In the last couple months I've discovered something you're probably already aware of -- the awesomeness of the silk blouse. It started when I decided to purchase one from Everlane -- before they extended shipping to Canada. Since I had to wait for that to happen, I tided myself over by purchasing some silk from other retailers to see if I would truly love it as I hoped. Silk, I hypothesized, is silk. It's probably just as wonderful no matter where you buy it from.
My first purchase was from Madewell. I had always wanted to try their brand and when I saw the lavender silk cargo blouse I figured it would be perfect for summer, and it was a reasonable price compared to the long sleeved options. I snatched it up.
A couple months later I was able to put my order in for my Everlane silk blouse. I chose the navy blue, round necked option in 'sunkissed silk'. The same day I was browsing the JCrew sale section and came upon their kelly green silk cargo blouse on sale for under $50! Knowing how much silk shirts cost now, I snapped it up as well!
Owning three of these blouses from three different retailers has given me the opportunity to weigh in on who does it best. Maybe, if you're in the market for a silk blouse, or if you never considered one, but you're interested now, this may help just a little. Below, my thoughts!
Beginning with JCrew, I will tell you this was undeniably the best deal. The sale price was 48.99 and I had free shipping since I purchased it with two other items. I purchased the Blythe Blouse in Silk, the color being 'Sea Glass'. I ordered a 14 after reviewing the measurements chart. I love the color, it's brighter in person and really stands out. I did find the sleeves to be awkward and I immediately rolled them up. Once that was done, the blouse looked a lot better (the sleeves fit quite large, and then the band at the bottom is small when buttoned so they kinda billowed). The fit is pretty good, and it felt airy and light when I wore it all day, even when it was very warm outside. I will say that after wearing it several times, I do get the all too common chest gape between the two top buttons. Lady problems.
The Madewell cargo tank was the most disappointing, and most expensive, of the three. I paid $98 and again, had free shipping. The fit of this tank is what I didn't like. The JCrew blouse I ordered in a size 14, but the Madewell blouse only came in small medium, large and XL. Not quite as exact. The Madewell blouse gapes a bit where I'm smallest (pear shaped!) but tugs a little around my waist and hips. If I unbutton the last button, it looks fine, and if I tuck it into a skirt or pants you can't tell, but it's not as comfortable and breezy as the others! The silk also lacks the sheen and softness of the other two.
The Everlane blouse is undoubtedly the winner in the categories of fit, feel and flatter. I spent $80 on this one, and had free shipping from when I pledged to their kickstarter campaign. I purchased a large and it has perfect drape both where I'm tiny and where I'm not so tiny. I have not, at this point, experienced any of the chest-gape I have with the other two. The sleeves are the right length and actually look great when left long (they're fitted so they don't billow), or rolled as in the picture. I also love the sweet rounded collar and can we talk about the finish of the silk? Everlane calls it "sunkissed" which basically means it's brushed, giving it's finish a suede like appearance. It's super soft and more than a little luxurious. The only problem I have with this blouse is that I want to save it for fancy occasions so that it always looks so nice.
And there you have it. If you're in Canada or the US, are thinking of buying a silk blouse this Spring and were wondering where to spend your money, I would highly recommend Everlane. They really do make a commitment to quality and fit.
If you're thinking, "I don't need a silk blouse, only rich people or fancy people or whatever wanna wear silk" well I'm the first one to admit I totally blew my budget this last month, haha, but I do think it's worth it (and hey, now you can just buy one instead of testing a bunch). Even having one silk blouse in the closet for job interviews or date night makes me feel really sophisticated and excited to show it off!
PS. No one paid me to like Everlane so much. That's the truth!
PPS. More outfit posts featuring these tops are upcoming! Expect to see them in action next week.
PPPS. I am totally going to adhere to the 'dry clean only' label on the Everlane and JCrew garments. The Madewell tank I might try handwashing since it's a more muted color. The real trick, I've found, with delicate items like silk and cashmere is to put your deodorant on really early before getting dressed so it's nice and dry when you put the shirt on, and then try not to sweat in it. Or eat spaghetti. Seriously. If you don't get it dirty, you don't need to wash it as often, which in the end is better on your pocket and your silk (just my opinion).