Smooth as: get silky this season

Silk not only looks beautiful, it feels soft, sensual and sensational, too. Find out how to wear it – and how to keep it looking lush.

Once-upon-a-time, silk was an ancient Chinese secret; today, the story of this luxurious fabric is on every fashionista’s lips. Cultivated from the fibres produced by silkworms, silk is light, soft and creates an eternally elegant silhouette. With its seductive sheen and intense allure, silk is popular for evening wear – and in the bedroom. But, if you take good care of it, silk doesn’t have to be confined to extravagant nights out and indulgent nights in. Silk is a very wearable fabric: a few carefully chosen ‘everyday’ pieces and accessories can fast become beloved wardrobe staples.

Stop! In the name of silk

(above) If you’re looking for head-turning eveningwear, a silk slip is the ultimate designer investment

Silk demands attention. If you’re looking for head-turning eveningwear, a silk slip is the ultimate designer investment, evoking the underwear as outerwear trend in luxurious style. Look for muted tones in light blue, dusty pink, oyster or sage green for a subtle shimmer, or vamp it up – making a nod to the on-trend seventies – with an emerald, crimson, mustard or berry shade. If you’d rather leave more to the imagination, a midi or full-length shirt-dress in silk looks stylish and modest; silk georgette satin, with its gentle crepe texture, adds to the demure impact of this look. If you want an edgier way to wear silk, try a velvet blend easy-fit dress, or a culotte-style jumpsuit, and channel your inner 1990s diva.

Silk staples

Silk shirts, for men and women, are timeless classics. Whether you go retro in a bold paisley print, or minimal modernist, with a straight fit, button down style, silk shirts can be dressed up with tailored skirts, trousers and jackets, or dressed down with jeans, cords and cardigans. For guys, marble and floral prints on pure silk are on trend and look great with black, skinny-fit jeans and Chelsea boots; womenswear is all about the collar – choose from pussy bow, crew, stand-up or classic – and printed silk looks particularly decadent. To make a big impression, try double silk: a beautiful shirt paired with a pleated silk skirt is beyond sophisticated.

Mixing and matching

Another great way to wear silk is to mix and match it with other fabrics and informal accessories. For a stunning contrast try a silk skirt with a chunky, Fair Isle jumper, or throw a merino cardigan over a silk slip dress and switch your heels for boots. Sleeveless silk over leggings will certainly turn heads, and a long or midi length dress worn with fierce flats (brogues or Dr. Martens shoes fit the bill perfectly) always looks runway fresh. An oversized tote bag and lace-up boots can instantly turn a silk, evening maxi dress into an everyday outfit.

(left) Silk shirts can be dressed up with tailored skirts, trousers and jackets, (right) For women, silk scarves are versatile and can lift an outfit from pedestrian to street style

Accessorise in silky style

If you’re not in a position to splurge on a silk gown or designer shirt, a beautiful accessory could still provide a satisfying silk fix. For women, silk scarves are versatile and can lift an outfit from pedestrian to street style. A silk vest top is a go-to when you’re styling with layers and a silk headband can be styled to look vintage or mega-modern. A silk tie is a great investment (and makes a lovely present): the latest trends to look out for are slim stripes, bird motifs, checks and dogtooth prints.

(above) Hand-picked SS19 style guide, on the market this season – links in footer

Silk and sleepy

Silk sheets may be the stuff dreams are made of – but silk pyjamas create the same effect while you’re sleeping, cocooning you in pillowy softness. Pure silk pyjamas are a great choice if you regularly use a dry cleaning service, although you can find machine washable silk PJs on the high street; a pair with elegant piping around the collars and hems is timeless and just a little bit ‘boyfriend’. Pure silk styles for men offer lashings of luxury, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. If you’re looking for an alternative, a blend of silk and cotton is just as comfy and the designs tend to look a little funkier than a pure silk style.

(left) Modern Fit Piped Pyjamas in Navy, (right) Pure silk lace robe in blue grey

Dealing with delicates

When you buy silk, make sure you check the label carefully: many products are described as silk but are actually made from polyester or viscose. These pieces are easier to care for than silk (you can usually machine wash them) but they don’t have quite the same feel and fit as real silk. Silk is harder to care for, and usually more expensive than synthetic imitations, but it looks gorgeous and feels amazing. Some silk is washable (usually by hand) but it’s important to test for colour fastness first. If you’d rather leave your prized silky possessions in the safest hands, Laundrapp are experts in dry cleaning items that require extra care and attention. And Laundrapp’s Quality Guarantee means your extra special silk dress will be dry cleaned to the highest standard and returned in perfect condition.



Editorial image credits /
01 | &OTHERSTORIES  Straight Fit Silk Shirt  £48 | 02 | L.K.BENNETT Loren Navy Silk Jumpsuit £350 | 03 | SELFRIDGES, ETRO Zebra print silk shirt £480 | 04 | DEREK ROSE Pure Silk Piped Pyjamas £554 | 05 | VICTORIA BECKHAM Button Skirt | 06 | HERMES Tie in heavy silk £165 | 07 | INTIMISSIMI Lace and Silk Top £50 | 08 | LIBERTY Silk scarf £112 | 09 | POETRY Silk cotton pyjamas £119