Picture summer in the South of France. Imagine St. Tropez. We can all see in our mind’s eye the otherworldly light. Brigitte Bardot. The seashore. The jet set. The oligarch-owned yachts :).
There’s probably one thing you don’t think about, though, and that’s linen. Every Tuesday and Saturday morning, in St. Tropez, an open-air marché at the Place des Lices springs up.
One of the many specialties of this market is the linen vendors. The button up shirts come in every muted color of the rainbow. The hand of the linen is exquisite – soft, lightly slubbed, airy. The linen fabric is milled in France, from French-grown flax and the garments are manufactured there, too.
Linen is prized for its breezy nature. It doesn’t pill and it gets softer the more you wash it. It is highly absorbent, which is why it doesn’t feel damp in the summer. It is actually one of the few fabrics which are stronger wet than dry. Another property of linen is poor elasticity, which is why it wrinkles so easily. But, summer-time wrinkles are part of linen’s charm.
Tropéziens are extremely chic people, and guess what fabric they wear day in and day out, all summer long? Yep. Linen! Linen trousers. Linen blouses. Linen dresses with spaghetti straps. Linen skirts.
2nd photo – Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim on the beach in St. Tropez
We love linen so much! Now that our hot, dry California summer is upon us, what better, chic-er way to dress, than to emulate those très chic Tropéziens?
Cameron Diaz, Leonardo diCaprio (still from The Great Gasby) and Audrey Hepburn (photographed by Leo Fuchs on the set of The Nun’s Story (1959)) all in linen.
More linen dresses .