Trying On Silk

In high school, I was a member of the speech team, and spent many weekends clomping around unfamiliar hallways in heels, black knee-length skirts, and silk blouses. Those days of nervously performing oratories while dressed as a businesswoman from the late 1990s are long gone, and in my current life as a busy mom, I dress much more casually. Cotton has been my favorite fabric for many years, but last fall, I added a silk blouse from Amour Vert to my wardrobe and it’s become a staple in my closet.

As a teenager, I never thought of silk as versatile, and only wore my few silk blouses to weekend tournaments after my mother had them dry cleaned each week. But, it turns out, silk is an excellent and ethical alternative to cotton, and if cared for properly, can last for years. I’ve been wearing my heart-patterned blouse with jeans, my favorite uniform, and adding a cardigan if the weather is cool. I’ve always thought of silk as very hot and not breathable in our oppressive Texas heat, but this blouse is light and weightless, which makes it great for all seasons. The fabric isn’t sheer, which is also nice, because I prefer not to wear tanks or camisoles under blouses if at all possible.

Amour Vert is transparent about their fabrics, and they source mulberry silk made in India. While silkworms are used in the process, a fact that should be noted by vegans, the company only uses non-toxic dyes in their prints.┬áSummer, from Tortoise & Lady Grey, has written a very insightful post about the sustainability of silk that is worth reading if you own silk pieces or are planning to add them to your wardrobe. I first read her post as I was considering ordering my blouse, and it really encouraged me to consider silk as an alternative to cotton. I have hand-washed my silk blouse several times and it always turns out beautifully after air drying. Also, I like to wear it more than once between washes, just to preserve the fabric longer, and will occasionally spray it lightly with an essential oil spray. That works very well and I don’t have to dry clean it at all.

I would love to add another silk blouse to my closet eventually, though they are definitely investment pieces. The versatility and sustainability of the fabric makes it a great option for spring and summer and I wish I’d taken the plunge sooner. Do you wear silk often?

(To learn more about sustainable fabrics, check out Summer’s wonderful guide. She has also recently launched a social enterprise site beginning a revolution for working moms at Lead Mama Lead.)

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