Sensual instead of Sexual
Wednesday October 18, 2017

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“Trying to be sexy is hopeless, so wearing something that shows off your sensuality is the secret . . . it’s the way it feels against your body and how soft it feels to someone else when they touch you. A silk blouse makes everyone look great because it hangs so nicely; it brings you self-confidence.” —Ines de la Fressange, Porter magazine Fall 2017

Over the years, I have written about more than a handful of specific items that are fundamental and timeless additions to our capsule wardrobe (trench coat, leopard, dresses, a scarf, just to name a few – check them all out here), but one item I have neglected out of pure absent-mindedness is the silk blouse.

As I was perusing through Porter magazine’s latest issue, I came across a profile piece with French model and business woman Ines de la Fressange. Commenting specifically on her preference for silk blouses, it was her commentary on the difference between sensuality and sexuality that caught my eye.

As a young girl, I can remember the first time I had the opportunity to wear a silk blouse and feeling truly spoiled. The sensation on one’s skin, as de la Fressange points out, is luxurious but at the same time simple and natural. And most importantly, when we dress, dressing for ourselves, for our own comfort, our own confidence is a sensual decision. Dressing sexually is for the onlooker, the passerby, and in many ways a means of letting go of our power as it is the approval of the external world we are either consciously (or unconsciously seeking or assumed to be seeking). But when we dress with sensuality in mind, we dress for ourselves, and we then elevate not only our chin as we stride forward into the day but our mood, sense of unique beauty and the overall quality of our day.

Part of the reason I gravitate toward silk blouses now as an adult is precisely as Ines shares in her quote above: The material hangs beautifully offering the body’s natural silhouette without clinging. As well, silk can be worn year round, singularly or layered. The versatility of a silk blouse is vast: tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt or untucked with a pair of fitted denim and layered with a blazer, just to name a few ideas.

I have spoken before about one of my go-to brands for quality silk blouses and a particular neckline that is flattering, and just recently I came across an American brand L’Agence that offers similar designs. This particular 3/4 sleeve blouse works beautifully with my lifestyle. Below are a few selections available at varying price points, and be sure to shop The Outnet to find quality brands at discounted prices (I snagged a black Theory silk blouse last year at half the price), as well as a few more in the shopping scroll.


8 thoughts on “Sensual instead of Sexual

  1. I really feel that a lot of the women I see are missing out by not dressing sensuously. They either dress in yoga pants or jeans and a t-shirt, as if they don’t care about themselves, or (generally the younger ones — but I have seen “women of a certain age” do this, too… yeeesh) they dress in tight, short outfits with killer heels and look like they are trying to hard.

    Natural fibers like silk and linen not only feel wonderful against the skin, but they have a drape that shows off the body without making a spectacle of it. And small feminine touches (Note that I said small) like a ruffle, a slightly lower neckline, or a flounce at the hem can make you not only feel confident, but turn heads — and without being flashy.

  2. Hmm, in my mind silk blouses are either cream or ivory. But I’ve just realised my mother wears silk blouses in various colors. Great post.

  3. Hi Shannon, silk blouses are part of my signature style and absolute go-to‘ s in business and play. Great post. Great Lady, Ines de la Fressange.
    Could I add a recommendation for brands to choose from. Among my favorite brands is Everlane. Both for simplicity in design, quality of material and their fair trade and radical transparency approach. As I live in Europe I am always looking out for their free shipping sales options.

  4. I have always loved silk and have quite a collection of gorgeous silk scarves. The colours are lovely and, yes, they feel so sensuous against my skin. My favourite silk blouse is grey. I love to wear it with long pearls and leather pants!

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