Fit Review Friday – Cuyana Silk (& A Sheerness Comparison To Equipment)

Cuyana silk dolman sleeve shirt

Hi everyone! For this week’s Fit Review Friday, I wanted to show you how petite-friendly the silks at Cuyana are running right now. For reference, my measurements can be found here.

What is Cuyana?

For those of you not familiar, Cuyana is a San Francisco based fashion brand rooted on the premise “fewer, better things”. I love this philosophy, even if I don’t always apply it as well as I could, so I’ve had my eye on Cuyana for a little while now. Their goal is to produce essential classics in premium materials and craftsmanship (all their silks are currently made in the US). Their prices are just below some of the better known designer brands, and more often than not, in better fabrics and materials for your money.

Cuyana has always felt a bit too feminine for my taste, so it hasn’t made it on the blog before now. However, I do love their simple leather totes, and am hopeful a nice cognac will pop up in a slightly smaller size (the current sizes have all felt too overwhelming on my frame).

What brought me to finally try the silks at Cuyana was falling down the research rabbit hole on silk fabric weight, or momme, which brings me to the next topic…

What is momme silk weight?

When describing the weight of silk, the term momme (abbreviated as “mm”) is often used. It actually describes the density of the weave, and is measured by weighting a piece of silk fabric that is 100 feet by 45 inches. The higher the momme number, the denser the silk fabric, and generally, the sturdier and more opaque it is. It is generally considered that silk with a momme weight of 16-19mm is high quality, and anything above 19mm is just superb.

Why should you care? Because a silk blouse with a high momme weight will likely be more opaque, and thus less likely to show your undergarments. This is especially nice when it comes to white and light colors.

What is the momme weight of popular silk brands?

This one is tricky to nail down because not all brands disclose, but Everlane lists their silks as a 16mm crepe de chine, and as comparable to “$200 shirts we saw at high-end department stores”, so I’m guessing that means the likes of Equipment, Vince and Theory. I can’t seem to find a momme weight for Equipment’s crepe de chine, but I imagine it’s also within that 16-19mm range. If someone can find it or knows it, please let me know!

Now here is where things get interesting…Cuyana lists their silk as 22mm! That’s a heavy, high quality silk! And for less than Equipment prices to boot!

A few weeks ago, I stopped in to the San Francisco Cuyana showroom to check out some of these silks first hand. I tried on the styles they had available, and was pleasantly surprised to see so many petite-friendly options! The shirt I liked the most (I felt it was the least feminine of the cuts I tried on, and best fit my style) was the Dolman Sleeve Shirt, so I picked it up later that day in white. Since I get so many questions about quality silk and sheerness, I wanted to see if this 22mm silk would be a good option for those who need a little more opaque of a silk shirt for work or general modesty.

The Cuyana Silk Dolman Sleeve Shirt

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Cuyana Dolman Sleeve Shirt in White \\ Size XS

The lack of a shoulder seam makes this shirt a little easier to fit on different body types, but even the styles with a distinct shoulder seam were quite petite-friendly! Note the fairly short sleeves and well placed un-done button placement for my proportions. In general, I found Cuyana silks to run much shorter and petite-friendly than both Equipment and Everlane, although I much prefer the classic menswear style of my Equipment Brett. Also, the Cuyana white is much more of a cream or off-white than a stark bright white (the Equipment “bright white” is a nice stark white).

As for that 22mm silk, it has a really nice, heavy drape to it, and definitely looks luxe when worn. The texture is more of a smooth silk, as opposed to the sueded feeling of Equipment.

The approximate measurements of size xs (laid flat) are:
Shoulder: no shoulder seam
Bust: 16″
Waist: 16″
Sleeve Length: 21″
Bicep: 7″ (dolman)
Overall Length: 25.5″

Which is more sheer? 22mm Cuyana silk or lower mm Equipment silk?

Cuyana vs. Equipment silk shirt sheerness

Trying to catch the sheerness of these shirts was difficult to capture on camera, but I think this photo does a pretty decent job. Note the more obvious pant line and outline of my nude (but lacey) bra on the Equipment vs. the Cuyana. The Cuyana silk is still a bit sheer, but does a much better job at hiding what’s going on under my shirt.

All in all, if you’re looking for a high quality silk, Cuyana is worth a look!

7 Comments

  • How does the sleeve length compare to Everlane’s XS silk blouses? I’m wearing one right now and the sleeves are only a little too long for me, but still notably shorter than the Cuyana looks on you. I’m a few inches taller than you, albeit with short arms for my height, and haven’t tried Equipment before (it seems overpriced for the quality, which your review bears out).

  • Thanks for the great review. I wanted to ask that since you have quite a few silk items in your closet, would you mind writing an entry on how to care for silk apparel?

  • I suspect that Equipment silks are higher than 16mm. I sew a lot of my own clothes and the 16mm silk I’ve been able to get my hands on is pretty sheer and doesn’t have the hand that my Equipment blouse does. I also tried on an Everlane silk and thought it was a lot less substantial than my Equipment, and pretty comparable to Joie silk top I own. Equipment seems a click above the others to me. I do really want to get my hands on some of that heavy Cuyana silk for comparison! Signed, a certified fiber snob.

    • Hi Kylie! Thank you for your fiber snob expertise! I’d agree that Equipment feels heavier and less sheer than Everlane. Also, you may be interested to know I just checked the Cuyana site this morning and now they are listing their silks as 25mm!

  • Glad I came cross your blog! I’m in the market for a silk blouse for work and don’t mind paying a bit more for something that’s good quality and not sheer. Have you tried the silk blouses from Ravella? I’ve heard great things about them, but haven’t tried myself. I’m curious to hear what you think of their silk blouses.

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