Closet Chronicals

Cuyana Silk Top Review: Ode to Silk

I won’t lie. I don’t like wearing shirts that are see through. I actually find it super annoying when passers by can see the top I have to wear under the sheer top. Something about it is just esthetically unpleasing to me. It won’t come as a shock to you, then, that I’ve been really serious about finding a silk top that is actually opaque when white.

Cuyana has been on my radar for quite some time, and the few reviews I’ve found out there seemed to suggest they might be making this elusive opaque shirt. With some trepidation, I decided to order a black silk top. And then a white silk top. Let’s discuss.

Cuyana really won me over with the concept of “fewer, better things” sometime in February of 2015 when I decided to buy one of their leather totes. I liked the idea of investing in items that will last, and was pleased to see it was made in the US. I joyfully used the tote for work and travel until I decided to upgrade to an Hermes bag and sold my tote, truly ending up with less bags. Their motto stuck with me, though, and when I started looking around for a silk top I was instantly drawn to theirs.

Cuyana Scoop Silk Tank: Black & White 

The Fabric & Sheerness: 

For a discussion of silk, I will direct you the Temporary House-wife because reading her post really helped me consider what it is I was after. As mentioned, I wanted a silk shirt that wasn’t sheer and felt luxuriously thick. Actually, realizing I wanted thick and smooth silk was a result of  the Everlane silk top I ended up returning. Theirs felt thin, coarse, and insubstantial.

Cuyana Silk Tops Review 2In contrast to the silk Everlane uses, the silk Cuyana uses (3-ply crepe) truly feels thick and shiny. I started out by ordering a black top because I wanted to see how likely it was that their white top won’t be sheer. When I touched the heavy silk of the black top I was immediately sure that their white top would be a great candidate. I don’t mean heavy as a negative thing: this shirt is made of fabric that feels smooth and sturdy, but not bulky or stiff.

With that in mind, I ordered the white top. Is it sheer? This depends on your comfort level. Objectively, despite the thickness of the fabric, you can still see bra lines when wearing it without another layer. It’s very faint, but it’s there. While I wouldn’t define it as sheer, I would say that in my work place I cannot wear something that isn’t 100% opaque. If you work in a conservative work place, my guess is that you’d need to wear something underneath still.

Cuyana Silk Top Review 4
You can see the second layer I’m wearing underneath the Cuyana silk white top.

The Cut:

Looking at the images of the top on the Cuyana website, I was concerned about how long the top was: Is it cropped? They seemed to show it mostly tucked. I was also concerned about the neckline, which seemed somewhat low on the model.

In reality, the top isn’t cropped but it isn’t long either. I think it lends itself to being tucked, and I wouldn’t recommend wearing it with a low waist pants. Personally, I like the length, and I think tucking it into a skirt would look quite chic.

The neckline is lower than I’d like when it comes to work attire, and this is mostly because when I bend down to help students I’d like not to flash them as well. Funny enough, since the white top is not opaque, wearing a layer underneath allows me to avoid this type of clothing fail altogether. This is why I wear a layer underneath the black top as well, even though it is not sheer whatsoever.  The back is also cut low, but doesn’t show any bra straps or closure.

Cuyana Silk Top Review 3

Finally, the cut isn’t boxy, but isn’t exactly form fitting either. It hides any belly fat I’d like to keep hidden from the world, and that is a design feature I appreciate greatly, especially when one can avoid a shirt that looks ten times too big on me.

Other Thoughts:

Day to Night & Other Seasons:

As a work top, I find that I have to make some compromises. I need to wear it layered, and the low cut in the front and back means I’ll forever wear it with a cardigan. Sometimes, to be on the safe side I’ll add a scarf to the mix, but that is never an issue since I wear my scarves non-stop.

What I do appreciate about the cut and finish of the fabric, though, is how much they lend themselves to evening wear. Tucked into a skirt or worn with skinny black pants and heels, I can use this top day and night. I don’t need to buy anything special for outings, because these tops truly can pull double duty.

Moreover, I can totally see wearing this top during our freezing winters. Wearing it under cashmere sweaters will truly feel luxurious and elevates the functionality of this top by making it a layering piece.

Cuyana Silk Top Review 1

Wear & Tear:

I’ve recently finished compiling a list of all the clothes and shoes I own and I realized I have 38 items of clothing for summer and spring. I was a little surprised that I had so many pieces in my collection because I feel like I’ve grown really attached to every one of them and I don’t feel like I have so many items.

I mention this because silk is delicate, dear reader. Super delicate. I wore a necklace that I love with my white top and had managed to get quite a pull. I somewhat fixed it, but the pull in the silk is there. The possibility of losing this top was quite the bummer, so I suggest minding your accessories when wearing it. I also hand wash my silk tops, and I’m happy to report they seem to do well during washes. The black top seemed to develop something similar to pilling with wear, but I brushed it back to normalcy. Honestly, I’m not sure what that’s about.

So what’s the take away? Buy it, if all the aspects of this shirt work for you. I love wearing mine, and I hope to buy their navy long sleeve gathered shirt sometime during the winter.

Who makes your favorite silk tops? Have any recommendations for me to try next? Please share in the comments below.

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