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How to Incorporate a Silk Accessory into Your Outfit

Silk is one of the most misunderstood fabrics. All too often, people avoid silk items assuming that they’re difficult to care for, and only really suitable for the most special of occasions. This perception is a mistake; silk items can be great everyday accessories, adding a touch of class to almost any outfit – whether that’s your important business meeting suit, or the dress you wear to the mall.

Affordable Accessories

Silk is an expensive and luxurious material, and it is true that it can be difficult to clean and store expensive silk items such as shirts and dresses, however that doesn’t mean that you have to skip wearing all silk items. Some great accessories include:

  • Silk ties -  a high quality silk tie can turn even the plainest of shirts into something smart and luxurious looking.  Keep a silk tie in your briefcase for those important meetings with the boss.
  • Silk gloves – what better way to make an entrance to a party than to remove your silk gloves and reveal pristinely manicured nails.  If you’re going out during the winter, consider wearing heavier leather gloves with silk glove liners underneath for the ultimate in comfort and style?
  • Silk scarves – a silk scarf is one of the most versatile fashion accessories there is.  Men can turn a small scarf into a cravat, while women can use them as a shawl or a traditional scarf.  Silk feels great against the skin, can help you stay warm in the winter, and is light enough for wearing in the summer too.
  • Hats and belts – silk hats are a great way to keep wild hair in check during the summer, and a silk belt can turn a relatively plain summer dress into a beautiful piece of evening wear – especially if you cover your shoulders with an attractive scarf.

When accessorising your outfits, less is more.  Choose a contrasting colour so that the accessory stands out, and use just one accessory at a time.  A brightly coloured silk belt will set off a plain black dress nicely, but would look too busy if you also had gloves, a hat, and lots of jewellery on.  A patterned silk tie will look good with a plain shirt, or vice-versa, but if you combine two busy patterns then they will clash.

Caring for Silk

You should never put a silk garment in the washing machine, or take it to a normal dry cleaner’s.  Silk and water do not go together well, and washing silk, even by hand, can have disastrous results. The good news is that smaller items such as ties and gloves don’t tend to get all that dirty, so it is possible to clean them at home.

If you spill something non-greasy on a silk tie or other garment, wipe it clean as quickly as possible.  If you don’t manage to remove all of the spillage, take off the tie and lie it flat.  Spritz it with a small amount of water and then blot it dry.  Leave the tie to air dry, or hang it on a warm radiator overnight.

If your spillage included something greasy, sprinkle talcum powder on the stain and let it sit there for several hours (or overnight).  Brush off the powder, and see if the stain is gone.  It can take several applications to fully remove the stain.  Do not try to remove an oily stain with water or detergents.  Water may make the stain worse and detergents could damage the silk.

This post was written by Crispin Jones for Patra – online retailers of silk gloves and shirts.