How I wore (and salvaged) the pink silk blouse

While on my way to work for a meeting last week, a bout of rain caught me by surprise, so I popped into the Salvation Army op shop to grab an umbrella. As I had a little bit of time to kill before my meeting, I didn’t think anything of having a browse in the shop. Famous last words.

This gorgeous Ginger and Smart silk crepe blouse caught my eye.

ginger_smart_blouse_14Pic via Pinterest

However, the version that was in the Salvos store had these:

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across clothes in the op shops that have been badly stained by ink, bodily secretions or food, or are ripped. Look, I understand clothes get damaged – I’ve been vomited, pooed and peed on more times than I can count. But please, please don’t donate clothing that is stained, dirty and/or beyond repair. More often than not, op shops will deem them unsellable and your donated clothes will end up in the rubbish anyway. And if they do decide to sell them (like the blouse above) it’s highly unlikely the clothes will be bought because, really, who wants to buy something that has been stained? Unless you get people like me who sees the stain as a challenge.

I think this shirt retailed for around $300 online. The tag on the shirt at Salvos was $10; however, every week the Salvos stores have discounts depending on the colour of the tag. The tag on this shirt was eligible for a 50% discount so it set me back $5 (plus the umbrella – my original reason for going to the store, remember?).

Because I’m a cheapskate I decided to ignore the “Dry Clean Only” instructions on the shirt and try to remove the stain myself. When I got home the first thing (after tending to children etc) was to determine what kind of stain it was. I figured it was either a make up stain or ink. Before googling how to remove such stains I merrily sprayed Vanish Preen Gold Oxi Action on the shirt as I’d had pretty good success from this product with other stains. No deal.

I then soaked the shirt in Vanish Gold Oxi Action Powder as this was another magic product for stains (this isn’t sponsored by Vanish, I just happened to have these products on hand as they’re a must-have for any household with children). The stains were still there (and a little bit of the colour leached)! What the?!

After deciding the stains were more like ink than make up, a Google search suggested spraying the shirt with an alcohol-based hairspray. A good dousing of stains with my V05 hairspray plus a soak and handwash in my regular laundry detergent did nothing to the stains.

At this stage I was almost ready to admit defeat and go to the dry cleaners, when my bottle of Fairy Platinum dishwashing detergent caught my eye. Out of interest I applied some detergent neat on the stains and let it sit for 30 minutes before gently handwashing the shirt again.

And can I tell you… the stains disappeared. I can’t tell you how chuffed I am with the result.

I don’t know if it was the Vanish, the hairspray or the Fairy dishwashing detergent that did the trick… maybe a combination of them. However, I’m sharing what I did out of interest, not to give you advice on how to remove stains from a silk shirt. Please, do NOT do what I did to a shirt that you potentially paid $300 for, go to a dry cleaner! I figured that I’d only paid $5 so I really had nothing to lose except a cup of coffee and maybe some pride. To my surprise, the stains came out nicely and the shirt held up really well given the treatments I did to it.

And now I have a beautiful, unstained, silk Ginger and Smart shirt to add to my wardrobe!

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When styling the blouse for this post I decided to go with my thrifted Gorman shorts and Topshop slides (bought new) to keep it simple and let the colour of the shirt make the statement.

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The shirt is so lightweight and soft, even after what I did to it. I also love the oversized style of it, giving it a masculine touch (but obviously staying feminine with the shade of pink).

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So just one more time… if your silk shirt is stained, please have it done by the professionals!

Wearing: thrifted Ginger and Smart blouse (similar) | thrifted Gorman shorts (similar) | Topshop slides (in leopard)

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5feetofstyle

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