Does anyone else feel a mild form of dread whenever the word ‘heatwave’ is mentioned? We’re all supposed to be excited about the prospect of sunny weather - and we are - but that doesn’t mean we’re on board with the stickiness, the chafing and the alcohol-induced headaches that come with it. A hand-held fan, ice cubes and alternate glasses of water and wine will solve most hot-weather problems, but if you’re wondering what to wear, you can’t go wrong with a linen dress.
We would say avoid anything clingy, but to be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a linen dress that isn’t a little bit tent-like. The fabric, made from the flax plant, simply lends itself to shapes that breeze around the tummy/thigh area and come with a pair of wafty sleeves.
Faithfull The Brand's cut-out dress is one of the best on the market, and one which is sure to be a summer sell-out. Available in off-white or black, it will look super chic paired with simple sandals. For a brilliant high street option, look to & Other Stories, who has a wealth of breezy linen dresses to choose from, including this puff sleeve midi under £100.
There are, of course, certain brands that specialise in this summer-friendly fabric and do it better than most. Asceno is one such label, with a collection packed with glorious styles that will work just as well at a wedding (dressed up with gold jewellery and strappy heels) as they will on holiday.
Similarly, Labeca London has some of the loveliest linen around, including this apricot asymmetric dress that you'll want to wear forever. And, of course, there's Ukrainian label Sleeper, who managed to turn the nightdress into seriously hot property.
All sorted? Pass the frosé.
SHOP: The Best Linen Dresses To Keep You Cool
SHOP: The Best Linen Dresses
& Other Stories has an entire linen section for you to peruse, but this is one of the best bits. It will become your go-to on long, hot summer days.
Answering the age-old question of what to wear to work in a heatwave is this glorious shirt dress from Belize.
This dress is as beautiful as it is timeless and will sit in your wardrobe for years to come. Dress up or down and layer under an oversized blazer when needed.
Whoever said linen had to be neutral clearly hadn't met COS's linen dress. Ideal for injecting some colour into your summer workwear wardrobe.
How to nail French-girl style in an instant? Put on this dress.
This dress is so great that it sold out when it first landed on site. Luckily for us all, it's back in stock – and in even more colours and prints. With perfectly puffed sleeves and a flattering smocked bodice, it also happens to be just the perfect length, available in petite too.
If you thought linen couldn't be dressy, think again. This is the perfect midi to wear to weddings, to the races or just to a party in your own garden.
Asceno's Oslo style puts a glorious spin on the class linen dress. Ideal for dressing up in the heat, wear with gold jewellery and flat sandals.
Pair with a denim jacket for an easy, no-fuss summer outfit that will keep you going all season.
Reformation's sustainable dresses are loved by everyone from Blake Lively to Nicola Peltz – and it's not hard to see why. This linen number is available in a variety of colours and prints.
Sleeper took the idea of linen nightwear and turned it into Instagram's most popular dress. This can be worn on or off the shoulder and is a dream on hot days. It's a good time to support the brand, too, as much of its team is based in Ukraine and struggling to keep going amid the violence caused by the Russian invasion of the country.
Ideal for holiday layering, this dress also has the option of a belt to make it feel more polished for city days.
A square neckline, puff sleeves and crossover straps at the back make this the quintessential summer mini.
Toast does easy-to-wear linen dresses like nobody else. And you could even layer this over polo necks when autumn arrives.
Arket's deckchair-striped, kaftan-style dress will the be easiest and breeziest piece in your summer wardrobe.
Wiggy Kit's 100% linen dress is definitive proof that the fabric can be dressy enough for occasionwear.