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FLAX For Summer 2017 and Happy Mother's Day

By Joan Fenton
on May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Hoping you have time to relax and enjoy the day and perhaps show off a new piece of FLAX linen clothing. Here in Charlottesville we are hoping for sun today, after several days of rain. 

The  response to the FLAX colors and styles this year has been incredible. 

We thought you might want to check out some of our favorites in case you missed them. These are top choices with both our customers and staff. 

The most popular dress has far and away been the Stretched Top, from the Bold collection. It just looks good on everyone (not just the model in the photo!).

Several members of our Williamsburg staff can be seen wearing the Tank Tunic from the Sunshine Collection 2017, a sleeveless long tank with pockets. The Artful Blouse, from Bold 2017 is my favorite and I now have it in four colors and am thinking about a fifth. I often wear it over a tank top as a lightweight jacket. The Cool Top from Neutral is a favorite among our customers. 

Flax now has two great shorts to chose from, and they are perfect for summer and for sports. The Explorer Shorts, offered in a wide variety of colors, was new for 2017, while the Sun Short was brought back from 2017

The old favorites, the Flood Pant and Ankle Pant continue to be our best selling pants. Many people were  introduced to FLAX when they bought their first pair of Floods.  We have customers that have had a pair for 10 or even 20 years!

The Ankle Pant is a more recent staple of the line, with a slimmer look. This year the Streamed Ankle was introduced as a slight variation on that style that you may want to take a look at. 

The Audrey Pant has been an extremely popular addition. Audrey is a higher waist, fuller in the stomach/butt area but long and slimmer in the leg.

To all of you, we wish you and your moms a happy Mother's Day.

And wherever you are, we hope it's a sunny day. 

Sizing and Fabric and choices - OH MY!

By Joan Fenton
on October 28, 2015

Good Morning Linenwoman.com customers! 

I do hope the day finds you well and you are enjoying your shopping experience here on our website. 

After fielding some  emails and phone calls regarding size options and also processing some returns due to incorrect sizing, I have decided to post a blog that may be helpful as you proceed through the process of making your next FLAX selection. 

There are a lot of choices and we understand (especially for new customers) that picking the right fabric in the right size can be daunting, especially when there are words used like - over sized - roomy and bias, to name a few....Here in the store, all we have to do is take one look at a customer and USUALLY we can get you in the right size first try - we are that good! Unfortunately we are not so tech savvy as to have an online personal shopper that can see you - but....we want to offer you the same personal experience and expertise that we would offer you in store - online. 

I cant say it enough.....

Please  email me with your questions  at info@linenwoman.com

And if you have trouble navigating the web site, call me (434) 293-1800 and I can help you through it or we can do phone order, and make sure you are getting the right size.

We are here in the boutique in Charlottesville, Virginia - Monday through Friday  from 10am - 4:30 pm, someone is always available to talk to you and help with any questions or issues you may encounter. If we happen to be particularly busy we may have to take your name and number and call you back, but rest assured we will get back to you just as soon as its possible...We truly love helping our customers!

Until then....here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind when shopping with us online.

FABRICS: linen is a natural fiber and when you put it on and it warms with your body temperature the fibers will expand and grow a bit. This is a blanket statement for everyone, no matter body type or size, linen fibers always expand. 

Often in the boutique we will see women who may have larger chest measurements come in between sizes - one is snug, the other too loose. Our standard response is to always stick with the more snug rather than moving up to the too loose - because regardless of snug or loose - the linen will GROW. If you jump up a size you will end up being unhappy when the loose gets even looser. Most often, the growth is just enough to make a piece that starts off snug fit perfectly within an hour of having it on. 

To figure out if your piece may grow just enough, check your "wing span" which is our way of saying, move your arms like a rower. If your seams feel compromised, then the piece is too small - however....it just feels slightly snug this is probably the right size and you just need to wear it a bit for it to loosen. This fit test applies to pants as well, just sit down in a chair a few times and evaluate your seams. 

If you have areas that are more endowed than others, naturally you will see the expansion happen there the most - so don't fret over body parts that may be somewhat problematic in other synthetic fabrics - linen loves curves....

I have have had a few regular customers call me regarding the "standard" linen vs. the handkerchief and gauze weights; confusion over what's what? 

The "standard" linen that FLAX has always used is the linen that you will find in the neutral collections. This linen is lightweight enough to wear in spring and summer, but can also be layered and worn all year. The texture is soft and natural feeling, not bumpy or dimpled in any way.

"Handkerchief" linen is available in some pieces in the neutral collections and is just a touch lighter than the standard weight I discussed above. It is very airy feeling on the body, extremely light weight and perfect for very warm/humid climates. Because it is a thinner variety it can be somewhat transparent in some colors and so if you have any questions regarding the peek a boo effect, call us directly and we will help you discern if it's right for you. I will say that a number of women who experience those bazaar "episodes" of tropic like heat waves in the middle of December, really love the lightness to the handkerchief linen which can be layered comfortably without threatening to melt you like a snowman in June.....

"Gauze" linen is just that, a gauze weave of linen fibers. This is the lightest version we carry and often will need something worn underneath as the weave is loose and somewhat see through. There is definite texture to this linen and we suggest that in these pieces you choose a loose fit as any undue stress on the delicate seaming can pull and damage this beautiful fabric. If you need help deciding... call me.

Other weights....Throughout the year FLAX will produce several seasonal collections and in those collections weaves may differ. For example, the "transition collection" for 2015 has a "twill" linen which has two colors woven in a lightly raised and heavier weave. These unique collections always differ and have special, unique characteristics! We try really hard to always provide accurate descriptions for each individual piece, but as always, if you have questions (434) 293-1800.

Now that you have a little more info on the fabrics and how they wear, lets move on to sizing issues - this is always the hardest part of getting acclimated to this product as the sizing is NOT typical to mainstream sizing. 

FLAX is always over sized and we always recommend that you go down one full size, at least. This can vary somewhat depending on the collection; for example the new "in motion" collection is meant to be roomy in addition to the typical over sizing and in some of these pieces customers who typically wear a large are wearing a small. I kid you not! 

In the boutique we are met with resistance about 50% of the time when making sizing suggestions to first time FLAX customers. New customers who have no history with the product tend to think we are over complimenting to make a sale! We aren't - FLAX sizing runs large - trust us - we want you to be in the right piece and happy!

The only time that we suggest you stick to your "regular" size is when you see the word BIAS or BIAS CUT and, if you have a larger chest or wider back. 

Take me for example. I am 145 pounds and I wear a 36D for a bra size. I am almost always a Petite in FLAX - however....because bias pieces are cut on the diagonal and have a slimmer shape along the rib cage, I wear a small in these pieces to accommodate my chest and wider back region. If I was not a D cup, petite would work just fine. Again.....Confused???....CALL ME (434) 293-1800

Pants are a little easier to fit for the first time as they are all pretty loose fit and accommodating. The hardest part with pants is typically finding the right length as MOST Flax pants tend to hit right at the ankle and some women are taller than average height. Please read the individual descriptions as they tend to be more revealing than the photos (keep in mind the FLAX models are about 5'10)

Leg fit and cut will be personal preference, but sizing is more consistent for bottoms - if you need help finding the right pant fit for your body type, just call us and with a few simple measurement questions we should be able to get you outfitted correctly. 

This is the recommended sizing table used in store:

Petite  sizes 6 - 10

Small sizes  10 - 14

Medium sizes  14 - 18

Large sizes  18 - 20

1G sizes  20 - 22

2G sizes 24 - 26

3G sizes 28 - 30

I really do hope that this blog was helpful! I can't answer a question until it is asked..... and so, I am anxiously waiting to hear from you. Keep in mind that no question is too small or too silly for us to answer - we are here for our customers and enjoy the process of getting to know you - it helps us serve you better! 

Have a blessed day and wonderful shopping experience!




Our staff welcomes you

By Joan Fenton
on September 03, 2014

For those of you who have visited our two locations in Charlottesville Virginia, it is very likely that we have met in person as I have had the extreme pleasure of working for Joan and her wonderful family for the better part of seventeen years - If we have met, I hope you came away from our time with a strong sense of my commitment to provide you with exceptional customer service. After Joan herself hand selects product lines that we can stand behind and believe in; she leaves the sales floor to an amazing team of women who strive to give the best service to you, our customer.

Technology has certainly changed the face of retail sales and we have considered this with each step while building this website; how do we meet the demand for our customers who are far away and yet retain the personal experience we are known for and so proud of? 

The answer is - we will be as available to you online as we are in person and treat you as if you're right here with us.

With that said, we encourage you to request help at any time during your shopping experience. Feel free to pick up the phone and call us directly, there is no unimportant question. 

We have been known to model clothes - send pictures via text messages and email - pick the perfect accessories - whip out tape measures - search for hard to find items - do whatever it takes to make our customers smile and we hope this continues or I personally, will be very bored! Although we won't reap the rewards of seeing your smile in person - it remains our #1 goal as a staff - your satisfaction. 

We are very grateful to have the opportunity to expand our customer base and to keep in touch with those of you who have been so faithful after visiting us in our stores. We appreciate your business, your trust and your continued support of small business and quality products.

On behalf of all of my amazing co-workers, we welcome you (or welcome you back) and cannot wait to serve your fashion needs.

This is so exciting! 





Welcome to the FLAX Catalog

By Joan Fenton
on July 29, 2014

We are so excited to finally be able to offer a selection of  FLAX brand linen clothing for women on line. Customers in our stores come from all over the country, and for the past three years they have been asking us to make it easy for them to shop with us from home. And we have finally done it!

Not everything we have in our stores is posted online, so if you are looking for an older style, or something in a size we don't list on line, please contact us, and we are happy to see if we can locate it for you, email you photos, and do what we can to help you. We believe in customer service and we will do whatever we can to help you.

And of course we would love to have you shop with us in person. We are located  on the Historic Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Va.,  and in Merchants Square, next to Colonial Williamsburg. We have a limited selection of FLAX also available at our store in Hot Springs, Virginia, a quaint little town next to the Homestead Resort.

All of our staff loves helping you find the perfect coordinating outfit, in colors and shapes  that you will wear year after year. And we will also suggest places for dining and lodging if you are coming to see us.

From all of us at J. Fenton Too and Quilts Unlimited, thanks for shopping with us.

And please, let us know if there are ways we can improve this site. It's all new and exciting, but I am sure there are lots of things we need to learn how to do better.




Joan Fenton

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