There’s a certain seductive sheen that gives midnight blue and oyster a textural vibrance, and no fabric plays that up like silk and satin.
There’s a certain seductive sheen that gives midnight blue and oyster a textural vibrance, and no fabric plays that up like silk and satin. There’s something so sexy yet conservative about the look and feel of satin that it instantly brings to mind the blonde bombshells of the ‘30s in their white satin cloaks, trimmed with swan’s-down. And then, there’s no forgetting Kate Moss’s rocking satin peignoir.
“Satin and silk,” asserts designer Sheena Agaarwal, “spell glamour in a simple yet refined way. When worn correctly they feel like a second skin.” However, she adds, “On the other hand, wear a size a bit too large and you can end up looking as though you are wearing a shower curtain, and can look a bit cheap.”
Please remember that satin, far from hiding a multitude of sins, shows up every crease, line and dimple. That means no lacy lingerie or Spanx overspill. So, you need to go to the pros to get it right. “Build the right foundation. Invest in a seamless bra and underwear set, as well as high quality shapewear to add extra smoothness, and to lift and support you wherever needed,” says designer Nidhika Shekhar, adding, “If you need to mitigate the risk factor, break it up with chiffon, silk georgette, and camisole tops with matte panels.”
Satin is also multi-faceted, says Sheena. “Satin can be used in blouses, evening gowns, shirts, neckties and even in the production of pointe shoes for ballet. Satin is also one of the most popular furnishing fabrics and is used in upholstery and also as bed sheets. When it comes to men’s fashion, satin is among the most powerful tools and is often chosen for coat linings. The smoothness allows coats to be slipped on and off very easily.”
Tracing its evolution, designer Neha Khullar points out, “Satin’s evolution has led to its many incarnations in the form of crepebacks made from crepe yarns as well as antique style satins made from slubs. There was a time when it was just restricted to the upper classes but around the 19th century it made its way through common women who used it primarily for making wedding gowns.”
For women who aren’t into satin keeping it casual is a good start, suggests Neha. She goes on, “Do not go for bold prints, and instead opt for subtle prints like horizontal stripes or polka dots. This way you will wear it with ease and not pull a lot of attention. One can keep experimenting with colours and styles to come up with looks that are fresh. Avoid satin overkill. Satin is best worn one or two pieces at a time. For example, avoid an electric blue satin jumpsuit with matching pumps and bag. Wear a satin blouse with a suit, or a satin skirt with a sweater for dressier looks.”
Lastly, Nidhika cautions about doing a quality check, “If the satin is thick, itchy or rough, it’s probably not the best quality. High quality satin is thin, smooth and it feels cool to the touch. It has a very liquid quality, and high quality satin tends to hold up longer than the cheap stuff.”