I learn a lot from assessing my travel wardrobes after the fact that can be applied to my quotidien style. Most recently, I regretted not having more lightweight collared shirts in Hong Kong, as they not only help keep the sun off neck and arms, but feel a bit more polished than tees. While I do tend to gravitate toward more casual and unstructured styles (truthfully, I’d be in jeans and a tee or sweater every day given my druthers), every now and then circumstances call for dialing the formality up just a notch. I’ve often relied on jackets for this, but if the weather (or the office, or the conference room) is just too warm to make a jacket practical, a collared shirt is the next best thing.
But what to do if one a) is curvy and/or b) is averse to stiff fabrics and conservative tailoring? I’ve been finding that collared silk shirts fill that void quite nicely, especially for the office. They provide the impression of structure without stiffness, and are often cut a bit more loosely, avoiding the gaping-between-buttons problem. While I don’t like to tuck my shirts, the softness of the fabric can work well with full or half-tucks.
In addition to the J.Crew silk shirts (many of which are available in Tall and Petite sizing), I’ve been quite impressed with those from Everlane and my most recent find from Ann Taylor. It’s been my experience that most silk shirts can be hand washed, line dried and then steamed to smooth out, but if the label indicates “dry clean only,” it’s up to you whether you want to attempt hand washing.
Do you have silk shirts in your wardrobe? How do you care for them?