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4 Reasons Why Silk is Best Clothing for Older Women

reasons to wear silk

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something special about silk. The feel of the fabric. The vibrancy of the color. The way the silk lights up your face… even if it’s just a small scarf or a silk blouse peeking out from under your jacket. Yep, I think if you’re a woman over 40, silk clothing is a good, occasional luxury that’s worth the extra money.

Silk is deeply luxurious. Silk is sensuous. Silk gives you confidence. There’s just something fabulous about the way silk hangs on your body that makes it different from any other fabric.

luminous silk good for older women

Silk Reflects Light

1. Silk Tops Reflect a Healthy Glow: The best silk is not too shiny… not too matte. If you’ve ever had a good silk blouse in a flattering color, you’ve seen how that nice, lustrous silk fabric reflects a beautiful light up to your face and gives you a healthy glow. Well, this is important as your skin ages, because a beautiful, light-reflecting fabric allows you to look good with less makeup.  And, as you may have noticed, wearing a lot of makeup can make you look like an old lady… as the foundation settles into your wrinkles.

Hey, it’s true. I have old skin. I know.

Here... this explanation of silk’s luminosity is from Wikipedia, “The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.” Okay, who cares about scientific explanations? Trust me. Luminosity is not BS.

silk hangs well on the body

Silk Tops & Dresses Have Good Drape

2. Silk Dresses Have Good Drape: Look at the silk items in the photos. You can almost see the weight and drape of the fabric through your monitor. Silk clothing hangs just right.

Of course, different silks drape in different ways. Think Charmeuse versus chiffon… or silk velvet versus raw silk… with its dull-slub texture. In addition, the weight of the fabric and the length of the strands can change the way the silk looks… but you’ll know if a silk garment is right for you as soon as you put it on. (Silk can be super expensive, but every now and then, it’s worth spending a bit more. You’re worth an occasional indulgence.)

good colors for women over 40 50 60

Silk Has Vibrant Colors

3. Silk Clothing Has Rich Color: I love rich, vibrant colors on older women, and it seems that silk takes dye really well… or maybe it’s the light reflecting properties of the fabric… anyway, the colors of silk just seem brighter, richer, fuller, and more beautiful than colors of most fabrics. Hold a silk scarf up to your face. Voilà. You’ll see what I mean.

4. Silk Clothing is Good for All Climates: Because silk’s absorbency makes it comfortable to wear in warm weather and its low conductivity keeps warm air close to the skin during cold weather (I read that in Wikipedia), silk is a good fabric for all climates. Because of this property, women going through hot flashes are advised to wear silk pajamas and to sleep in silk sheets. Oooh, la la.

Well, if silk PJs are good for all of us menopausal chicks, shouldn’t our doctors be giving us prescriptions for silk jammies? And, I don’t know about you, but I get hot flashes during the day… so… if you get my drift… silk clothing is not a luxury for daytime clothing… it’s a medical necessity… of sorts.

The Movie Star Who Only Wore Silk Clothes

When I was little, my mother told me a story about a film star who threw a temper tantrum and would only wear silk rags for some movie. So, I looked it up to see if it was true. And, surprise… it is. Why my mother told me that, I’ll never know… but, anyway… the allure of silk was emblazoned onto my young, impressionable tabula-rasa mind from an early age.

The Story: Lillian Gish, a silent film star, was all set to play Mimi in a cinematographic adaptation of the opera, La Bohème. Well, Mimi, of course, was supposed to be a poor, starving femme living in the “slums” of the Left Bank; however Gish refused to wear the “stiff, vulgar-looking dresses” designed for her. Instead, the actress insisted her raggedy dresses be made of silk.

Okay, I’ve never seen the Lillian Gish version of La Bohème, so I don’t know who won the costume battle, however I’ve read that Gish’s petite figure was overwhelmed by the outfits designed for her.

Anyway, the moral of the story is… who knows. I guess the moral of the story is, “If you’re a short petite, you should wear silk rags.” Haha.

Women's Silk  Clothing Can Be Expensive

Yes, I know that silk can be expensive… but if you’re older, sometimes you need to spend a little more. Yes, there are lots of good “imitation silks” out there. Rayon is one. Modal is good, too.

I’ve even seen amazing polyesters (used by high-end designers) that mimic silk to the eye… and sometimes to the touch. A tour guide in a Suzhou, China silk factory told us if you take a string of real silk and set it afire with a lighter, it will not continue burning after you remove the flame, but fake silk will. And, she also said that you can clean silk by hanging it outside in the sunlight. (I suppose that's why we saw a lot of comforters hanging out of highrises in China.) However, I take my silk to a good dry cleaner because I've read that the fabric will yellow if dried in the sun. Good silk clothing is a big investment.

Well, my friends, now you know almost everything I know about silk. Of course, you already know you can find beautiful, silk women's clothing everywhere from Penney’s to Neiman Marcus... sometimes even in thrift stores. So, look around for sales on silk blouses, scarves, and tops.

I have lots of good items that are made out of polyester and rayon, but you should remember that when someone is trying to sell you something beautiful, they never say it has the feel of polyester. That's why women love silk clothing. It's the gold standard.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women Over 40, 50, 60:

The 14 Things Online Women's Clothing Sites Should Know

Should Older Women Wear Bright Colors?

Party Dresses: 13 Jeweltone Colors for Year Round Style

What to Wear to an Interview: 7 Tips for Women Over 40, 50, 60

 

read about silk

Main Photo - Silk is Best Clothing for Older Women

Photo Resources: All photos from prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Katja Nuutine Couture.
  • Silk Reflects Light: East color-block silk tunic. Whistles silk sweatshirt in leopard print. Lowie lavender silk dress. Love & Liberty silk dress with leather detail.
  • Silk Has Good Drape: Slink Boutique belted tunic. Preen silk shorts. 2nd Day silk T-shirt. East oversized silk blouse. Les Prairies de Paris column skirt.
  • Silk Has Vibrant Colors: East silk tunic. Vanessa Bruno sporty silk pants. See By Chloe Habotai Bomber. Jonathan Saunders satin blouse. House of Holland silk shirt. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel striped top.

Other Resources:

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page and I'll get back to you if I can, or give us a Google Plus.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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11 Comments

  1. Kathy

    I love silk scarves.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Kathy,

      I do too. If you can only afford one piece of silk clothing, it should be something you wear near your face... like a scarf or a blouse.

      I'm not saying your scarves must always be silk. I have lots of polyester, rayon, and cotton scarves. I love silk, but I buy whatever looks good on me - and what I can afford. I have lots of different kinds of scarves.

      Tina Boomerina

  2. kay kerns

    Silk is lovely and worth the money and so beautiful

  3. Tina-Boomerina

    Kay,

    I agree. I wish I could wear only silk.

    Tina Boomerina

  4. Agatha

    VERY GOOD ADVICE
    WOULD BE EVEN BETTER IF YOU GAVE US SOME SITES SELLING THE CLOTHES WE NEED IN SUMMER
    SOME SIMPLE WONDERFUL RELAXED CASUAL DRESSING, NO STRANGE STYLES OR OTT PATTERNS
    SOME SMART SIMPLE STYLES FOR ANY TIME OF THE DAY??

  5. Tina-Boomerina

    Agatha,

    You're in the UK. You have all kinds of great sites. If you're looking for a silk or cotton tunic, I would start at east.co.uk. They have some gorgeous styles... a tad bit boho, but not too much.

    Cheers,

    Tina

  6. Protima wagh

    Loved your article about silk. My mom is 70 years old and has beautiful skin. She looks absolutely resplendent in silk! She has been my inspiration. Silk can make any woman look gorgeous.

  7. Karen

    In my ever so humble opinion - silk crepe de chine is the BEST silk. Charmeuse is too shiny and clingy, chiffon too sheer and georgette too course.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Karen,

      Wow, I'm sure you're right.

      When I'm done packing and moving and finding a house and unpacking I'll have to check out the difference between crepe de chine and charmeuse.

      I'm a writer/artist not a real fashion expert. I think I know the difference between the two weaves but now that I'm not as skinny as I once was, crepe de chine may be better because I don't want anything too shiny showing little bulges. I have a few silk boho tops, but I'm not actually sure if they are crepe de chine or charmeuse or something else. My tops are cute, but they are not made of the highest quality silk. I know enough to know that.

      Thanks for pointing out the difference. From now on I'll pay attention.

      Tina

      • Karen

        I don't know if paying attention will help - so often I see things advertised as silk online but they so rarely ever say what kind and that matters. I usually only see Eileen Fisher clothing advertised as georgette or crepe de chine of charmeuse,etc.

        Silk Habutai is really cheap for silk and it shows - I HATE Habutai - easily shows water spots and is shiny in a not good way. Habutai was often use to line garments but when silk just kept getting more and expensive designers started using it for actual garments instead of just lining.