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This Is the Only Material Europeans Love More Than Linen in the Summer

When it comes to summering in Europe and wanting to look like a local, linen is often the material you think of first. That makes sense—the billowy fabric is very Talented Mr. Ripley and Call Me By Your Name. And while lightweight linen dresses, shirts, pants, and skirts are certainly warm-weather staples across Italy, Spain, and France, they aren’t the only frequented options for staying both physically and aesthetically cool when the temperatures peak in said countries come June, July, and August. In fact, there’s one other material that might be even more trusted by Europeans during the summer months than linen: cotton poplin.

Like linen pieces, a cotton poplin blouse or pair of trousers is guaranteed to be extremely breathable and lightweight. Plus, if you pick a soft color like white or pastel pink or blue, you’ll benefit from the fact that lighter colors reflect most of the sun’s wavelengths, keeping them from heating up throughout the day. Linen, however, tends to wrinkle—like, immediately—whereas the tightness of the weave of cotton poplin makes it practically wrinkle-proof. It’s no wonder then that so many brands (and chic European passport holders) are choosing the latter breezy fabric option for the summer season ahead.

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