Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cashmere and Silk

I've mentioned before that I'm a very tactile person. I'm that weirdo who runs around the whole store, touching everything to see if it's soft. No wonder two of my favorite textiles are cashmere (with its soft-as-a-cloud plushness) and silk (with its smooth sheen). So what could be better than layering them together?

I wore this outfit on a cold morning last week when I was having trouble getting dressed. First I threw on these plum jeans (which have proven surprisingly versatile). Then I spent the next 15 minutes standing in front of my closet and being indecisive. Eventually I grabbed this black crewneck cashmere sweater that I bought last year, but I wanted to add a layer underneath since I knew it would be cold that day (and I have zero cold tolerance despite having grown up in the Midwest). I ended up picking this old ivory silk blouse sitting in the back of my closet that I don't wear very often, because it's too roomy through the torso. The sweater on top helped control the volume of the blouse, so it worked out perfectly. I skipped the statement jewelry, sporting only my engagement ring and stud earrings, because I liked the simplicity of the whole look.

Coat: J.Crew (old, this year's version)
Sweater: Nordstrom (old, this year's version, v-neck option)
Blouse: J.Crew (old version, similar)
Shoes: Sam Edelman
Bag: vintage Coach from Ebay

As a side note, I was surprised by the warmth of layering wool over silk! I've always thought of silk as a cool material to wear in warm weather, so it was news to me when I read that it's very insulating and makes a great winter base layer. Is anyone else surprised by this fact, or is this common knowledge that I somehow missed?

Have you worn silk in the winter?


  1. Great look! I just recently purchased my first 100% silk garment; I'm a little anxious about the upkeep (do you dry clean yours? does it need to be cleaned often?) but really excited because it feels so nice. I'm also one of the crazies that has to feel EVERYTHING (not to mention I check every tag to see the material and care involved, haha). I got my first cashmere sweater next month and I can't wait to add more even though cashmere requires some more care, too. Nice-feeling materials are the best!

    xo Kimi

    1. And by next month I meant last month...hahaha...

    2. Confession time: I only clean my silk blouses when they're visibly dirty... which probably isn't the recommended way. Because I'm paranoid, I would go with dry cleaning, but I heard that you can also hand wash silk (I've hand washed cashmere before but not silk).

      I'm super careful about eating when I wear silk, and most of the time I also wear a tee underneath so that my skin isn't in direct contact. That's how I get more wears out of it before cleaning. If you have a better way, please let me know!

  2. Great outfit, right up my alley!
    yes to the natural fibers!!

    I hand wash my cashmere sweaters and silk shirts if they've been in contact with my skin for a day. So for this outfit, I wouldn't wash the sweater, but I would wash the shirt. Mostly because I don't know when I'll wear it again soon and then I don't have to worry about moth damage.

    1. What kind of soap do you use to hand wash silk? For cashmere, I use baby shampoo.

  3. I am definitely in the "touch all the things" camp, too. One of the worst parts about shopping online. I love the combo of jewel tones with black and white - perfect brightening a winter day!

    Oh, and now I will be trolling eBay for all of the vintage Coach I can find.

    1. What a coincidence, because I'm in the process of writing up a post on my love for vintage Coach bags! I've collected a couple different styles over the past few years, but that little black one is my favorite and hence the one I always reach for.