My love affair with black chiffon

Chiffon. I’m not a great fan of the word, I have to say. It seems really dated.

But the fabric itself, oh my, I just cannot resist…

Chiffon come from the French word for a cloth or a rag. Really not the right word for this delicate, ethereal material. Chiffon fabrics are produced using natural or synthetic silk. Early chiffon was made purely from silk until 1958, when polyester chiffon was invented and became available as a cheap alternative for all. Of course, the natural silk will have a more delicate quality. The chiffon you’ll find on the High Street is more likely to be a polyester chiffon.

Chiffon is the fabric of my dreams. It’s all about the feel, you see – a soft delicate drape. I love rubbing it between my fingers. I love the feel of it on my skin. My skin through it feels silky and luxurious, the gentlest of touches.

Chiffon is all floaty – light and airy. Weightless. There’s a real freedom there. You hardly notice you’re wearing it. I’m not a fan of wearing clothes – I do, obviously, but clothes you can wear without feeling them, without them restricting you or weighing you down, well, that’s a real gift.

Chiffon’s a transparent fabric – not a mesh or a tulle, but something more ethereal all together. This sheer material is so flattering, particularly in black for me. I feel more comfortable wearing something more figure-hugging if there’s a layer of chiffon over the top. It’s the best overlay in all seasons and for all occasions, giving a floaty appearance to whatever you happen to be wearing underneath.

My love affair with chiffon started back in February – the month of love, how appropriate. As soon as I saw this frilled black chiffon tunic over a pair of jeans and a slogan tee on a mannequin in the H&M window, I was hooked. I didn’t buy it straightaway, as I’d vowed not to buy any new clothes from High Street stores at all in 2017. But I was smitten. I couldn’t stop thinking about that dress. I went back the next day and bought it. I love to wear it with a cobalt blue vest and black leggings, but to be honest it’s so versatile, it’s completed a lot of looks. I pack it every time I go away, because it takes up so little space and I feel so amazing when I wear it. It’s a definite winner.

And then there is the black skirt that’s layer upon layer of wonderful. A nude tulle, a stiff black cut out mesh, finished with a black chiffon overlay. A TKMaxx find that makes me feel like a cinema star when I wear it. It looks so, so pretty and feels incredible to wear. A recent purchase, I wore it to a meal out the other night with black vest, black jacket, black ankle socks and shiny black hefty shoes. I have no idea what anyone else thought of my look. I don’t think I care. I know how I felt and to me, that’s all that matters.

And then there’s the 70s-inspired batwing top that hangs in my wardrobe waiting for the right occasion. Another TKMaxx treasure, the satin string vest top has a long-sleeved batwing overlay in black chiffon with large black stars all over it, ribbed with thick black jersey at the neck, waistline and cuffs. I’m so excited to wear it. I think I need to arrange to go to another Rolladisco. It would be absolutely perfect attire for that. For the moment, I’m happy to take it out of my wardrobe once a week for a look and a feel. I’m just glad that I own it.

I’d say that was pretty restrained as love affairs go, wouldn’t you? More to do with the fact that I haven’t come across more black chiffon delights in my travels. If I had, I can’t guarantee for sure they wouldn’t now be in my wardrobe! It’s weird how we change. Everything for a season. There’s been lace, velvet…and now this. Although lace and velvet still feature too…you never let go of your first loves…

Anyone else in the middle of a love affair with a particular fabric or style or colour? Something you’re drawn to in a fashion store, something you can’t resist touching or trying on or buying….?

PS: I know the photos don’t do the garments justice. Chiffon is an awful fabric to get a good image of for anyone, I think. Feel free to take a picture of me wearing one of these three items and I’ll get that uploaded instead!

Helen R loves words, running, dance, her dogs and yoga. For her, age really is just a number. She believes in living life to the full and adopting an attitude of gratitude.

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1 Comment

  1. Linda Clark October 19, 2017 / 8:48 am

    I love floaty fabric. I love those little bits of chiffon like bits of floaty fabric, added to the hem of a blouse. I love asymmetrical hemlines of floaty fabric. They hide and reveal at the same time. Mmmmmm!

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