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What to wear with linen trousers

Updated February 21, 2017

Linen trousers can be part of a crisp, casual summer look or a more formal but comfortable business look. The look changes according to the details of the pant. A trouser cut will have a more formal silhouette with a tucked-in blouse. Drawstring linen trousers works well when worn with a loose, unstructured top.

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Keep it lightweight

Cotton and cotton blends are a good match with linen. Cotton can be found in a T-shirt, a more tailored shirt or a cropped jacket. Keep the cotton fabric lightweight so that it does not look out of season with the linen. Pair light-colour linen with light-colour or dark shirts and jackets. Match unstructured linen trousers, like those with drawstrings or worn low on the hip, with unstructured tops like tees or breezy, loosefitting scoop neck shirts. Clothing catalogues, magazines and fashion-week videos are good places to find out what fabrics the designers and retailers are pairing with linen.

Choose a silk

Silk can look casual or dressy depending on its type and can work well with linen trousers. Stay away from heavy silks like charmeuse, chiffon or douppioni that are used in evening wear. Instead aim for a lightweight silk like noil, the soft silk that looks similar to cotton, or the natural, slubby shantung or tussah, which looks like a sibling to some types of linen. Silks pair well with linen when they are in brightly coloured tanks or loosely structured scoop-neck, short-sleeve tops.

Try a theme

White linen looks smashing in a nautical theme. Pair it with a navy silk halter top or tee and add a nautical-themed scarf around the neck. A tropical look fits linen trousers very well. Add a printed silk tank with a tropical pattern and a brightly coloured scarf that matches the print and then pair with a coloured sandal that matches the scarf.

White is safe

White is always safe with linen, no matter what colour the linen is. White matched with a natural linen colour presents a fresh, clean, open look. Look for a thinner white cotton blouse, something with a looser weave than the white business suit blouse. A white cotton gauze top paired with off-white, casual linen trousers allows for a vast choice of brightly coloured sandals, scarves and handbags to be worn with it.

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About the Author

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.

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