The ultimate in classic style; silk blouses are perfect way of dressing up a dull work outfit or a boring pair of jeans. A silk shirt can turn an everyday outfit into something really special with hardly any effort.
A silk blouse is a garment made from silk that can have long, short or no sleeves. They can be loose or tailored in style. Blouses differ from shirts as they are typically women's garments and are, therefore, more feminine in style, compared to the more masculine cut of shirts. Blouses come in an enormous variety of styles and designs; there are so many to choose from.
Choose from blouses with a Peter Pan collar, a ruffled collar or a Mandarin collar, to name but a few. Silk blouses can be plain and unembellished, or feature embroidered designs. The fabric may be plain or patterned- the world is your oyster!
Some styles of blouses have identifying names. A secretary blouse, for example, describes the style of blouse which has a bow-tie detail at the neck. A peasant blouse features intricate embroidery, full sleeves and a low neckline, and smocking may also feature. A poet's blouse has full sleeves with ruffles at the cuffs and collar. Picture an image of the Romantic poet, Lord Byron, for an idea of what this type of blouse looks like! All these styles of blouses work well in silk as it is a flowing material that lends itself well to drapes, ruffles and folds and is, therefore, highly flattering, especially for mature figures.
Silk is a natural protein fibre fabric that comes from certain insect larvae- the best known silk is made from cocoons of mulberry silk larvae. Silk has been synonymous with luxury since ancient China when it formed an important part of trade along the 'Silk Road' into western Asia. Today, silk is as popular as ever.
Silk is a highly absorbent fabric, which means that it is cool to wear in hot weather, and equally comfortable to wear in winter as its low conductivity traps a layer of warm air near to the skin. It is perfect for blouses, particularly in hot countries as biting insects, such as mosquitos, are unable to piece the fabric. The natural fibres also mean that it is perfect for people who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema.
Caring for your silk blouse is surprisingly easy, although it is a delicate fabric as it releases dirt easily Wash on a cool temperature with a mild detergent. After washing, roll it in a towel to absorb most of the water. Hang it to air dry but do not expose it to strong sunlight. Only iron if absolutely necessary, and then between a tea towel on the coolest setting.
A silk blouse can be adapted so that it is suitable for almost any occasion, although perhaps not for a day's work on the farm!
For daytime wear, team a loose white blouse with a pair of skinny jeans, boots and chunky jewellery. Womens silk blouses look great when teamed with a crisp formal jacket or waistcoat. If you are going to a concert or fete, why not wear a silk blouse with tye-dye stripes or a vibrant pattern? Wear it with loose palazzo pants for a fresh and funky look.
For evening wear, one could channel the history of silk by wearing a chic Chinese-style blouse in a vibrant cerise or emerald green. A sleeveless blouse with a mandarin collar would also look stunning with a pair of tailored black trousers or a pencil skirt, and would make a charming outfit for drinks after work.
To conclude, silk blouses are so versatile one belongs in every wardrobe and with so many designs and styles available, there is bound to be one to suit every occasion.