Nothing has seen such a big resurgence in popularity these past few years as the silk shirt. It seems as though every fashion brand is coming out with their own version of this fashion classic. We’ve seen it look and styled in every which way- buttoned all the way, unbuttoned in a deep “v”, and all sorts of colors and prints. The appeal of the silk shirt is in the way that it works with the imagination. It gives just enough information about a women’s body without revealing too much. Whatever your style, having this fashion staple in your closet is a must.

As is the case with most things in women’s fashion, the origin of the silk shirt is a practical one. Women in the workforce of the 1890s, especially those working in offices, wore blouses for their simplicity and sophistication. Ever since then, it has been considered an important element in professional attire. However, the silk shirt also has a seductive side- in the 1920s and ’30s, proportions, fit and added details (such as  lace) were altered to make something so appropriate, slightly inappropriate. Since then, the blouse has become synonymous with femininity, a way to highlight your curves.

The best thing about the silk shirt is its versatility- whether you are wearing shorts, pants, or skirt, the best way to create a foolproof outfit is to pair it with a blouse. Here are few tips to get it right:

1. When it comes to fit, it’s all about contrast– if you want to go for a loose shirt, whichever item you are wearing it with should have a tight fit.

2. Prevent awkward ride-ups in the chest area, make sure that your shirt will look good no matter what arm movement or position you are in.

3. In general, the simpler, the better– too many extra pleats, unusual collars, or embellishments will turn this fashion classic into a bad statement piece. Keep it simple with a classic angled collar, darting at the back, and a two buttoned sleeve. That isn’t to say that you should skimp on quality. You can tell quality by the type of fabric (silk is best), as well as by the way it is stitched (double stitching on the important structural seams is important).

4. If you a bit bustier, don’t style your shirt by buttoning it all the way to the top. This is such a common mistake among women (like myself!) who aren’t petite in the chest area, but are inspired by what they’ve seen in street style shots and magazine editorials. Having your shirt completely buttoned up when you are fuller chested looks matronly not fashion forward.

Even with these hints in mind, there are so many ways to wear a silk shirt. The beauty of it is that as long as you are willing to play around, you can always find a way to make a it look great on you.

To help you fill up your closet with this wardrobe essential, here are some of our favorites:

Shop Rue: 1. Navy Shirt // 2. Jungle Print Shirt // 3. Hot Pink Shirt // 4. Citron Yellow Shirt // 5. Sheer Pink Shirt // 6. Snake Skin Print Shirt