Contemporary womens silk clothing makes this sought-after luxury fabric more affordable than ever.
The exotic Silk Road furnished the fabric for wealthy Romans and the kings and queens for Europe. Today, it is just a click away for you and me shopping for clothes for older women.
Silk is the empress of fabrics.
Womens silk clothing beguiles the eye and touch, shimmering yet soft. This fabric is so unique, the word silk has become a metaphor for other items that cannot approach its sensuous appeal.
Fashion-conscious Romans hailed silk as a luxury fabric for their latest fashions in the first century, according to John E. Lyndon (2004, Liquid Crystals Today).
Womens silk clothing has lost none of its allure in two thousand years.
Today's fabric blends combine the best features of two fibers, such as silk and cotton or silk and wool.
Lyndon calls silk "the original liquid crystalline polymer," meaning that modern technology has not fully replicated the amazing properties of this fabulous fabric.
From summer fashion to a winter parka, silk folds into your luggage compactly and shakes out the wrinkles. Only spitfire pilots in World War II has silk parachutes. RAF pilots had to make do with nylon, the chemically engineered substitute.
Silk, you see, could be more tightly folded into smaller packets for men in the tiny spitfire cockpits. Womens silk clothing is both wrinkle-resistant and durable.
Fascinatingly, silk is perfect for both summer and winter clothes for older women.
Lightweight silk is used in summer fashion for tops and dresses.
Raw or nubby textured silk is used for sultry drawstring slacks -- like those at Soft Surroundings.
Shawls and beautiful underwear are other uses for silk. Some skiers swear by silk long underwear.
With its roots in ancient China and Japan, silk fabric projects a grown-up, sophisticated aura of luxury and good taste.
The traditional Chinese dress known as the cheongam never goes out of style.
Remember Kristen Dunst in Spiderman looking fabulous as she clings to the side of a balcony?
A cheongsam need not cling to be attractively. The mandarin collar conceals the neck and handmade details, such as elaborate whorls of frog buttons, add eye appeal.
A quilted silk jacket is both warm and elegant. Learn more about Chinese fashion as clothes for mature women.
Dry cleaning is needed for the most delicate silk fabrics, such as those used for summer fashion, party and wedding dresses.
I have, however, carefully washed silk garments by hand. I throw sturdier raw silk shirts and dresses a highly underused variety of silk fabric -- in the washing machine -- cold water, delicate cycle, of course.
I am not recommending that you try this. I weigh the value of the shirt or dress against the cost of dry cleaning.
If the garment is old or purchased inexpensively, costly dry-cleaning may not be a good value for me. I also think about how sorry I will be if the hand washing does not work out. If I can afford to give up the garment, into the water it goes.
I usually add a tiny amount of dish soap (be careful -- these can fade colors) or liquid hand soap. Special soaps are sold by retailers for womens silk clothing, including Winter Silks.
Dry cleaning was not around in olden times, yet silk garments have been found in graves hundreds of years old.
A silk garment can outlast you or me.
Archeologists found women's silk clothing from the middle ages woven from the cocoons of moths native to Europe.
It has been thought that all European silk of that time originated in China or with domesticated mulberry worms imported from that region. Diana Pearsall (Science News, Dec. 11, 2004) sldo reports that some spiders webs show some of the same fiber qualities of silk.
After writing a newsletter about the sheer joy of walking through a fabric store and, especially, the many virtues of silk, two readers responded to confide about their secret stashes of textiles.
I wonder how many of you save fabrics just because you enjoy looking at their vibrant colors and patterns or touching their vast array of textures.
Don't keep your guilty pleasure a secret. Please share it with us!
What style of womens silk clothing is right for you? Take the Fashion Afters 50 fashion arechetype quiz.
According to Carl Jung, an archetype is a kind of energy vortex that has endured throughout history. The goddesses I use to describe fashion styles embody dimensions of femininity that have been common to women almost since time began.