by Candy Soo
Over the past decade, it seems as though the cream silk blouse, once a mainstay of the feminine wardrobe, has disappeared off the radar. Maybe it's because it's old school, like a strand of pearls. Or, it may be that it doesn't quite fit into the image of the modern woman.
But, the beauty of fashion is that classics are constantly reinvented and reworked to become fresh again. The silk blouse is now a great piece to own because it can be mixed and matched with different pieces to create new looks.
Take Kay (far right). She's wearing a Victorian-inspired cream silk blouse with a pair of high-waisted black denim jodhpurs that are totally trendy. Even though she has buttoned her blouse all the way to the top, the sleek, fitted jodhpurs make the look chic rather than prim.
Prudence (right), too, has perfected her own interpretation of the look. Her outfit, consisting of a pussy-bow cream silk blouse, a grey knit cardigan and a little black pencil skirt, would be a nice, albeit conservative look on its own. But the scarlet tights and the heels make it entirely unique and fun.
Another fun option is to match the blouse with rugged or masculine pieces. It looks great with faded and torn jeans or with boy-cut trousers. I would, however, stay away from mixing it with vintage clothing because you can easily make the mistake of looking too retro. With ultra-feminine classics such as this, it's a lot cooler to be unexpected.
So, where does one go to get pieces like this?
Well, as I said, once upon a time it was a fashion staple, so check out sites such as ebay.com for an extensive vintage selection that won't cost you very much. I snagged a really cool piece with a subtly ruffled front that looks great layered under a vest or v-neck knit. Just make sure you ask the buyer about the item's condition as cream silk can get discoloured over time.
If you want something new rather than vintage, I've seen some pieces at local boutique a.y.k. (Shop B19-B20, Basement, The Sun Arcade, 28 Canton Road, TST, tel: 2375 0062) that are cute and affordable. Or, if you don't mind spending a little more money, brands such as Paul & Joe as well as Vanessa Bruno cut great silk blouses in colours besides cream (both available at Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 3388).