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5 Mistakes You're Making When Wearing Linen Over 60, According to Stylists

This lightweight fabric is perfect for easy, breezy summer days, but be sure you're wearing it right.

Without a doubt, one of the most timeless and sought-after fabrics is linen, and it's no surprise. According to Ra'el Cohen, fashion design expert as well as co-founder and chief creative officer of ThirdLove, it's ultra-breathable, has natural moisture-wicking properties, and even holds dyes better than many other materials. But if you're over 60, you might be making some mistakes when wearing linen. To learn what these are—and how to avoid them—keep reading to hear from Cohen and other stylists.

READ THIS NEXT: 7 Ways to Dress Classy Over 60, Stylists Say.

Wearing wrinkled garments

Woman's hand ironing wrinkled white shirt
FotoDuets / Shutterstock

Perhaps the main drawback to linen is that it wrinkles easily. That's due to the chemical composition of the flax plant fibers from which the fabric is made.

For this reason, fashion expert Chantelle Hartman Malarkey strongly recommends steaming or ironing your linen clothing before wearing it to ensure you look put-together rather than disheveled.

Speaking of care—Cohen advises washing any linen clothes on a gentle cycle and avoiding dryer sheets to preserve their lifespan as long as possible.

"Air drying is preferred—but if you prefer to throw all your clothes in the dryer, be sure to set your machine to the air dry or lowest heat setting," adds Charles Fratto, a womenswear designer and the style director for ILOE STUDIOS. "And always remember to fold or hang your garments soon after the cycle is through. This will help ensure those pesky wrinkles aren't as pronounced."

Not finding a flawless fit

Stylish, happy senior woman trying on red blazer

"Linen can be a very casual-looking fabric, so it's important to choose a linen piece that has a tailored fit," says Cohen. "This will help to create a more polished, flattering look."

When in doubt, you can always ask a stylist or store employee for their input on what fits your body best. But as a general rule, you want to strike a balance with looser and more form-fitting garments. For example, if you're wearing wide-leg, relaxed-fit linen pants, you might want to opt for a more tailored and fitted top.

When investing in high-quality linen pieces, keep in mind that it's often worth it to get them custom tailored to fit your physique.

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Wearing it with a bulky shoe

Woman trying on black flat shoes

When wearing linen, it's important to carefully consider your footwear. Brigid Stasen—an elite stylist and founder of Bridge Your Style—suggests avoiding heavy shoes like clogs, boots, and platforms.

"Because linen is so light and airy, it's best to wear it with a sandal, a kitten heel, or a cute flat," she explains.

Not accessorizing appropriately

Spring and summer fashion concept with linen blouses and scarves
Antonio Gravante / Shutterstock

"Linen can be a very simple fabric, so it's important to add some personality to your look by accessorizing with statement pieces," says Cohen. "This could include a bold necklace, earrings, or a scarf."

Stasen suggests adding a slender belt to a linen outfit to bring some texture and visual interest without adding too much weight.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Tips for Wearing Sweaters Over 60, According to Style Experts.

Pairing it with heavy fabrics

Neutral street style concept with khaki pants and black button-down blouse
Ekateryna Zubal / Shutterstock

Just as you shouldn't wear linen pieces with a heavy shoe, Stasen also advises against pairing them with heavy fabrics.

"Whatever you wear with linen should be the same weight or lighter," she tells Best Life. "A bulky jacket or sweater overpowers the lightweight fabric."

Some examples of lightweight fabrics that work well with linen include cotton, cashmere, denim, and silk.

Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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