The slinky shirt you can pair with anything

Supermodel Jerry Hall in a striking emerald green satin shirt
Supermodel Jerry Hall in a striking emerald green satin shirt - Dave Benett/Getty Images Europe
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You’re getting dressed to go out for dinner with friends – the weather is hitting eight degrees with a breeze. It is neither hot nor cold, the restaurant is neither fancy nor casual. What do you wear?

For all manner of evening events right now (theatre trips, fundraisers, gallery viewings or cocktails with friends) the silky satin shirt is an ideal solution.

Jerry Hall knows it. The supermodel wore a style from the small British label With Nothing Underneath to an event in London this week. Her emerald silk shirt looks striking, especially offset against her mane of strawberry blonde hair.

“It was the perfect effortless evening choice,” the brand’s founder Pip Durell tells The Telegraph. “The punch of silky green lifts an otherwise simple suit look. She is a woman who knows how to dress.”

It is true that the satin blouse is relied upon as a device by fashion editors and celebrities whose outfits are regularly photographed. It’s a gem-like piece within a wardrobe arsenal, solving so many sartorial dilemmas. It goes with suits or jeans. It’s a perfect accompaniment when tucked into this season’s wide-leg high-waisted trousers, or when dressing up a leather or corduroy pencil skirt.

The slinky shirt really serves to bring out its wearer’s colours – blue eyes look extra sparkly against the shimmery satin, a red lipstick choice can be further enhanced by a red silk blouse. With blue jeans, a colour can sing – you can keep your arms covered and warm, while still delivering on optimistic spring colour. The style also holds pattern well – from stripes to polka dots to scarf prints – but jewel tones arguably look the most expensive.

“Silk shirts are the ideal easy evening look,” says Durrell, who has recently enjoyed watching Feud: Capote vs. The Swans on Disney+ and has been taking notes on how New York socialites such as C Z Guest in the 1950s used “shirting as a base for their jewels and ‘effortless, at home’ hosting outfits.”

“It’s now my own go-to hosting look,” she says, “a silk shirt and good earrings will make you look dressed up without actually having to be dressed up.”

Another modern-day champion of the silky shirt is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. In her most recent public appearances a range of cream, buff and brown satin blouses have featured, tucked into high-waisted trousers or matching 1990s-esque silk maxi skirts. The ‘Husband’ shirt style which she wore on March 8, from the label Giuliva Heritage, was handmade in Italy and cost £739.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in a handmade Italian satin blouse by Giuliva Heritage on March 8
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in a handmade Italian satin blouse by Giuliva Heritage on March 8 - Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images North America

There are truly expensive versions of this look, but there are also many real silk options and faux satins on the high street to be found, that would suit any budget.

Hall’s With Nothing Underneath shirt is also pure silk, with mother-of-pearl buttons, yet is priced at £230. Marks and Spencer, Jaeger and Mango have some of the best options for under £140 – if you’re looking at anything under £50, I’d always recommend assessing the material in person to see if the satin will feel cheap, conduct static, and therefore cling in undesirable ways to the body.

A luxurious (or simply well made) satin shirt should feel slinky and sexy to wear. It should never be tight-fitting – whatever size you wear, go for something that feels looser and can be tucked in or out without pulling, especially around the bust.

A satin shirt is best in a looser fit, so that it can be tucked in or out without pulling, especially around the bust
A satin shirt is best in a looser fit, so that it can be tucked in or out without pulling, especially around the bust

Bra choice is highly important. Consider wearing more buttons undone to flash a hint of a lacy bra, or, if that’s not your mood, then stick to a smoothing lingerie solution – nothing that might read as lumpy if the satin moves under a spotlight.

Hall herself contributed to the original sex appeal associated with a satin shirt. Her 1970s Yves Saint Laurent era would set the tone for catwalk revivals by Tom Ford in the 1990s, then at Loewe and Khaite in 2024.

Figure-skimming fluidity looks glamorous, but is easy to achieve. Slipping on a shirt like this, as Durell points out, “requires minimal effort, but offers maximum output.”

The 5 Best Satin Shirts To Buy

The Fold and M&S
The Fold and M&S

Harrow blouse, £250, The Fold, thefoldlondon.com; The Boyfriend silk shirt, £230, With Nothing Underneath, withnothingunderneath.com

Jaeger M&S Mango
Jaeger M&S Mango

Pure silk blouse, £135, Jaeger, marksandspencer.com; Popover blouse, £27.50, Marks & Spencer, marksandspencer.com; Flowy shirt, £29.99, Mango,shop.mango.com

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