Bye Bye Knitwear, hello blouses
‘Mummy, can I have a Cinderella cake for my birthday?’
…Perfectly fine you might say, were it not the day before your fifth birthday and a complete and utter volte-face from the previously much discussed (for that read several months of googling by the aforementioned five year old) and to all intents and purposes made, Rapunzel cake. As my seven year old chimed at me the other day – AGH, Ain’t Gonna Happen. Sorry love.
I am no Mary Berry. I know my limitations. And while I cannot accommodate capricious whims on the gateau front, I know it is about time we adapted to the seasonal and sartorial changes to give ourselves a little wardrobe refresh. For months now you have probably been living in your knitwear but it is time to bid these farewell and to move on from the woolly stuff and into a blouse. If the thought of shedding these warm layers brings you out in goose bumps – just pop on one of those good old Uniqlo Heattech layers underneath for an extra bit of insulation.
Starting off with a total wardrobe staple – the cream blouse. It is important that it is not white as an ivory looks infinitely more expensive even if it isn’t. Jigsaw’s cream Crocus Drape Stitch Blouse £90 which also comes in light blue, bright yellow, wine and black is a winner. This is one of those hero pieces that is ideal for the office with tailored trousers or a skirt. However, pair with some coated jeans/denim, heels and blazer and you have a great evening out option too, thanks in part to the lovely drapey and silky fabric.
Having a little bit of detailing can be all you need so Whistles’ Dana Scalloped Edge Blouse £70 is beautifully understated.
Or for £17.99 you can try H&M’s V Neck Blouse
If you already have cream covered, then a nice alternative is a pale pink. H&M’s Satin Blouse £29.99 is in a lovely silky material but shiny and nasty looking at all despite the price tag.
Alternatively Monsoon has its Wendy Woven Top £39. This has a jersey back combined with the silky front which makes it the perfect smart casual option.
They also have the Robyn Pleat Front Top £35 for a slightly more formal style.
And I have this Topshop Self Jacquard Gypsy Blouse £34. Another one in the silky look fabric that is everywhere thanks to the catwalks’ lingerie inspired dressing. Unlike a shiny satin though, this fabric (which is very similar to the Jigsaw, H&M and Monsoon styles) is very versatile and works for both day and evening.
Neither ivory nor nude but still very lovely is this Kerala Blouse £59 from Hush. Yes it works with denim for the day, but pop on a pair of tailored trousers and work wear is sorted too.
For a gorgeous summery feel it also comes in this colour.
Or at the opposite end of the spectrum go dark with this Long Sleeve Button Side Blouse £36 from Warehouse.
There is a lot of high neck styling going on which I love but which isn’t for everyone (bigger busts beware – a v neck might be a better option). This Ruffle Neck Top £98 is gorgeous. Amazing for the office and just as good for a night out with a long line blazer and heels.
Second Female is a lovely brand that is stocked in Anthropologie although they don’t happen to have this gorgeous Kruse Blouse £84 which comes in ivory, a greeny/grey , blue and I have also seen this in a burnt orange/rust colour in their concession in Bentalls.
Tick off a couple of birds with one stone and do high neck and pearls in this Top with Faux Pearls on the Shoulder £25.99 at Zara.
Also in the high necked camp is this gingham number from Zara that I have: Checked Blouse £29.99. I didn’t love gingham when it was around last summer but here I am on the bandwagon.
You can’t have missed the bold florals that started last season and are still continuing so here are a couple. Warehouse has collaborated with the Barbican and this Songbird Flute Sleeve Top £32 is a fab print from that collection.
Or go bold with the orange colourway.
At Oasis the Butterfly Flute Sleeve Top £38 is a very nice alternative to a black ground print but will work with dark neutral trousers and skirts and denim.
The season’s changing – not that you’d know it – so it’s time for a shift towards a whole load of more peasant inspired tops and Zara is king here with so many gorgeous styles to choose from. In fact, I’m having a bit of re-kindled relationship with Zara at the mo having fallen out of love a while ago.
I have a similar navy blouse to this from last season: Die Cut Embroidered Blouse £29.99.
Victoriana high necked and lace – Embroidered Shirt £29.99 from Zara. And they don’t just have to be a casual denim thing. These blouses would work just as well with tailored trousers and a jacket for the office.
For a bit of colour try the Top with Floral Embroidery £25.99.
And I also very much like the Embroidered Blouse with Beading £29.99.
Less on the peasanty side but very lovely nonetheless is Massimo Dutti’s Guipure Top with Pleated and Scalloped Detail £59.95.
Now can spring actually officially do it’s thing and make an appearance please?!