Eileen Fisher organic linen box top (sent from EF for review) | small – on sale!!
Eileen Fisher organic linen wide leg pants (sent from EF for review) | small petite – also on sale 🙂
The Palatines slides | purchased w/credits at Garmentory (use my referral link for a $20 credit)
admonish leather tote | sold out, similar, smoother leather, slimmer profile
I mentioned previously that I was going to do a major linen review in the coming weeks. I have been “collecting” linen from different brands, and different types (tees, woven, etc) to try and provide more in depth information about the different qualities of linen and how it holds up/washes/wears. I’m going to trickle in outfits for a little while, and then do a comprehensive post with all the items & thoughts together.
But first, Eileen Fisher. The brand was gracious enough to reach out and provide me three organic linen items to review for you (I was not compensated for this post in any other way): the Icon box Top, the wide leg pants, and the shell top (all in size small). Each of the pieces is their “handkerchief linen” which is organic European flax, in a fine, lightweight woven linen. These pieces are just a little lighter than Elizabeth Suzann’s linen tunic, and Everlane’s boyfriend linen shirt, for example.
I wore all these linen pieces traveling over the weekend, and have also washed them (with The Laundress delicates detergent and hung to dry). I shot this outfit photo just after they were washed and had dried, NOT after a full day of wear. None of the pieces shrunk at all, and as linen does, they have become slightly softer with wash & wear.
It is linen, though, and no matter what, linen will crease and wrinkle with wear. Linen can look deceptively nice and crisp, but the moment you put it on, all bets are off. Which, I think, is the beautiful thing about linen; it’s meant to be worn, enjoyed, and lived in, not babied – no matter how hard you try, linen cannot be babied, or remain pristine (perhaps it’s a metaphor for life? for each of us? for ME??). And it only gets softer and better with wear. But all linen isn’t created equal, and I’ve found that the heavier linen tends to look slightly “better” with wear than lighter weight, also shape matters, specifically where tops hit on the body and how they crease when you sit down.
More about these specific pieces:
The icon box top is just that, an iconic boxy top with a boat neck and longer sleeves which is meant to be oversized. It’s very nicely made, so easy to wear, and a great length for just about anything. I chose the size small instead of the small petite because I wanted it to be long, as you see here, and loose. Sometimes I roll the sleeves up a bit, and sometimes I don’t. I also usually wear a black bra underneath; you’re going to see the bra, so you might as well SEE it, you know?? I don’t mind that at all, seeing my bra though the shirt, but if you do , you might prefer a camisole. While the top isn’t opaque, it’s not completely sheer either, so honestly I think it’s modest enough with just a bra, but everyone’s preference is different!
The pants are also wonderful, lightweight, and super easy. They are not completely opaque either, but I am wearing lighter (gray) bikini panties underneath and you can’t see them, so I don’t have any concerns about sheerness wearing them. I LOVE the pockets on these, and the length is perfect for me (I’m 5’3″ and have a 26.5″ inseam). I’m not wearing them all the way up at my waist though; I prefer to keep them a little lower. I wore these a lot over the weekend, and was so comfortable and pleased with how they felt and looked. I feel like with linen pants, since there is more length, wrinkles tend to fall out a little better with the weight of them. Which doesn’t matter a bit to me, but FYI.
But back to the top. Here’s what happens to it with wear: it stretches a little and starts to blouse out a bit around the middle so it becomes even MORE boxy. I’m not sure how it would wear if you sized down – maybe it wouldn’t blouse out so much, and stretch to fit, but I wouldn’t want to size down. After I wear my linen pieces, I spray them with water until they’re almost saturated, but not quite, and let them hang to dry, which brings them back to “new” for the next time I want to wear them. I’ll go 2-3 wears per piece before washing that way.
A note on Eileen Fisher sizing: I find Eileen Fisher very hard to fit. My slouchy ankle pants are a size large petite, my harem pants are a medium, and I’ve had tops that are size XS. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to order Eileen Fisher online confidently without trying it on first because I’m really never sure what size in what style will work best for me. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try, and if you order from Eileen Fisher or Nordstrom, you’re covered on shipping costs and can be confident in their customer service.
What has your experience been with Eileen Fisher linen? How often do you wear linen in summer?