Good on you for taking a sensible approach to parenting. Kids are not developing resilience and initiative under recent protective parenting trends, and this is not doing the children any favours. I was sent free-range at a similar age, and yes this was in the days of Graham Thorne, and the Beaumont children. My parents took a pragmatic approach. I like your reference to tricky people.
I have never understood the linen thing. It's such an uncomfortable fabric to wear and looks like you've worn it to bed. I have loved denim dresses though since forever.