Ah, the humble buttoned up top. The simplest of garments. Yet, one of the hardest to wear everyday. The staple of uniforms and dress codes all over the world. Blouses and shirts remind me of school and my years of gainful employment so, since I had to leave work, I have left them to others. The problem is, aside from the association, it’s bloody hard to find a blouse that doesn’t gape and still fits. While I’m hardly blessed in the chestal region, I have a swollen ribcage and narrow waist. Fitted blouses/shirts are particularly bad, which is a shame really.
The thing that appeals most about the button-down banes of my life, is the way it makes you feel. Very feminine and prim. I always seem to sit a little straighter in a blouse and be more careful. Whether I’m wearing denim or silk, cotton or chiffon, I feel more ladylike and polished than if I’m wearing one of my usual tops. Plus, they never go out of style. The blouse has been around since forever. The Edwardians, in particular, rocked the prim look. While denim shirts have been the staple of a wannabe cowgirl since – well, cowgirls were invented.
Miss Selfridge has a great range of blouses and shirts at the moment. From the timeless to the fashion-forward, they have got it on the money, IMO. I particularly like their denim shirts and am trying to talk myself into getting this pussy bow denim number, which is so different to most denim shirts. If I were a little funkier, I would be all over this peplum style blouse, which comes in pink, cream, pale blue and black. I also rather like this denim blouse with chiffon sleeves. The mixture of fabrics add interest and versatility.
Another bonus with blouses, is the pattern. Geometric, floral, abstract, it makes no odds. I was pleasantly surprised by Marks & Spencers’ range of blouses. It’s worth hunting through for a few goodies, including this bird print one in the ever stylish monochrome palette, and this fab striped blouse. The addition of yellow adds freshness and updates it beautifully. Both are £29.50 and would be hugely practical.
H&M have got some beauties too, this machine washable, 100% silk blouse has a lovely vintage feel (I’m particularly keen on the bright yellow, but it’s out of stock), I’ve bought this sleeveless blouse while it’s on special offer (£3.99? Don’t mind if I do) the fabric is lovely and soft, but it is rather big. Fine with a pair of leggings, but wouldn’t work as well with jeans, unless you tucked it in. While I’m on sleeveless blouses (and the sun’s shining – so why not?) I LOVE this hawaiian number.
I have recently bitten the bullet and got this blouse from H&M, I completely love it, and while it’s not the most versatile thing I’ve ever bought, it’s pretty cool and makes me feel sort of “pulled together” without being OTT.
Its got a lovely silky/satin feel and look and is surprisingly comfortable, not only that, but I used codes 0241 for 25% off and 1304 for £5 off. So, really, I got it for £2. And for that price it doesn’t have to go with everything, does it? See, I talk myself into/out of things on a regular basis! I suppose, as with everything, it comes down to shape. Have you chosen the right shape? Can you wear them buttoned all the way? Do you need to roll your sleeves up all the time? The black and white blouse looks best fully buttoned and with the sleeves down, I wouldn’t wear it when I was doing the washing up and housework all day, because it would get ruined. But that’s ok, there are plenty of things I wouldn’t wear day to day, and plenty that I wouldn’t wear for special occasions. Not everything has to be multi-purpose. that’s what I tell myself anyway.
Until next time, Happy Fabulizing, peeps!