Silk Shirts: 10 Wardrobe Staples

Versatile, flattering and perennially wearable, silk shirts will take you to work and beyond in comfort and style, and perfectly on trend

Credit: J. Crew

The perfect shirt: wearable, versatile and flattering. Silk shirts are wardrobe workhorses, and they’re everywhere this season

Silk shirts are the new white T-shirt; in other words, the perfect top. And they really are, whether you’re aiming for corporate-confident or college-casual. This sweetheart staple of fashion bloggers around the world is – unlike a lot of what they model – actually wearable, versatile, and flattering on nearly all figures.

Today’s Shirt

The contemporary silhouette is relaxed and flowy, while remaining true to its roots. The shirt you’re looking for should have a crisp collar (or no collar at all but still sharp at the neckline), long sleeves, a clean front with or without button placket, with the option of fashionable pockets.

Wear it Many Ways

Perfect for layering, this type of shirt is easily a three-season staple. A sharp collar or contrasting cuff layered under a sweater or blazer can transform an outfit from uniform to unique, while accessories add to its charm. And on its own you can play with the look by rolling up the sleeves, (un)buttoning for effect, tucking it in or even mastering the I-tried-hard-to-make-this-look-casual half-tuck.

Options and Price Points

The Equipment silk shirt (the shirt that launched a thousand admirers) is still available, but less expensive options make this wardrobe essential a little bit more palpable, especially if you want to experiment with colours and patterns. You can even find real silk shirts for under $50 these days. And there’s always the silk-like option, which can be preferable if your lifestyle doesn’t allow for visits to the dry-cleaners after each wear.

Here are 10 of our top picks for this season’s silk (and silk-like) shirts.

Credit: Aritzia

Aritzia T. Babaton Bergen Blouse

From home-town hero, Aritzia, theT. Babaton Bergen blouse is destined to be a favourite wardrobe staple. Made from a lovely, 100% heavy-weight silk georgette, this collarless shirt also features beautiful beading on the neck and placket.

Available in-store and online at Aritzia, $165.

Credit: Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh Optic Print Silk Shirt

This optic print silk shirt is an easy and fun way to add interest to your outfit. The black and white pop-art pattern is really versatile, making it easy to pair with things you probably already have in your wardrobe – perfect for colour-blocking with coloured skinnies or a slim, solid pencil skirt. This is also the ideal shirt for layering with that pattern peeking out at the collar, sleeves and hem.

Available at Joe Fresh stores and at select Real Canadian Superstore locations, $49 (a steal for 100% silk!)

Credit: Banana Republic

Banana Republic Silk Pleat-front Blouse

This 100% silk pleat-front blouse brings some pretty variations to the standard cut. A pleated v-neckline and banded button cuffs lend some feminine touches to this well-balanced shirt.

Available in-store and online at Banana Republic, $95.

Credit: H&M

H&M Striped Blouse

This blouse, jaunty with its nautical stripes, is anything but conservative. Sure you could wear it around the yacht club, but you’ll be just as striking wearing it for a night out on the town. Made from 100% TENCEL® Lyocell.

Available at H&M, $59.95.

Credit: Reitmans

Reitmans Blue Radiance

Wearing this long-sleeved blouse is a great way to indulge in the saturated-colour trend. Made from soft polyester, it’s an easy piece to have fun with, and to maintain. Great for colour-blocking or perking up an otherwise all-neutral outfit.

Available in-store and online at Reitmans, $40.

Credit: J. Crew

J. Crew Blythe Blouse

This is the basic, classic white silk shirt that every woman needs. Any outfit can be built on the foundation of a fabulous white shirt, and this is it. The Blythe blouse is a modern reinterpretation of the army shirt. Made from silk crepe de chine, it’s feminine and flowy and flattering on everyone. Wear it tucked in for a polished look or keep it loose and languid for that cool-girl vibe.

Available in-store and online at J. Crew, $128.

Credit: Funktional

Funktional Fold-front Silk Shirt

This LA-based label is a celebrity favourite, sought after for its drapey, relaxed styles. This fold-front silk shirt is a perfect example of what it does best. Its version of the traditional shirt takes on a modern, origami-inspired profile, making it the perfect I-look-cool-but-I’m-pretending-I-don’t-care shirt for when the paparazzi pounce.

Available online throughFunktional retailers in Emerald ($155) and Digital Peach ($161).

Credit: Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh Stripe Silk Shirt

You can’t go wrong with a pinstripe shirt. This lightweight 100% silk stripe shirt is a classic for a reason. And at this price point, it’s worth considering a back-up.

Available at Joe Fresh stores and at select Real Canadian Superstore locations, $49.

Credit: Zara

Zara Blouse with Gathering

Zara is finally available to Canadian online shoppers, so open up a new window and check out its offerings, such as this drape-front blouse. Zara’s well known for two things: European on-trend clothing and running out of sizes and styles quickly. Now you can beat the crowds and shop in comfort (in bed, on your iPad, at 2am). Don’t miss its “New This Week” feature, which will give you a jump on inventory before it even hits the racks.

This shirt is quintessentially Zara: chic, relaxed and versatile. Available in-store and online at Zara,$59.90.

Credit: Equipment

Equipment Ethereal Silk Chiffon Shirt

This ethereal silk chiffon shirt by Equipment is made dreamier by its butterfly-wings pattern. It’s in a relaxed slim-fit silhouette and could just be the prettiest garment you buy this season. This is definitely an investment piece that will make others quietly envious.

Available at various Wear Else locations, $275.