Casual Linen Dresses From J. Jill

It’s officially summer which means I reach for linen garments, more days than not. I’ve long since made peace with the wrinkle factor because, at 103 degrees in the shade, nothing looks too crisp.

I have a slew of linen pants but wasn’t a dress wearer until we moved to this hotter climate two years ago. Dresses are definitely the coolest form of linen you can wear…other than a caftan.Jennifer Connolly wearing vicuna colored linen dress

J.Jill has a really nice crop of linen dresses this summer in subtle, soft colors. They remind me of the colors one would see at the beach. They’re in varying lengths, sleeveless, patterned, loose, and/or fitted. Today I’m wearing this semi-fitted shirtdress. It’s 100% linen that’s machine wash and dry, making it an easy dress to have in heavy rotation this summer

It comes in a very pretty blue but I chose this tawny, vicuna color for a change. The torso has darts for a flattering fit then the skirt portion has inverted pleats to make it flowy. It’s available in XS-XL in regular, petite, plus and tall. I’m wearing a medium in the regular which is a bit large so size down one size. I’d prefer the small for me and I actually love this length because the waistband hits at my waist.

I’m wearing it with my Clarks wedges from several years ago which are still available here. They’re a really comfy wedge which gives me a tiny height boost and isn’t uncomfortable like a high heel.

Linen and Linen Blend Dresses

clarks annadel wedge on Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life
Wedges and platforms are my new best friends this summer as I embrace more skirts and dresses.side by side comparision of open knit sweater on over 50 blogger Jennifer Connolly

I love, love, love this open stitch sweater, and thought it would look good over the dress, but truthfully, it was not a great look on me. The loose sweater obscured the flattering shape of the dress which defeated the whole purpose. I do like it tossed around my shoulders and it would be great with pants or shorts.petite over 50 blogger wearing j.jill dress

I’m a big fan of J.Jill’s soft linen cardigans. They’re available in a variety of lengths are the perfect piece to give a little arm coverage for cooler days or just when you don’t want your arms on display. This is the Eve Long Cardi in Seaglass.

I love the soft combination of the sea glass color with the vicuna. It’s elegant yet still quite casual. Nature puts these colors together all the time, so they have a beautiful harmony.

More Linen Blend Cardigans

I don’t think there’s anything cooler and easier to wear in hot weather than a lightweight linen dress with a fine knit linen cardigan. I think they’d look cute with flat sandals and even cute with a pair of keds.

What kind of shoes do you wear with skirts and casual dresses for summer?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


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  1. Julie P
    June 26, 2020 / 8:47 pm

    I love linen in the summer. I had a dusty pink tunic with Capri pants with a split hem that I literally wore out!

  2. Nancy
    June 26, 2020 / 2:21 pm

    Love reading the comments—I learn so much. Just wanted to add that “vicuña” is a nice neutral color so it looks good with just about any accent color for jewelry, shoe or handbag. This dress would look good with red, lime green or yellow accessories. Definitely a bright color, pastels not so much.

    My favorite go-to sandals are rainbow scrappy crocs I purchased several years ago. Espadrilles would also look well with this dress.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:44 pm

      I love vicuña. It’s such a beautiful color.

  3. Griselle
    June 26, 2020 / 2:14 pm

    I love linen, wrinkles and all. Very pretty dress plus it looks comfortable.

  4. Anon
    June 26, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    I’m wearing a linen-cotton blend shirt right now. Cold water wash, 10 minutes in the dryer on extra low, hang to dry and voilà: no ironing required. It helps that there is a patterned print.

    Linen can’t be beat in the heat. I am not a fan of T-shirts in hot weather. Thank you for getting me to try linen. I’m a convert.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:45 pm

      I’m so glad you love it too. I think of linen as both gentile and elegant. Wrinkles and all 🙂

  5. Sue Daehlin
    June 26, 2020 / 12:15 pm

    Love that color and style on you. Very airy and soft.

  6. Christine
    June 26, 2020 / 11:57 am

    You look super in all the photos today! I love linen and J. Jill. I send my linen to the dry cleaners, specifying no starch or sizing or any kind. To fresh up linen at home, I use a steamer. I don’t iron anymore. I purchased my steamer with an gift card I received from Amazon. I have no idea now how I lived without one for decades!

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:46 pm

      I love my steamer!! They’re so easy

  7. Penelope
    June 26, 2020 / 11:05 am

    Great dress! I’d wear it in a heartbeat. We wear linen year round in our tropical climate and I’ve tried a gamut of garments. I find I like linen blends that hold shape and wrinkle less. And some linens, like any fiber, comes in various qualities. The higher end brands like Tommy Bahama and Ralph Lauren usually are good bets for quality linens that hold up better with superior quality fabrics.
    I like your shoes because the toe opening is curved rather than straight across the top of the toes. The latter shape hurts my feet. And I love cork heeled wedges. Light but give height. Great outfit. And I agree.. the color combo is very “driftwood and sea glass” charming. I wear the same color combo in loose linen slacks and a soft cotton cardigan on cool nights. Love it.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:48 pm

      I so agree, quality linen really is special.

  8. Sharon
    June 26, 2020 / 10:30 am

    I believe I enjoy seeing others in linen but every time I breakdown and purchase a piece I only feel comfortable wearing it at home. Therefore it ends up in the donation bag. I just keep going back to my all cotton.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:51 pm

      Cotton is wonderful too. If it works don’t fix it:)

  9. Elizabeth
    June 26, 2020 / 10:17 am

    Love linen ,wrinkles and all…wrinkles are the dead give away that you are wearing luxurious linen….love the shade of linen dress you are wearing but I love the maxi length now..

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:52 pm

      I’m in the market for a maxi too

  10. - Vicki Mikola Dack
    June 26, 2020 / 9:44 am

    Sorry, don’t like linen whatsoever! Had one blouse and got rid of the bloody darn thing! Spent way too time ironing the garment!!

  11. Julie Anne
    June 26, 2020 / 9:44 am

    Love that dress! You look great.

  12. Trish
    June 26, 2020 / 9:32 am

    LOve the dress,..very flattering style…,love linen
    I would probably wear with my leopard open toe wedges to give it a pop.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:53 pm

      Oh that would be fun!!

  13. Eve
    June 26, 2020 / 9:17 am

    This is a beautiful color. I love this dress but I’m so short waisted. I usually just avoid dresses with a waist. I love the look of linen and who doesn’t love shirt dresses. I can see a scarf to wrap around your shoulders for those cold restaurants or stores. They crank up the AC and you can go from 100 degrees to freezing in the places here in Summer.

    • Christine
      June 26, 2020 / 11:53 am

      FYI, Eve – I habitually shop J.Jill and saw this dress at the re-opening of my local store, plus they were offering 50% off everything for 7 days. It is short waisted! I am tall and long waisted. I miss the dresses of the ’60s and ’70s when the waist seam actually sat at the waist. I am uncomfortable, and look silly, in the current style that’s cut above the waist. I would recommend that you try this dress a try.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:55 pm

      I’m a convert to shirt dresses this summer

  14. Mary
    June 26, 2020 / 9:15 am

    That seagrass color is wonderful on you, Jennifer! A couple months back, you had on a cardigan from the Loft in a similar color, and I meant to say something at the time. I think it’s better than many true blues.

    Is the problem with the open-stitch sweater one of proportion? Does it break the rule of thirds or something? And not just the figure-defining squash?

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:57 pm

      Thanks Mary. I’m crazy about that color too. The open stitch sweater feels too square to go over a full skirt on me. It makes me look like I’m larger than I am.

  15. Linda Henderson
    June 26, 2020 / 8:19 am

    The dress looks great on you. I avoid linen for the obvious reasons but may have to rethink if our temps reach triple digits and stay there. You asked about summer shoes. I recently purchased a pair of Olu Kai sandals recommended by Cindy Hattersley on her blog and love them. Good fit and comfortable all day.

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 3:59 pm

      Thanks! I will check them out. I always love to find comfy shoes.

  16. Francesca B.
    June 26, 2020 / 8:04 am

    Love that dress Jennifer its a wonderful look! Might have to get that! I am finding so many great deals out there at the moment my summer wardrobe has really gone up a notch with the Covid sales just wish we could have friends over to look good for! J Jill have such beautiful colors, especially like the blue opal and caraway. My favorite sandals are my Garnet Hill Kork Ease Menzie ones that I got in the bronze and Rothy’s and then my trusty Birkenstocks. You know you are on to a good thing when your daughter wants to borrow them:) Happy weekend!

    • Jennifer
      June 26, 2020 / 4:00 pm

      Yes!! That’s a great sign 😉

  17. Rose
    June 26, 2020 / 7:31 am

    Like the linen dress on you. I think the dress would wrinkle less then linen pants. The wrinkling still bothers me. It doesn’t get that hot where I live so dressing for the heat isn’t too much of an issue. I’m more interested in the sweater and cardigans. Loved those!

  18. Rhonda Ragain
    June 26, 2020 / 6:37 am

    Jennifer, I absolutely love this linen dress and plan on ordering it today! Like you, I need a small, but the medium looks great! Love both colors offered and living in a similar climate, I need to step up my game with a couple of linen dresses. Shorts are fine, but there are so many times I need a more elegant and appropriate attire. You look wonderful!

  19. jmp
    June 26, 2020 / 6:15 am

    Your linen dress is beautiful! Linen is my go to in the summer and dresses are cooler than shorts on those really hot midwest days. J Jill has a wonderful selection. I used to buy a lot of my linen at Chicos, but they don’t seem to carry as much as they used to. The dress looks shorter on you than in the J Jill ad. I’m surprised yours isn’t a petite. It’s good info when I order mine! Thanks

  20. Rosemary Davis
    June 26, 2020 / 6:08 am


    I too am passed the wrinkle hating stage. And I am now a true lover of linen❣️

    A cool linen dress is the start of the best summer outfit here in sunny, humid, Florida. The color and loose cut of your today is perfect!


  21. Joyce Reardon
    June 26, 2020 / 5:29 am

    I do love JJIll and all of their linen. I may have to buy that dress! Looks great on you. I too love their lightweight cardigans. I’ve been wearing Charleston Shoe wedges. Love them! Comfy and washable!

    • Anb
      June 26, 2020 / 6:01 am

      I love Chico’s no iron linen. I own lots of it because you really don’t have to iron. I wash and hand to dry.

  22. Debbie Bell
    June 26, 2020 / 5:16 am

    I wonder how often we fail to wear a sundress a new way?
    Obviously, shirt dresses buttoning all the way down can mean you feel comfortable in dress shorts or capris bamboo leggings, but I’m hoping that some of my other dresses might do well over bamboo or breathable leggings and I’ll get more wear out of them.
    Linen cardigans to cover arms- great idea! Thank you

  23. Susan
    June 26, 2020 / 5:14 am

    You look very cool and summery in that linen dress and I am sure it will prove to be a work horse. I agree about the sweater – it detracts from the dress. I live in skirts and dresses over summer and as for shoe wear, I might wear white tennis shoes or my perforated Rollies (if walking) with the skirts, or if hot, sandals (either flat or with a tiny wedge). The dresses, usually a sandal, depending on whether I want to dress the look up or not. Sometimes a flat, or sandals similar to yours above. Not usually tennis shoes, unless I am walking to the shops and then I usuallythrow a pair on.

  24. Jan
    June 26, 2020 / 5:14 am

    Everything about your look today screams “I Love Summer”! You look cool and confident and I really like the minimal accessories needed to create this beautiful outfit!
    Sadly, my linen pieces do not include any dresses. I error on the side of looser rather than too snug for all my linen clothing. I wear an open toe, strap on sandal for most of the summer. I need the security of that fit so I’m not rolling my foot or stepping out of the shoe.
    On hot, humid, windy days, it’s so nice to have the option to pull your hair up off your neck. It’s a great look on you Jennifer!

  25. Diane B
    June 26, 2020 / 5:09 am

    This dress looks great on you. The fact that the waist works is a real bonus, as different manufacturers are all different in the cut. The colour is wonderful for summer and even looks cool. The cardi is so much better with it and makes me want to add to my collection. As for shoes/sandals, the idea of the keds is fun and light colour ballet flats or light sandals are go to items for me with dresses and skirts. Wondering how the colour analysis project is coming along? Is it difficult virtually? Have a wonderful weekend, and see you tomorrow.

  26. Paulette Levy
    June 26, 2020 / 3:15 am

    I rarely wear dresses but do wear long flowy palazzo type pants in tencel or linen. With these I wear either a strappy flat sandal.(however very little support) or like you, a wedge, though mine are not as tall in the wedge. I have achy knees so must be soooo careful. I do own two summer sleeveless dresses, but one is black and one is white. I rarely ever wear either. They are a heavy cotton like khaki material. They are knee length.
    (We don’t usually get into the high 90s or 100 degree range, though we do get very high humidity here. )

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