2011-05-11

Thrift Day. In Praise of Silk Shirts

Silk button-up shirts broke through my writer's block. I feel so inspired, I could write a thesis for my masters on why silk shirts are awesome. I will spare you and give you the I Should be in Bed version instead.
Silk shirts are awesome because they feel great.
Silk shirts are awesome because they look great.

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I have worn them tucked into a high waisted skirt.


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I have worn them layered with a crop top.


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I have worn them in a colour explosion.


But most often I wear them with my Gap jeans and an interesting piece of jewelry. My go-to outfit. We never get pictures because if the moment requires a go-to outfit, I am undoubtedly running late already. I always roll the cuffs and unbutton the first 2, maybe 3, buttons at the neck. In the world post-Lady Gaga, 2 buttons undone have lost their shock value, so I am currently pushing the boundaries at 3 buttons.
You can get yourself a beautiful silk shirt for a few hundred dollars or you can get yourself a beautiful silk shirt for a few dollars. It's your choice, I am not going to tell you how to live your life (I leave that in the capable hands of Tyra Banks) but I am going to tell you that thrift stores are full of silk blouses. Silk blouses that are ready to move on from their memory of being a choir shirt and start a new fashionable adventure. Since I have started my little silk shirt collection, I have rarely gone to a thrift store (be it big city or small town) without finding a few to try on. Though I already have at least 5 silk shirts, I wear them so much that I am actively looking to add more colours to my little slice of the rainbow. They breathe, skim the body in a flattering way without sticking to your tricky bits and tuck in rather cleanly.
The key to finding them in a thrift store starts with label reading but once you get the idea of what silk looks and feels like, they can quickly be spotted on the rack. It's hard to put in words exactly how silk feels different from polyester, but I always describe silk as feeling cool and smooth. Your fingers don't stick to the fabric and it you crumple a part of the shirt in your hand, it will leave a wrinkle.
Try different sizes of shirts on as well. A larger drapey style can fall of the shoulder a bit (scandalous) or a smaller size can tuck into something high waisted. Often clothes that are way too big can hide your figure but a larger silk shirt still hangs in a flattering way. Silk blouses skim the body but they will never cling to the body. That should be their tag line. Unfortunately if they are available for $4 at thrift stores everywhere, there isn't enough of a price mark-up to cover my cost as marketing director. Which is a pity because I would love to write a post encouraging people to buy silk button up shirts at the thrift store... but I just can't do it unless I get paid.

26 comments :

CC said...

Okay, now I have to go do me some thrifty shopping. I am having a serious craving for silk tank tops or sleeveless blouses right now. :) It went and got hot on us down here in The South and silk is so cool in the heat.
Thanks for the great post.

suzanne said...

i also love silk shirts! they are effortlessly amazing and perfect with pretty much everything. now that i see your collection, i definitely want to expand mine as well. love all of the colors!

-suzanne
awkwardly chic

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

I love silk skirts! Silk just feels so wonderful on the skin. And yours has a fantastic color!

Catherine said...

First, sparkly sequiny things, second brown leather belts, and now siLk blouses?? Is there no end to your genious?? I use to think I was good at thrifting, but you've sent me in a whole new direction....YipPee SkippEe!!!

SoulstoneLife said...

I try, oh how I try, but no cigar. It is my mission in life to find a silk blouse at a thrift store. Does this make me shallow? xox Nicole

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Silk shirts are awesome...classy and chic!! Unfortunately, I struggle with them in the heat we have in South Texas...but I love them...you are right about how they feel!!

Kate said...

The color explosion blows my mindddd. I love that outfit so much! I still can't handle going to thrift stores (we've been over this, and I know you've explained how you make it safer, but the thought of infestations still overwhelms me) but I am completely envious of your silk shirt collection! The only downside so far is that even water stains silk. But the look & feel is sooo nice.

Kinsey said...

3 buttons undone for me would get me sent home from work! You look lovely in those three outfits!

grace said...

I haven't worn a silk blouse since the early 90s, but you have me sold. I'll be checking them out at my thrift stores.

H said...

I agree they look great, but how do you wash them? You can't wear them more than once before washing and I'm too lazy to handwash things!

J'Anns Boutique said...

They are great! too bad I can never find any in my thrift stores. Love the colour explosion look :-)


A Girl's Next Best Friend

TijanaB said...

I loooove silk shirts but I find that anything that drapes like that makes my already big enough chest look much bigger. Maybe I just need to experiment with how I wear them?

On an unrelated note, there is a blonde girl that works for the landscaping company that takes care of my townhouse complex. Makes me think of you every single time.

Kenzie said...

I love your silk shirt collection and it always inspires me to go out and find some of my own. Unfortunately, I just don't think I pull them off as well as you, maybe I should try again!

One Cute Mom said...

Someone after my own heart. I lOVE silk blouses for the exact same reasons you wrote. My secret is that I can get them cheap at "Last Chance" a discount store from Nordstrom that we have here in Phoenix.

Karla said...

I agree, I'm always surprised at how many silk blouses (and clothing in general) I find at the thrift store. And usually I find them for less than $3.00. I know, it's awesome.
Though, I haven't found many bright colored blouses. The last one I found recently was a silk leopard print blouse. I saw it from far away and almost pounced on it when I spotted it. I'm on the look out for brights though... hopefully this weekend will be productive.

LOVE the blue one!

ajr said...

I'm totally sold on the look and feel of silk blouses - but I have the same question another commenter had - how to clean them? I'm fine with handwashing but would be worried about ruining the blouse. I guess if it was a $4 thrift store one, I wouldn't be so worried. :) I hate the thought of dry cleaning all the time...

Camille said...

agreed! Silk shirts are the ultimate form of flattery.

xoxo,
Camille
http://www.thedeweydecimals.com

briannelee said...

I love silk shirts too!!!

Happy Friday!

Natalya's Closet said...

I love all these outfits, you have amazing style :) XOXO, www.NatalyasCloset.com

Linda (little tin soldier) said...

You and Kendi have looked so amazing in your silk shirts! I confess I own both Equipment and thrift store silk. I don't know what Tyra would say except, "You're terrible yet terrific. Smile with your eyes!"

Melissa @ ClosetFloorFinds said...

Ooohhh. That blue one is soooo cute. I want to run to Goodwill RIGHT NOW!

Emma at Daily Clothes Fix said...

I adore these posts and your silk shirts are wonderful. Thanks for the "I should be in bed version" as it's nearly 1am and that is exactly where I should be.

kelsey williams said...

i am now on a mission for a silk shirt! i'll keep you updated :)

Lindsey A. Turner said...

Great photos! I am also loving silk blouses right now! They are so easy to find at thrift stores and they look so effortlessly cool!

Lindsey Turner
http://thriftandshout.blogspot.com

Lauren said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I grabbed 2 this week: 1 hot pink ($3), one leopard print ($6). Yippee!!

www.hemsandherbs.com

Ashleigh said...

Thanks for your inspirational post! I went to Goodwill's 50% off sale today and picked up two long sleeved, one sleeveless and one short sleeve/off the shoulder. I hope i can pull them off as well as you do!