Why everyone needs a silk shirt in the wardrobe?

As every style guide will tell you, one wardrobe staple you can’t live without is a simple, classic silk shirt, and a silk shirt in a neutral color (white, cream, grey or black) is often spotted in capsule wardrobe guides.

There is nothing quite like a silk shirt. It’s the symbol of effortless chic and it’s a timeless, completely versatile, always elegant addition to any wardrobe, which can be worn in all seasons and for all occasions.

Ten reasons to buy a silk shirt

Read on more details about ten reasons why you shouldn’t be without a classic silk shirt.

1. Silk is a symbol of effortless chic

Silk has always been worn by style icons, past and present, such as Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Lauren Hutton, Marilyn Monroe and more recently Victoria Beckham, Angleina Jolie and Olivia Palermo, to name but a few.  

2. A silk shirt is timeless

Buy a classic silk long sleeve top today and you can wear the same piece after ten years, even more, and still look stylish. That’s because silk tops have an inherent timeless sophistication that goes beyond seasonal trends. Browse through magazines and you’ll see fashion icons from fifty years ago wearing silk shirts that are proudly donned by present-day celebrities.

3. Women’s Silk Shirts are Incredibly Versatile

You can wear a classic white silky blouse with just about anything – a pair of skinny jeans, leather pants, pleated skirt, torn baggy jeans, leggings, tailored trousers, or even a pair of tattered denim shorts. You can style a silk top in so many different ways to achieve the look that you want for a casual lunch date with friends or a formal dinner date.

4. Women’s Silk Shirts are Comfortable and Luxurious

While the lightness and softness of silk fabric leave the wearer with a comfortable feel, it also makes wearing anything made of silk a very luxurious and sensuous experience. Because silk is such a lightweight natural fiber, a silk shirt will drape elegantly over your curves and give that effortlessly elegant look. Furthermore, the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber refracts light at different angles and makes it shimmer, creating a flattering glow for anyone wearing it.

5. Silk is good for all seasons and all climates 

Silk is one of the most breathable and absorbent fabrics and its natural temperature-regulating properties make it a good fabric for all climates and all seasons. It keeps you warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool in summer.

6. Mulberry silk is 100% natural and certified chemical-free

Natural fiber clothing may be more expensive up front, but it is a better investment in the long term as it keeps its form, color and style better than synthetic fabrics. It’s also a better option for the environment and the lack of ‘nasty’ chemicals must be better for our health!

7. Silk has numerous health benefits

Silk also appears to be associated with healing qualities that range from easing the symptoms of the menopause (due to its temperature-regulating properties), to anti-aging (as the protein in silk can adhere to the protein in the skin to form a barrier layer that retains water and has a plumping effect).

8. Silk is hypoallergenic

Silk is the most hypoallergenic of all materials, according to its natural protein composition, and is thus an excellent choice for anyone with allergies, sensitive skin, or even eczema.

9. Women’s Silk Shirts are Available in Endless Variety

Silk shirts are available in a wide range of colors, styles, and designs, including classic plain silk shirts. Australia’s favorite silk shirts include those in white and neutral tones, floral prints, animal prints, paisley prints, and bright patterns. Choose a women’s silk blouse with a V-neckline to elongate the neck or a collared silk shirt if you need something more formal to wear.

10. One of your wardrobe's most flexible items

One of the best things about a classic silk shirt is that it can be dressed up or down for a weekend brunch, the office, or date night.

What Makes Silk So Amazing

It’s Naturally Hypoallergenic (and Good for Your Skin!)

Silk is hypoallergenic, and thus a great choice of fabric for those with asthma, allergies, or sensitive skin. A tiny percentage of people are allergic to silk itself. Silk can help people ease their sensitivities, as it naturally wards off some of the world’s most common allergens, like dust mites and mold.

Silk is derived from the silkworm cocoons spun by silkworms. Silkworm cocoons are naturally designed to shield the worm from common predators and dangers, such as mites and fungus growth. Silk primarily consists of a protein called sericin, which organically repels lots of common allergens. Silk is also resistant to the growth of mildew, mold, and fungi, which are common irritants to us humans.

Other than being the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics, silk also won’t irritate sensitive skin. Silk is excellent at keeping your skin hydrated and plump. Silk fabrics have insulating properties, which keep moisture close to the skin. This decreases your skin’s loss of moisture. Silk fibers are also very smooth in texture, so silk won’t rub on and irritate your skin. These are some of the main reasons why silk pillowcases and sleeping masks have become so popular in recent years. Sleeping on silk can keep your silk hydrated and looking radiant. Other common fabrics like cotton tend to absorb the moisture from your skin, leaving your skin dry.

It’s Recyclable and Biodegradable

The fashion industry is a major contributor to global warming. Clothing made out of synthetic materials is generally not recyclable or biodegradable and thus ends up in landfills around the world. Clothing in landfills releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, when composed. If you’d like to do your part in reducing landfills, you can opt for clothes made from natural fibers such as silk, as these are durable, have a low environmental impact, and can be recycled.

Silk is a natural material that is very biodegradable. A biodegradable fabric is a fabric that can be broken down by bacteria alone over time. Clothing made from natural fibers like silk, cashmere, cotton, hemp, and wool naturally breaks down with time. It takes about 1 to 5 years for a fabric made out of 100% silk to decompose, depending on the conditions. This is much faster than the time it takes for synthetic textiles to break down. Polyester, for example, can take up to 200 years to decompose. Polyester is often used to make imitation silk, marketed as just ‘satin’.

After its useful life, silk fabrics can find a new purpose as soil or mulch. Silk is compostable, so you’re able to turn your old silk clothing into compost eventually. This process takes some time and patience, but can easily be done in your backyard. All you need to do to turn silk clothing into compost is to shred it up into small pieces, remove any tags or buttons (anything that cannot biodegrade), and toss it into your compost pile or bury it under some soil. You can add worms to your fertilizer or use a ‘hot compost’ to speed up the composting process. Then all you need is patience, as you let nature work its magic.

It Warms You Up in the Winter

Silk is one of the most insulating natural fibers. This means that silk clothing is great at keeping you warm. Silk also has an incredible warmth-to-thickness ratio. Even a thin and lightweight silk fabric can keep you warm when worn close to the skin. This is why silk fabrics are a popular choice for insulating clothing, especially undergarments.

Silk is such a thin and compact fabric that insulating clothes made out of silk can be worn even under the tightest clothes, such as skinny jeans and leggings. This makes silk clothing the perfect base layer when layering clothes in the winter to keep warm. As an added benefit, silk clothing is also perfect for traveling, as it barely takes up any space or weight in your suitcase.

To explain why silk can be so good at keeping you warm, we need to take a closer look at its structure. Silk is a natural protein fiber that is derived from the silkworm cocoon. Silkworms spin their cocoons using a single silk thread, which can be up to 1.6 kilometers in length. Humans (or machines) unravel these cocoons during the silk production process. When making silk, raw silk fibers also undergo a process called ‘degumming’, which makes the silk threads even smoother and softer. The final result is a very smooth and long silk thread. Unlike wool, there is no fuzz present on a silk fiber.

Thanks to this smoothness, silk threads can be woven very tightly. In a tight weave, each strand of silk is woven very close to the next one. The tighter the weave, the more insulating the fabric. A tightly woven silk clothing item helps trap your natural body heat next to your skin. The combination of silk fabric’s tight weave, along with its natural properties, makes for a very insulating fabric that can keep you warm in the winter.

It Keeps You Cool in the Summer

Other than keeping you warm in the winter, silk clothing can also keep you cool in the summer. Silk is capable of absorbing anywhere between 10-30 percent of its weight in moisture. This makes silk a moderately breathable fabric. Silk is also very lightweight and thin, which is a great help in keeping you cool. Loose-fitting silk clothes and accessories like silk scarves are great to wear in the summer.

While silk is a breathable fabric, animal (protein) fibers like silk and wool are not as absorbent as vegetable (cellulose) fibers like cotton. This means that silk cannot absorb large amounts of sweat. When wearing silk clothing in tropical climates, we recommend wearing loose silk clothing items such as scarves, tank tops, and maxi dresses, to avoid sweating. Tight silk clothing that is worn close to the skin, like silk underwear, can make you sweat in the summer heat, as silk is also a great insulator.

It’s Strong and Durable

There’s a reason why good-quality silk can last a lifetime. For a fabric so thin and lightweight, silk is extremely strong. Silk thread is so strong that it’s four times tougher than a steel thread of the same thickness. Hundreds of years ago, the Mongolians even made armor out of silk. Silk vests made out of many layers of quilted silk were used to dampen the impact of arrows sinking into the skin. Silk is not only strong but also has great elasticity and excellent resilience. Thanks to these valuable qualities, for a long time silk was the fabric of choice when manufacturing parachutes.

It’s Luxurious, Shiny and Soft

Other than being a durable fabric that’s not only good for the environment but also your skin, silk is simply beautiful to look at. There is no other fabric on this earth that can compare to silk’s luxurious appearance and feel.

Silk fabrics have a beautiful sheen, thanks to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber. The shape of a silk fiber refracts light at different angles, which gives it a shimmering appearance. The shine of a silk fabric also depends on the weaving or production method used on the silk. Silk is a wonderfully versatile material, which can be woven into many different weaves. Some popular weaves include satin, chiffon, twill, and crepe. Each of these weaves gives the silk a different and distinct look. Silk satin, also called silk charmeuse, is the glossiest of the weaves.

Silk also has other qualities that are ideal for the fashion industry. For example, silk clothing has vibrant colors, as silk can very easily absorb dyes. Silk also has a beautiful drape that can be used to create beautiful gowns and other designs. Its beautiful drape makes silk clothing flattering on the body.

Tips on How to Care for Your Silk Shirt

Correct Way To Hand Wash Silk

Use these techniques to hand wash clothes the correct way. Even though most silk clothing says, “dry clean only,” with the correct methods, safely hand wash silk at home.

First, soak the silk clothes in lukewarm or cold water.

Add a few drops of gentle homemade laundry detergents and mix well with water. Let it soak for three minutes. Gently turn around the garment in a circle. Rinse the garment in cold water to remove any soap.

Place wet silk clothes on a dry towel. Roll it up from one end to the other end to take out excess water. Hang to air-dry!

Silk Cycle Washing Machine

Sometimes being lazy is ok, especially when it comes to doing silk laundry. Set the washing machine on a low heat setting and a gentle wash cycle. Only wash silk clothes with similar colors in each load. Use a mild detergent that is silk-friendly.

Always, place silk garments in a Mesh Bag, as this will protect delicates from snagging or tangling during the wash cycle. Don’t forget to air-dry and NEVER put silk fabric items in the dryer!

A silk blouse is a timeless addition to your wardrobe that will prove to be a valuable investment over the years. If you have never owned a silk shirt, now is the time to get one for yourself and see how this delicate piece of clothing can become the perfect complement to your outfit.