LINEN: All you need to know!

Like everything when you start reading up about a topic there’s always so much more to it than you think.  I’m going to explain the benefits of linen over other fabrics and why its such a great choice of fabric (especially in warm climates).

Linen has been around for a VERY long time.  There is evidence to suggest that a linen manufacturing industry was in operation in Egypt over 4,000 years ago.  Linen is a natural fibre made from the stalks of the flax plant Linum usitatissimum.

Bed Linen was coveted by the upper classes for its cool and soft feeling against the skin, becoming a mark of wealth and social standing.  These days, textiles account for the majority of linen grown, with clothing forming only a very small percentage, making a well-sourced and cared for linen shirt an all the more valuable addition to your wardrobe.

Linen vs Cotton

Linen is highly breathable, much more so than cotton due to its lower thread counts.  For example, a fine Egyptian cotton bed sheet will start at about 200 thread count, while a similar quality linen sheet will have a thread count of between 80 and 150, meaning fewer fibres and more breathability when the temp rises.  Although Linen can feel rough at first, with time and washing it becomes incredibly soft, unlike cotton, which can get coarser over time.  When cotton is new its incredibly soft to touch, linen really starts coming into its own after about 3 to 5 years of wear, accounting for its longevity too.

Because of Linens very high absorbency rate, it is the ideal summer fabric.  Its also hypoallergenic, which means sweat is less likely to break down its fibres.  Combined with its lack of elasticity, this ability to quickly absorb and wick away moisture from the body accounts for the ease with which linen can crease.

Whilst linen to most is thought of as a more informal fabric (probably due to it’s ability to crease so easily) I think that wearing a linen garment can enhance the quality of the outfit making it appear not as informal and rather classy.  Perhaps more than any other fabric, you truly get what you pay for with linen and linen-blends.  The best harvests and the most expert milling practices will be reflected in the price, so try not to skimp.  I always advise my clients to invest in linen t-shirts over cotton.  The longevity of the t-shirt will be quite remarkable especially if a more premium linen is bought.  A T-shirt from even a mid priced brand such as J.Crew over a pinch priced T-shirt from H&M or Zara.  Whilst buying linen from the high street wont be a complete waste, it wont last quite as long as it would from a better quality store.

Caring for Linen

A lukewarm hand or machine wash is best.  Air dry and a quick iron when damp is a better option than waiting until the fabric is bone dry.  Avoid over-ironing the crease of the collar as this can damage the fibres.

So that was the text book stuff for those out there that like the detail.

Having always been a big fan of linen (even though I have never owned heaps of it myself) other than t-shirts and the odd shirt or trousers which have been a linen blend, its always been a fabric that I love the ruffled look it gives and the way linen clothes hang.  Woven Green are excited to be launching a range of Linen clothing in the next month.  Here are a couple of pics and style tips on wearing linen.

We hope to see you over on WG soon for a sneak peak of what’s to come! To keep updated follow us on Instagram @woven_green

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Summer Essentials

I haven’t quite digested the fact that December is 1 day away.  Its such a cliche but every year goes faster and every year Im less organised by the time December comes around.  I think as soon as your children get to school going age, life becomes a bit more hectic not only having your own diary but all of a sudden you have another person’s schedule to consider.  In saying that I am not ready, I am still so excited for the holiday’s to arrive and for schools to break up so we can all wind down and enjoy some well deserved relaxation.   Once holidays begin, the last thing I want to do is have to pack up a ton of stuff to lug to our holiday destination (although some stuff can’t be avoided) the less there is to cart the less stress around the big trek.  Some summer essentials that are pretty much always on my list below are not only things I love and I’m sure loved by many others, but also a good little gift guide.  The odd thing on the list changes from one year to the next but generally Im getting into a habit of always going back to what works for me.  Here’s a small collection of what I WONT leave behind, these bits along with swimsuits, beach wear and the odd dress is all that I will be packing.

I love a Moleskine notebook and have carried one every year for about the last 5 years, ever since my husband bought me one as a gift and have loved them ever since.  I always go with the small pocket size so it fits into any handbag.  This is essential for all the list making: Shopping lists, present lists, packing lists, meal ideas, furniture measurements, bank details, you name it, it’s all in there.  I wouldn’t remember a thing without it!  I was very excited to see them for sale in South Africa at Exclusive Books and then even more thrilled when I googled it and they have an online store in SA with tons of wonderful products to choose from here

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Next on that list (in that Moleskine) would be sunblock.  I still have this UltraSun anti ageing for sensitive skin for the face which I use mostly but I have also recently been introduced to Cetaphil which is also wonderfully moisturising without being greasy.  Both UltraSun and Cetaphil are fantastic for children too.  Cetaphil is widely available in SA but I have not yet come across UltraSun

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From here on it’s in no particular order.  I find my hair does bizarre things when moving around, the water is always softer or harder, less chemicals, more chemicals, salty or full of limescale, wherever one goes, who knows what it’s going to come out looking like after a wash.  Mine quite often goes very soft when washed near the seaside so something to give it a bit of texture (apart from a dive into the sea) is EVO, it is essential for a half decent head of hair.  I was introduced to this little bottle of miracle powder about 1.5 years ago and couldn’t imagine hair days without it.  EVO gives your hair a feeling of dirtyness once applied (whilst still looking wonderfully clean) but it means you can manipulate your hair that much more to do what you need it to.  This along with some Oribe texturising spray will be packed before I even pack a brush!

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It’s always lovely to have nails painted in a colour that will compliment a tan, I love white in summer, it goes with all the outfits and enhances even the slightest of tans.  There are tons of good nail varnishes out there to choose from but I do love Essie

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Laura Mercier has been my go to foundation for many years, I have always loved their tinted moisturiser and its so perfect for holidays, very subtle. a low coverage that gives a natural and fresh finish.  A lovely new Skin Care store recently opened in Sandton called Skins Cosmetics, selling Laura Mercier amongst other great products, unfortunately I cannot find my product online but hopefully they have it in store!

As the days go by and the tans darken, it’s great to have a bronzer to get your face up to speed with the rest of your body.  And if you prefer not to tan then its nice to have a little colour to add on anyway.  The Chanel Healthy Glow powder comes in a few shades.  Chanel is another favourite when it comes to make-up and this fantastic bronzer can be built up depending on the intensity of the colour you wish to achieve.

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Highlighters are great for evening when you want to add extra definition and a healthy glow to your face.  I’ve always used cream illuminating products but this MAC powder is brilliant if you want to minimise oil on your face.  During summer with all the sunblock, and hydrating creams I find to add more cream to my face can just make me look like Ive got an oily skin and makeup tends to slide off quicker the more moisture I add.  I like to add the highlighter just above my cheekbones and brow bones (below and above). Im no beauty guru but that’s just what I have always done.

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Lips also need continuous hydrating, finishing off the face naturally with a soft dewy lipstick can perfect the summer natural look.  I prefer a lighter colour and have used a super hydrating Laura Mercier lipstick called Angelic for some time but was recently given the most luxurious feeling lipstick by a friend, which is Givenchy Nude in the Dark.  (colour not available online in SA)
Screenshot 2017-11-29 19.13.10From all the barefoot walking, coarse sand and sandal wearing the feet can become hard and cracked quickly so keeping them moisturised with foot specific cream is the cherry on top after a hot soak in a bath.  This award winning beauty product from L’Occitane is always on holiday with me.

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Fragrance is not something I wear a lot of and anything strong makes me feel nauseas so discovering Byredo was a God send.  Not something you find in your typical Beauty department its only sold in certain stores but worth the search and pennies! Perfect for day and night.

Earrings as you would have heard me say before, small accessories to pack with large impact on the overall look.  Its the easiest hack to add glamour, colour or interest to a simple outfit.  Splurge out on bright colours for summer.  Great spots for accessories that will last the season and wont break the bank are H&M, Lovisa, Lulu Belle and then there are always stacks of little boutiques around SA selling local products that are not only world class when it comes to quality and style but also just so good to support local.

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Then last but not least a December essential, from throwing in all your bitty pieces that you don’t know where to pack, to using at the market, beach or trips to town the Woven Green Roundie is a summer must have!

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So that is my round up. Wishing you all a very happy festive season, travel safe and I will hopefully be a little more active on my site next year.  Thanks for following! Xx

Double Breasted Blazer

It’s Sunday night, I’m feeling pretty shattered and I’ve been trying to put this post together for a while now so please bare with me and the very weak piece that I am about to produce! I really just want to show you how awesome the double breasted blazer is and why it’s such a great investment piece (not here to sell my journalist skills, or lack of, for that matter).

An update on the oversized double breasted blazer.  Its a great piece that goes with loads, from mini skirts to wide leg trousers, you name it.  Its a wonderfully masculine style that looks so feminine (think subtle shoulder pads and the longer length give it the girly edge) buttoned up to show off a waistline or left undone for a more relaxed look.  Keep it casual with a tee underneath.  Its really an all year round piece that I’m positive you will find a go to when you’re feeling unsure.  It dresses up casual to the right degree and dresses down formal to perfection especially if you push the sleeves up and let the front fall open nonchalantly.

Whilst you want to buy a relaxed fit, a blazer must fit well, even an oversized one.  You want it to have a certain element of softness and to not be too stiff.  Opt for the obvious grey or navy blue for longevity.  Whilst plaid or houndstooth will get you all the extra style creds now! So I won’t apologise for my pathetically written post because I provide you with some awesomely inspirational pics to get your trend juices flowing!

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Have a fantastic week everyone

xx

Mustard in colour

If you haven’t noticed by now then you’re not into interiors, fashion or trends in any form, which means you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  Mustard has been sneaking onto the design front for some time and as always interior and fashion trends and fabrics go hand in hand.  We saw canary yellow and mustard first start trickling through via scatter cushion’s accents in art and ceramics, shoes and accessories but now now that it’s grown on the general public, you will see how its exploded onto the seen in many statement forms from velvet sofas and wall colours to coats and suits.

Ive picked out a few of my favourite mustard colour items that can be shopped around the globe.

For Subtle Accents Shop these pieces below:

Throw here // Vase here// Leather Mules here// Scatter cushions available soon here

For making a Mustard statement shop these pieces:

Velvet Jacket here // Rug available online soon here // Sofa here // Skirt here

I love this rich warm colour against dark backdrops like navy, black and charcoal.  The colour is equally eye catching with clashing colours like pink, red blues and teal.  See some pics below for Inspiration in the home or for your closet.

 

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The New Jean Silhouette

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Well it’s hardly brand new but it’s certainly taken some time to get us creatures of habit out of our skinnies!

Some of us would have been wearing a high rise jean for some time (a skinny high rise).   But how on earth have these skinnies fill up our jean rails for the last decade + ? Not a glimmer of hope or a bat of an eyelid for any other style.  A much needed change of jean silhouette was needed, and what better way to bring the denim back to life with the best authentic, lived in real jean look that the likes of Levi’s, gave everyone back in the 70’s, a real bum, and a longer leg.  Be it cropped or full length you absolutely have to get real again and get your non stretch, hard wearing, straight leg, high waisted jean on!

Whilst sussing out some perfect pics to get you all onboard I came across two articles that I found highly entertaining and thought I would share a snippet of both.  I have to say if you read the full article by Man Repeller, she doesn’t instil much confidence as far as the comfort levels go but believe me, mine are oh so comfy, and whilst the eating factor is absolutely true, if I eat a little I find myself with this little kangaroo type pouch between my button and my “you know what”.  Regardless, Im in love!

Man Repeller wrote:

“There is nothing more enticing than the prospect of encasing my loin fruits in a suction cup of denim that fastens right below the ribcage. I pull the 11-inch zipper up slowly, relishing in the compact delight of two halves of this delicious Levi’s sandwich becoming one, circling my torso in a perfectly sized love lock. I look in the mirror. A hologram of Ryan Gosling dips a finger in the blood of my enemies and writes on the glass, “Hey girl, did you swap butts with a young Brooke Shields or are you just wearing your favorite high-waist jeans?”

Vogue Wrote:

“Rigid, 100 per cent cotton denim jeans – the original androgynous utility staple – have been overlooked during the decade-long rise of stretchy, spray-on skinnies. How did these clingy, wafer-thin, denim-ish imposters, which are not actually jeans, achieve world domination? They fed our weakest desires for a teenage sort of comfort and provided the illusion of a lean figure, instantly. Somehow it had become acceptable to wear a pair of mock-denim leggings with belt loops and fake rips at the knees outside the house for the sake of that streamlined silhouette. Impatience also played a part.”

Shop the High Waisted Jean

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Topshop Moto Straight leg
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Levi’s 501 Tapered Crop High Rise

 

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Current Elliot High Rise Kick Flare

And if you can’t be forced into it all that just yet, I always swear by the high rise Jamie Jean, if you’ve been a client of mine you would of almost certainly have bought a pair on a shop!

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Topshop Jamie

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