Blouses and shirts are a classic addition to any woman’s wardrobe, whether they’re going to work or hanging out with friends. Working out just how to wear them isn’t always easy, though. If you get it wrong, they can be too baggy, or they can gape, flashing everyone your bra or stomach.
Sometimes they end up making you look boxy, or too formal, or you can end up with a fashion disaster by picking something too frilly. Shirts and blouses don’t have to be just for the office, and they can help you make a stunning outfit. Have a look at some of my tips for how you can rock one, without looking boring or like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes.
Try a Silk Blouse for a Better Fit
If you’re a bit wary of wearing a blouse because of the way they fit, my top tip is to try a silk blouse. The reason is that silk, or even just imitation silk, will behave in a more forgiving way than other materials. A cotton blouse doesn’t have much stretch to it, so it has to fit in all the right places. But a silk one tends to be more drapey, so it’s easier to find one that fits and suits you. A classic white silk blouse can work for so many outfits, from your office wear to red carpet glam. Plus, silk always feels fantastic.
Get a Shirt Tailored to Fit
A lot of women find that they struggle with blouses and shirts because they’re designed to button up down the front. Even when they’re structured to fit a woman’s curves, they still cause problems for many ladies – especially those with a bigger chest. If the shirt fits on your chest, it can end up being like a tent everywhere else. And if it fits everywhere else, you’re left flashing your boobs to the world. One option is to use a button or pin to hold your shirt closed, but an alternative is to get a shirt tailored to fit you. Or you can try a brand like Pepperberry from Bravissimo, which is designed with different bra sizes in mind.
Balance Out Strong Patterns
A patterned blouse is a great way to get some fun into your outfit. You can have anything from ditsy flowers to something that’s a bit more on the wild side, like the tiger print silk shirt from Mela Purdie. One thing you have to remember though is that you don’t want to go overboard. If you’ve chosen a bold patterned shirt or blouse, don’t pair it with lots of other patterns or bright colours. Instead, stick to some slim black trousers or a fitted dark skirt. It will tone down your blouse a little, so your outfit isn’t too out there.
Experiment with Sleeve Length
Shirts and blouses don’t have to be long-sleeved. In fact, they don’t even have to have any sleeves at all. I love the look of sleeveless blouses, especially in the summer. They can look just as smart as a long-sleeved shirt, and they’re super cute too. You can also try a short sleeve, or half or three-quarter-length. And if you do wear a long-sleeved blouse, you can roll up the sleeves if you feel like changing up your look.
Make a Feature of the Collar
One of the best things about wearing a shirt or blouse is the collar. A shirt collar can be so fun, especially if you’re willing to experiment. You can add cute collar tips to it for some fun detail, or you create a DIY statement collar by adding some jewels or studs to it. You can even just buy a separate collar that you can add to your shirt. Instead of a shirt collar, or even as well as one, you might like the slightly strangely named pussy bow collar. It’s basically just a floppy bow, but it can give your outfit a cute detail.
Try a Sheer Blouse
If you’re willing to try something a bit more out there, a sheer blouse is fun to try. Not everyone is comfortable wearing one, especially if you only have a bra on underneath. But you can also wear another top underneath it, like a little vest or camisole. You can leave it untucked over your skirt, trousers, shorts, or leggings. Or you could tuck it in, with a high-waisted skirt or trousers for more of a block effect.
Everyone should have at least one shirt or blouse in their wardrobe. Find your favourite ways to wear yours.