feel on skin
OK, speaking of everyday pieces...Jenni Kayne is our savior for all things knits and cozy cardigans, but this is your warning not to miss the brand’s precious camisoles, like this striped creamy top of our dreams. This is guaranteed to complement almost every body shape, but it’ll especially suit those with bigger chests thanks to the straight neckline and subtle, vertical stripes. It’s made of a linen and viscose blend, which is a semi-synthetic fabric that takes on a silk-like texture but won’t absorb heat. So, you can bet this cami will feel softer to the touch than most linen silhouettes. For that reason, it can be worn with a simple pair of blue jeans or fancy trousers and the Jenni Kayne Dani Slides for an evening out.
For an Extra Breeze
- Size Range: XS to XXL
- Why We Love It: open back, oversize fit, tie back detailing
This linen shirt is what one might call, “business in the front, party in the back,” attire. Take it from PureWow assistant editor Stephanie Meraz: “This is everything you’ll want and more once the temps rise,” she raves. “As someone who sweats a lot (especially on my back), I love the open back detailing. It’s extremely fun and airy, but also incredibly sexy and dainty—just look at that delicate string tie. Julia Roberts circa Pretty Woman is my style icon, and the front of this button-down shirt with cuffed sleeves totally reminds me of when Edward Lewis lends Vivian his crisp white dress shirt.” Big mistake if you pass on this top. Big…huge! So, what are you waiting for?
- Size Range: US 00 to 16
- Why We Love It: A-line fit, high-neck, button-closure detail at the nape of the neck
This tank is selling like hotcakes at Everlane, and we’re honestly surprised it’s still in stock. It’s made from 100 percent linen and has a gorgeous high neck that accentuates the shoulders in the best way possible. The bodice of the blouse has a slight A-line fit, so it drapes away from your body ever so slightly, leaving plenty of comfortable room without losing your shape entirely. Besides this smooth, moody navy, it also comes in two other colors, cocoa brown and a Brazilian sand by canvas tan mix, so snag yours while it’s in stock.
For the Jetsetter
- Size Range: XXS to XL
- Why We Love It: elastic hemline, tapered at the waist
This cropped linen blouse is making us dream of lazy days sipping Aperol spritzes in Tuscany. There’s something extremely sleek about the pullover style and clean V-neck with a hidden button clasp. Whether it’s the sharp collar that takes the look to the next level or the cut-off sleeves, we’re completely convinced we need it for our next trip. Just look at that elasticated hemline that makes the shirt tapered at the waist. And there’s no doubt that it will stretch and give throughout the day.
For the Traditionalist
- Size Range: XXS to XXL
- Why We Love It: belted waist, pockets, roll tab sleeves
We’re suckers for a utilitarian look (hello, cargo pants), so when we laid our eyes on this belted linen blouse from Ralph Lauren, our jaws dropped. It’s supposedly tremendously lightweight, which is quite impressive considering how much fabric makes up this garment, and it has these intentional buttoned placket and patch pocket details for optimal functionality. Our favorite element? Easily the waist-defining belt that you can tie any which way your heart desires. On second thought, we’d like to add the roll tab sleeves—which keeps the fabric from falling—to our favorites, too.
For a Picnic
13. Kaleb Linen Top
- Size Range: US 0 to 12
- Why We Love It: front corset lace-up, beautiful print, slim-fitting
We love corset tops for several reasons: They’re adjustable, romantic and ultra-flattering. This mustard yellow and maroon floral printed linen tank top from Reformation is simply to-die-for. It’s completely sleeveless and features a sweetheart neckline that puts your décolletage on display. Like all of Reformation’s linen, it’s made from flax and can be washed on a cold setting and line dried to keep its quality. The slim-fitting top is completely adjustable, too, so you can loosen or tighten the lace according to your preference, then finish it off with a delicate bow like the one pictured above. While we can think of a million-and-one ways to wear this baby, you can’t go wrong with slipping on the matching linen skirt.
For a Basic T-Shirt
- Size Range: XS to L
- Why We Love It: sharp shoulders, underarm gusset, relaxed fit
We can never have too many basic T-shirts, especially when they’re made of linen. Banana Republic’s sleeveless top has the sharpest shoulders in town. If you look closely, it has the brand’s trapunto stitching that helps to slim the arms, and this detail leads into an underarm gusset opening. (Psst…this means ample circulation for your armpits.) It’s meant to have a relaxed, loose fit that can easily be tucked into the waist of jeans or shorts, and it has a straight hem that sits at hip length. And did we mention that it comes in four colors, like this earthy desert thyme green or your classic white?
For the Coastal Grandmother
- Size Range: XS to XL
- Why We Love It: billowy, lightweight, high-low hem, dramatic sleeves
Coastal cowgirl may be the this year’s coastal grandma, but we’re certainty not over the “Nancy Myers-chic” aesthetic that stole our hearts last year. Santorelli’s oversize linen shirt screams a walk on the beach with Diane Keaton. It’s made in Italy, where it’s woven from a lightweight linen that’s dry-clean only and is stitched for a billowy fit with slits along the sides of the blouse, allowing the fabric to take on shape with the wind. It also has a high-low hem that adds dimension to the boxy fit, and it includes these incredible dramatic barrel cuffs at the sleeves. Because it’s meant to fit oversized, we recommend you stick to your usual size.
For an Event
- Size Range: XXS to XL
- Why We Love It: babydoll silhouette, plunge neckline, ruching
If you’re headed to a baby shower or looking for something to wear for Mother’s Day brunch, we suggest you plan your outfit around this Abercrombie & Fitch top. It’s made from linen and cotton, so while it’s not 100 percent linen, it’s still breathable, forgiving and will keep you cool. We adore the babydoll silhouette, ruching details and puff sleeves that can be worn throughout spring and summer. As for sizing, one reviewer claims the blouse is true to size, but the brand says it runs slightly large, so we suggest down to avoid having extra fabric in the chest area or a plunge that sits too low for comfort.
For a Girls’ Trip
- Size Range: S to L
- Why We Love It: handmade by local artisans, halter neck, smocked waist, adjustable tie closure
If we could build an entire wardrobe on Faithfull the Brand alone, we would. The beachwear brand never fails to deliver playful twists on practical silhouettes that are downright romantic and remind us of tropical getaways. We’re eyeing this terracotta cropped, halter-neck linen blouse for its flattering, smocked waist and ruffled hem. It has an adjustable tie closure, so you won’t have to worry about the fit around the neck feeling too snug or loose. (And of course, it has some matching pants, too.) Handmade by local artisans, they’ve used 100 percent linen that will need to be hand washed.
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PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.