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Linen is the ultimate lightweight fabric — it’s breathable, and has a laid-back, relaxed feel. Made from natural fibers, the textile is one of our go-to’s and we especially love it in an easy and breezy dress. When we think of linen dresses, we typically picture a white, flowing dress style made for a casual beach day. But, linen dresses come in all sorts of silhouettes ranging from casual to elegant and everything in between. With that in mind, we spoke to fashion experts and set out to find a collection of linen dresses that suited a range of styles, shapes, as well as had features like spaghetti straps or smocked detailing. And with a bit of a styling tweak — like adding a turtleneck or knee-high boots — the outfit can transition into fall too.
As a result, this is that curated list of the best linen dresses.
Best Overall: Hill House Home The Laura Dress
Hill House gets a ton of deserved attention for its coveted nap dress, but you’ve likely been sleeping on their other incredible styles. For our best overall category, we’re sharing The Laura Dress. The button-down t-shirt dress is an option you can wear multiple ways and never tire of. Constructed from a lightweight, breathable linen, you can rock this Hill House dress buttoned all the way up with the bow sash for a more business casual feel, or ditch the sash, undo the top two buttons, and throw on a pair of white sneakers for a more every day look. As a transition into autumn, this could be styled with a sweater and pair of booties.
Material: Linen | Size Range: XXS-2XL | Colors: Lilac stripe, black, pink roses, blue mosaic
Best Budget: ASOS Design Halter Neck Linen Minidress
We love this budget-friendly dress for several reasons. To state the obvious: It’s a 100 percent linen dress for $32, which is a steal compared to others. On top of that, it has a funky and trendy Y2K-inspired print that you don’t usually see on a linen dress, giving it a unique edge, too. The mini dress can also be worn casually (we love the way it’s styled with chunky sandals and an open button-down) or with high-heeled strappy sandals for a going-out look.
Material: Linen | Size Range: 0-14 | Colors: Multi
Best on Amazon: Mordenmiss Women's Cotton Linen Dress
Amazon is a great place to find budget-friendly summer dresses, including ones constructed from linen. Our top pick for the best linen dress on Amazon is the Mordenmiss Women’s Cotton Linen Dress. The combination of linen and cotton gives this dress a more affordable price point, but it also makes it much softer than 100 percent linen. Featuring a short-sleeved scoop-neck bodice and a slightly structured skirt silhouette, the linen dress has rave reviews for its comfort, draping, and boho style.
Material: Linen, cotton | Size Range: M-XL | Colors: Beige, army green, black, gray, brown
Best Maxi: Cult Gaia Eileen Cutout Sleeveless Linen Blend Maxi Dress
Off-set the length of a maxi dress with some cut-outs, like this number from Cult Gaia. Made from a super-soft blend of linen, rayon, and spandex, the sleeveless maxi dress features a modern square neckline with a layered halter strap and seriously stylish cut-outs on the waist, giving it more of a two-piece feel. The dress also comes in a classic off-white linen color.
Material: Linen, rayon, spandex | Size Range: S-XL | Colors: Off-white
Best Mini: Reformation Sommer Linen Dress
Linen dresses have a reputation for being long and flowy, but a shorter and more structured silhouette can feel just as luxe. The Reformation Sommer Linen Dress is a high-neck sleeveless mini dress that, despite its straight cut, feels just as breezy as its billowing maxi counterparts. The dress features a waist-cinching tie to create some shape and comes in a natural oatmeal color.
Material: Linen | Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Oatmeal
Best Spaghetti Straps: Cultiver Mari Linen Dress
For a dress with barely-there spaghetti straps, look no further than the Mari Linen Dress from Cultiver. Made from 100 percent European flax linen and semi-lined, the maxi dress features adjustable criss-cross straps and a structured yet flowing non-stretch shape. It’s simple in style yet makes a statement with its modern square neckline and ankle-grazing maxi skirt.
Material: Linen | Size Range: S-L | Colors: White, black
Best for Vacation: Faherty Isha Linen Dress
Linen was made for the beach. Our favorite dress in this category is the Faherty Isha Linen Dress because it has an effortless design and comes in a few fun patterns, which is a nice change-up from the usual white and natural hues. The mini dress is made from 100 percent linen with pin tuck detailing on the bodice, a collar band, and agoya shell buttons. It also has hidden pockets, which we love for picking up shells and sea glass while walking along the shore.
Material: Linen | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Colors: Blue mini stripe, pink cinque terre stripe, tropical palm, clay floral
Best Sleeves: Cuyana Linen Flutter Sleeve Dress
We’ll never say no to a fun set of sleeves — especially when they’re featured on a linen dress. The Cuyana Linen Flutter Sleeve Dress is the perfect linen party dress with its ruffled short sleeves, V-neck line, skirt slip, and waist tie. And, what makes it even better is it’s actually a linen blend, so it is softer than 100 percent linen, and you can machine wash it on cold.
Material: Linen, lyocell, elastane | Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Honey, black, sand
Best With Tie Straps: Magic Linen Long Linen Dress Andros
If you’re looking for a luxe-feeling linen dress with tie straps, the Long Linen Dress Andros from Magic Linen is one of our favorite dresses in our closet. It’s made from a durable 100 percent stonewashed European flax that is soft to the touch yet holds its fit and flare shape. Also available in a dusty blue, the dress is OEKO-TEX certified, making it a great sustainable choice, too.
Material: European flax | Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: White, dusty blue
Best T-Shirt: Poetry Button-Through Dress
Our top pick for the best linen t-shirt dress is the Button-Through Dress from Poetry. Made from a premium 100 percent linen material, the t-shirt dress features semi-fitted sleeves with a neckline that’s a cross between round and V-neck. It also has two side slits in the skirt to allow for easier movement, plus stitched-through pockets. On top of that, the dress comes in a bunch of good earth-tone colors, including chambray blue, honey-yellow, and sage green.
Material: Linen | Size Range: 2-18 | Colors: Shell brown, sage, honey, chambray, black fawn
Best Formal: DISSH Andrea Chocolate Linen Midi Dress
If you’re looking for a linen dress with the right amount of elegance, the DISSH Chocolate Linen Midi Dress is the perfect choice for a formal event. Constructed from 100 percent linen, the midi dress has a high round neckline with an open back and a chic back tie that comes together in a sweet bow or knot. The dress is mostly fitted with a slight flare in the skirt and two side slits for comfortable movement.
Best Wrap: Athleta Playa Linen Wrap Dress
As one of the most iconic dress styles, wrap dresses can be a mix of dressy and casual. For the latter, we love this collared linen wrap dress from Athleta. Made from 100 percent linen and designed for travel, the washable — yes, washable — linen dress has a semi-loose fit and wraps around the waist with a drawstring style tie.
Material: Linen | Size Range: 0-26 | Colors: Calla lily, black, passionfruit coral
Best for Work: Hill House The Lily Dress
The Hill House Lily Dress is the perfect linen dress for the office. Constructed with a vintage-inspired silhouette and made from 100 percent linen, the button-up tailored dress can be worn on its own, or styled with the removable waist sash for an accessorized feel. Albeit a durable fabric, the dress has an airy and lightweight feel to it, so it’s a fantastic choice for summer work days.
Material: Linen | Size Range: XXS-2XL | Colors: Navy, candy kaleidoscope, midnight garden, blue roses
What to Look for in Linen Dresses
“Lighter linens have the potential to be see-through,” says wardrobe stylist Chellie Carlson. She recommends a linen dress that is fully opaque for a more elevated feel, especially if you’re looking for a dress to be worn at the office, and not as a beach coverup.
When shopping for a linen dress, it is important to find a good fit, says wardrobe stylist Gabbi Maragos. Maybe linen styles are made to be loose, flowy, and slightly oversized. However, more modern styling has details like belts and seaming to add structure. “Linen can also expand slightly with wear so if you are between sizes, I would opt for the tighter fit,” she adds.
“Color is also something to consider when shopping for a linen dress,” says Maragos. “Lighter colors tend to absorb less heat with wear,” she adds. In addition to classic white linen, Maragos recommends light blue, pale pink, or beige linen for summertime. “You can wear it during the day, or dress it up by adding a heel for the evening.” Richer or earthier tones may be more appropriate for fall fashions and transitioning weather.
What is linen?
“Linen is a lightweight fabric that comes from flax plant fibers,” says Maragos. The natural fabric is durable and absorbent, and the perfect wardrobe staple for hot weather since it keeps you cool and comfortable.
Does linen shrink?
“Since linen is a natural fiber, it will shrink in the wash,” says Carlson. “I recommend spot treating or hand washing linen materials to keep them from shrinking,” she adds. There are some linens that are able to be machine washed on cold, however, we would recommend hanging to dry.
Can you iron linen?
According to Maragos, you can iron linen, but you’ll want to add moisture to get that crispy texture. If ironing isn’t your thing, Carlson says you can also steam linen. “Steaming allows your garments to last longer, as you are not applying such intense heat to the fibers,” Carlson says. “If you have the time, a hack of mine is to hang your linen in your bathroom while you shower for a super easy, effortless steam,” she adds.
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. When tracking down the best linen dresses, Jessie tuned into her fashion experience and used her journalistic research skills to curate a list of styles across various genres. She researched more traditional casual styles, as well as formal linen dresses for summer celebrations and, as a result, she found some incredible linen dresses for every occasion.