If linen were a person: it would be a cool, wise, older woman in your life with excellent taste who’s into slow fashion. The fiber is ancient, appearing on the historical record as early as 4500 BC — and, despite several millennia’s worth of advancements in fabric technology, we’re still growing flax and spinning linen in the manner of our ancestors. Based on this image of the world’s oldest dress, the patterns haven’t changed much either (we're envisioning something very similar on Etsy). There are countless reasons as to why we reach for this age-old fabric again and again when the temperatures climb; below, we've outlined a few along with some shining shoppable examples.
As a biodegradable and renewable material, linen is much better for the environment than its synthetic man-made cousins (like polyester). It outranks its peers in the natural world (like cotton) by requiring significantly less water to grow and offering more durability in the long-run — meaning that linen dress of yours will last longer than that poplin button-down. Plus, linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture without feeling sodden. Although it is admittedly wrinkle-prone, we’ve all been known to buy distressed denim or pre-scuffed shoes — so some gentle rumpling on your top or dress shouldn’t be cause for concern. TLDR: If there’s a fabric you can trust to keep you naturally coolest in the summer that's better than linen, we've yet to encounter it.
Ahead, find 14 breezy examples (in garment form) that prove it — from lightweight jumpsuits to flowy pants, frocks, and beyond.
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Here at Refinery29, I’ve become the resident expert on underwear. How often should you change your skivvies? Should you wear panties to bed? I’m the go-to gal for these kinds of below-the-belt questions. But when my editors asked me to write about how often you need to replace your undies, I balked. I thought of my overcrowded lingerie drawer, stuffed to the brim with an assortment of thongs and boyshorts. While I bought some pairs more recently, probably half of them were paid for with coupons in college. I even have a few stray pairs from high school. (If you think I’m going to throw away the black and pink starred pair I wore before I lost my virginity, you don’t get me!) When I did a quick Google search for how often I should be replacing my underwear, I was dismayed to see that the first result was from a men’s fashion blog stating the “rule of thumb” was that you should refresh your supply of undergarments every six to 12 months. I shuddered and thought: Oh my god! Am I… gross? But luckily for my sense of self, I pushed further in my research, and got on the phone with Philip M. Tierno, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University School of Medicine, and author of the upcoming book, First, Wear A Face Mask: A Doctor’s Guide to Reducing Risk of Infection During the Pandemic and Beyond. Tierno says that as long as you’re washing your underwear after every use, there’s no germ-related reason to toss out your old knickers after some arbitrary period of time. They don’t have an expiration date. “As long as you’re washing and disinfecting your underwear, and they’re mechanically functional, with no holes, and they’re not soiled, you can keep those,” Tierno says. “When they become frayed or the elastic stops working, you’ll know to replace them.” To properly clean your drawers between wears, toss them in the washing machine preferably with a detergent that contains peroxide, on the hottest setting recommended on the care label.Still, even after you wash your underwear, there will likely be some bacteria looming on the fabric — there’s about one-tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of “clean” underwear, 2001 research from the Journal of Infection found. But the vast majority of bacteria will be eradicated with a proper wash, and the small amount that sticks around won’t hurt you, Dr. Tierno says. “Washing machines may not kill all the organisms, but there’s another phenomenon, the inoculum effect, which means it takes a certain amount of organisms to cause and infection,” he says. Your machine won’t leave behind enough microbes to create a problem for you, Tierno says. If you want to be extra careful, disinfect your washing machine by running a bleach cycle with no clothes on a monthly basis, to make sure it’s not collecting extra bacteria, he recommends. So, as it turns out, underwear are not like toothbrushes, and don’t need to be replaced cyclically for bacterial reasons. As long as you’re donning a fresh pair every day, and washing them after every use, you can wear them until they’re old and dingy looking. And yes — it’s fine to save older, more memorable bloomers for the odd trip down memory lane. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Is Sleeping With Underwear On Bad For The Vagina?When Was The Last Time You Changed Your Underwear?The Best Moisture Wicking Underwear For Summer
Fox News may have been on to something when they claimed in June that the Democratic Party has plans to attack and dethrone God. At least that’s what President Trump thinks. Ahead of a campaign stop at the Whirlpool Manufacturing Plant in Clyde, Ohio, the president addressed supporters with a warning: If Joe Biden wins, he is going to hurt God. You heard it here first!In a campaign rally-style speech on the Cleveland airport tarmac, Trump told his supporters that Biden is “following the radical left agenda,” despite Biden’s center right politics. The president added that Biden will “take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God.” > A completely deranged Trump claims Joe Biden will “hurt God” if elected president pic.twitter.com/cJ8fbghmAm> > — Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 6, 2020Trump might feel strongly about protecting both God and the Bible from a Biden presidency, but, ironically, when previously asked to name some of his favorite Bible verses, he couldn’t, claiming it was “very personal” and he doesn’t “want to get into specifics.” For Trump, the Bible is both a reason to tear gas protestors and something that must be protected from Biden at all costs. But the Biden campaign, to our knowledge, has not tried to attack or “hurt God” in any way. Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Biden said in a statement that the presumptive Democratic nominee’s faith “is at the core of who he is.” The statement added, “Donald Trump is the only president in our history to have tear-gassed peaceful Americans and thrown a priest out of his church just so he could profane it—and a Bible—for his own cynical optics.” Trump has gone after Biden for months with a line of strange and downright false attacks. Biden is “sleepy,” “corrupt,” and “weak,” according to the president, who wants his supporters to believe that despite it all, Biden also has the power to destroy God. Trump has repeatedly mocked Biden’s mental fitness, running Facebook ads with tiles like, “Joe Biden is clearly diminished,” and “Do you think Joe Biden has the mental fortitude to be president?” More recently, Trump has gone after the former vice president with claims that he embraces “the policies of the radical left,” like amnesty for undocumented immigrants and police abolition. These claims are simply not true. Biden has taken the same stance as the president when it comes to militant protestors, previously stating they should be prosecuted. It’s entirely unclear what God has done to deserve Joe Biden’s alleged wrath, but it seems Trump feels that his opponent possesses much more power than we even knew!Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Facebook Has Finally Decided To Censor TrumpWhat Does Biden Really Think About Kamala Harris?Is Trump's Administration Violating The Hatch Act?
Video released Wednesday shows a Black man incarcerated in a North Carolina prison being restrained and telling officers, “I can’t breathe.” Two days later, 56-year-old John Neville died of injuries related to the incident. The video of the December 2 incident was released after Forsyth County Superior Court Judge R. Gregory Horne issued a ruling allowing it because he said the footage “is necessary to advance a compelling public interest,” ABC News reported.Neville was being held at the Forsyth County Detention Center in Winston-Salem on a pending charge of assaulting a woman; he was booked into the jail on December 1, the day before the incident. He reportedly fell from the top bunk in his cell and a nurse and five officers responded to offer assistance. After checking his vitals, a bag was placed over his head supposedly to prevent him from spitting, he was handcuffed, and transferred to another cell for monitoring. The video shows him face down with five officers holding him down, hands cuffed behind his back, while he repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe.”While the correctional officers attempted to remove the cuffs and could not, needing bolt cutters to ultimately remove them, Neville remained face down and complained that he was having trouble breathing. At one point, one of the officers responds, “You can breathe — you’re talking aren’t you?”Neville died two days later in a hospital, and an autopsy concluded that he died from a brain injury caused by the way he had been restrained.All five officers have were fired after the incident, while the nurse is on paid leave and has the support of Wellpath, the company that employs her. A spokesperson for Wellpath told ABC News that the nurse did not engage in any misconduct and when she was able to treat Neville, she tried to save him. All six were charged with involuntary manslaughter and the Forsyth County Sheriff has issued an apology, admitting that “mistakes were made” that day and saying he cried upon seeing the footage. According to the New York Times, the sheriff, Bobby F. Kimbrough Jr., offered to name the housing unit of the jail after Neville “as a reminder to let [people incarcerated there] know that life is paramount in how we do business.”The video is one more in a long line of cases where Black people are restrained and plead that they cannot breathe shortly before they die. Eric Garner in 2014; Elijah McLean in 2019; George Floyd and 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks in 2020. The New York Times published a report earlier this year examining 70 cases in which a victim said they couldn’t breathe before dying in police custody, over half of which were Black.On Wednesday night, following the release of the footage, a vigil was held to remember Neville. Earlier that afternoon, Neville’s family joined protesters as they marched outside the courthouse in Winston-Salem.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Aurora Police Handcuffed Black Family Over Mix-UpTony McDade, A Black Trans Man, Was Shot By PoliceSandra Bland's Death Proves Cameras Aren't Enough
Four out of five babies born in 2015 started out being breastfed. But by the time they were six months old, that number had dropped to under 58%, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.While there are benefits to breastfeeding, there’s nothing wrong with making a choice to stop if you find that it doesn’t work for you or your family at any point. That said, it’s likely that at least some of the parents who gave it up between their child’s first days on Earth and their sixth month wanted to keep going — but hit a roadblock along the way. And that’s something a lactation consultant possibly could have helped with.“Even though breastfeeding is natural, that doesn’t mean it’s automatic,” says Linda Dahl, MD, founder of the Dahl Otolaryngology Center in New York City and author of the Clinical Guide to Breastfeeding. “It’s not something that you’ll just know how to do. You might, but getting help and getting guidance for it, for some moms, is absolutely essential.”Dr. Dahl knows what she’s talking about. Seventeen years ago, she had trouble breastfeeding her own newborn. “I experienced first-hand what mothers go through. Sadly it’s really not that different 17 years later,” she tells Refinery29. “There’s literally nothing in Western medicine about breastfeeding,” she explains. “No matter which residency you go through, you maybe get a lecture on breastfeeding. And it’s not even about breastfeeding, it’s about breast milk and how it’s made.”Today, Dr. Dahl helps infants with breastfeeding issues — in part by working closely with lactation consultants, whose job it is to offer guidance to parents who need it. This guide offers up everything you need to know about the practice, and how to figure out whether it’s the right fit for you. What is a lactation consultant, exactly?A lactation consultant helps you with breastfeeding. You can call one for just about any related issue: if you’re having persistent pain while breastfeeding, if you’re experiencing latching issues, if you feel your baby isn’t getting enough milk, or if you worry they’re nursing for too long. Tip: Look for a consultant who has an IBCLC, or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, certification, suggests Sarah Eichler, IBCLC, LCCE, a lactation consultant based in Brooklyn, NY. “To become an IBCLC, you need to get clinical hands-on practice,” she says. “You can do it with a mentor, which is what I did. Then you have to have a minimum of 500 clinical hours.” You can also get a bachelor’s degree in human lactation, she says, but in the U.S., there aren’t many programs available. There’s another route available for nurses and doctors who wish to become certified lactation consultants, Eichler adds. There are other certifications a lactation consultant could have, such as Certified Breastfeeding Counselor or Certified Lactation Counselor — but IBCLC is the gold standard.To find a consultant, start with your pediatrician; they might have one working in their office. If not, ask your healthcare provider for recommendations. What can I expect at a lactation consultant appointment? Here’s what Eichler’s appointments look like: After reviewing your medical history, she will ask you to nurse your baby on each breast. She’ll assess the baby to make sure they’re latching properly and nursing comfortably, and weigh the baby before and after feeding to determine how much they’re eating. Eichler might show you different nursing positions, and you’ll have a chance to bring up any concerns you have. You can ask about how to pump or store breastmilk, for instance, or if a certain sensation is normal, or about supplementing with formula. Expect an appointment to last one or two hours.Follow-up appointments are often not necessary, but they’re available if more help is needed. You might have a second appointment if your baby isn’t gaining weight, if you’re trying to switch from the bottle back to the breast, or if you’re having issues with milk supply, Eichler says. Can I see a lactation consultant during the pandemic?Yes. Some are still offering in-person appointments. But these days, there are plenty of lactation consultants who offer virtual options too. Andrea Syms-Brown, IBCLC, RLC, a lactation consultant who owns her own private practice called Baby In The Family, has operated on a virtual-only basis since January — something that has come in handy since COVID-19 hit. Syms-Brown’s virtual appointments look kind of like Eichler’s: She’ll review your medical history, then assesses your breast and, if necessary, the baby’s mouth. She’ll answer any questions, and she always follows up. It just all happens via Zoom. How much do lactation consultants cost?“A lactation consultant can charge over $300 for a visit,” Dr. Dahl says, acknowledging that the price — often not covered by insurance — makes the service a privileged option: “It’s a very rich white woman thing.” She encourages people who could use help breastfeeding to seek out a consultant who does accept insurance (like she does). It might take a little legwork, but it can be worth it for a parent who really wants to breastfeed, but is having trouble getting started. “It does [often] come down to finances,” Eichler agrees. “A lot of people don’t get their session covered by insurance; that plays a huge part in getting support and how much support they will get. It’s not so cheap, it’s an investment. But it’s worthwhile.” That said, there are plenty of free lactation groups and videos out there for reference if you’re seeking help, and many new parents get the hang of breastfeeding without needing the extra support at all. There are options; it’s just a matter of trusting your intuition and finding the one that’s the best fit for you.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?A New Google AI Can Detect Breast CancerA Nursing Home Worker Opens Up About COVID-19The Top Body Pillows (Rated By Sound Sleepers)