The Reign of the Statement Blouse

Looking over my summer clothes with an eye to the RTO schedule, I have realized that I don’t need any dresses. I won’t be able to wear all of the ones I already own over the course of the summer months. And I have some lovelies that haven’t seen the sun since 2019 like this, this, this, this and this.*

In keeping with the times (End Times?), where set waistbands and even pants have been abandoned, it seems the garment of the season is the Statement Blouse. That is where New Acquisitions (a division of Directrice Global Industries Ltd.) has focused.

Bold silhouettes have been the goal.

You may be saying, “Directrice, be honest. How bold can a blouse really –“

Stop, look, listen, non-believers! A blouse can be as bold as the most absurd imagination attached to a sewing machine and a distribution chain. At right is Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

Are you a believer now?
Seeing is supposed to be believing

This blouse is from Endless Rose, an L.A.-based company that distributes on-trend pieces at more affordable prices through retailers like Shopbop, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus.

I say more affordable because Endless Rose pieces sell for under $100 but look a lot like the more expensive designer pieces that sell for $200-$500. Endless Rose is a corporate sibling of English Factory, another bridge label.**

The blouse is very well-made, beautifully constructed of fine cotton poplin and fully lined. The majestic sleeves are fashioned with an inner sleeve that provides structure under the volume. Most ingenious.

Structure is everything, isn’t it

Majestic sleeves are engineered

The fit of this blouse is shrunken, intentionally, so I am wearing size L here. Size S felt a little too snug and short. A medium probably would have been perfect, but was not in stock. Alas.

The only thing about this blouse that is not perfect is: the placket has no closure. I think I could wear it without one and not risk a public indecency charge, but the problem was easily fixed with these old friends. The center one is holding the blouse closed; the smaller pin is just keeping the larger one company.

Remember these silk covered buttons? Last seen here+

You didn’t think we were done, did you?

The Directrice does nothing by half-measures and that includes Statement Blouse Showcase.

Here is the other superstar of summer 2022: Pinstripe Bat.

My susceptibility to blue and white stripes is well established, and this Rosie Assoulin blouse (found on The RealReal) seemed like the perfect summer alternative to a jacket: crisp stripes, a collar with presence, a trim belt.

But wait, there’s more.

The name will soon be clear

It’s almost a bustle

Boom!

Charmante, non?

The hem of the blouse is above 4 inches deep and is lined with a heavy interfacing. Structure! Some of you may remember from Home Ec or 4-H that iron-on interfacing is used to make certain parts of a garment — e.g., the collar or placket — more stable or durable. Or, in more inventive projects, to provide shape.

What this means is: When the waist of this boxy blouse is cinched, the interfacing enables this lightweight poplin to form a dramatic, wavy form.


The only downside to this terrific construction is that this cotton garment MUST BE DRYCLEANED. Take it from me, water and interfacing do not mix. Water + interfacing = bubbles + buckling + deep regret + inconsolable sorrow.

This blog is like an exercise in public service
Please learn from the lessons I’ve learned the hard way

Come a little closer and look at the sleeves. They aren’t really sleeves.

Truly, there are no sleeves. This blouse is essentially two pieces of fabric stitched together with a collar and fantastic peplum/hem. Correction: Since there is a placket down the front, the front is really two separate pieces of fabric.

Never mind exactly how many pieces are part of the construction. The sleeves are just openings in the body.

Non-sleeves

Perhaps this photo illustrates what I am trying to say.

Wings!

If my job were to put things on a high shelf, or climb a ladder, over and over again all day, this blouse would be unsuitable. But since I mostly sit at a desk and exert myself physically only in typing or writing (constant) and raising my voice (rare), it works.

Note: With just a little more interfacing, this could work for B.A.S.E. jumping

Clearly the blouse stands on its own in the RTO environment, but for Zoom, this brooch is the finishing touch.

Portal or canyon

* I am such a liar. Even though I don’t need any dresses, I did buy one — a casual one — for this summer. I highly recommend the Somerset Dress from Anthropologie, which comes in a bunch of great prints and flatters many figure types. I particularly like the black-and-white abstract print and the medium pink floral. This dress could also be shortened to knee length quite easily.

** For a refresher on labels and price points, see this old post, which attempts to sort things out.

+ Glad I took a look back. Two good outfits that I had completely forgotten in that post.

I liked the blouse and pins so much that I used them for my new passport photo

White blouse: Endless Rose Ruffle Detail Blouse (back in stock in every size); Pinstripe blouse: Rosie Assoulin from The RealReal (there is another one there right now, but it seems to be missing the belt); Pants: Prana Halle Straight Pant II; Camouflage Platform Sneakers (old): Superga; Black loafers (old): Grenson; Bag (old): Orla Kiely; Brooch: Clarissa Long from Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h 

7 thoughts on “The Reign of the Statement Blouse”

  1. I like the statement you’re making! And thanks for linking the Anthropologie dress. I love that it comes in so many patterns and colors. Interesting how different it can look depending on the scale of the pattern.

    Reply
  2. Impressive summer fashion. Note magicians who regularly say “nothing up my sleeve” may – or may not – feel compelled to adjust their jargon while wearing a sleeve-within-a-sleeve top.

    Reply
  3. It feels like you have an endless closet – those dresses you have in your summer wardrobe just waiting to be worn! I had to peek at each and every link you included. And these blouses are inspiring to me – the sleeves/non-sleeves are awesome on each.

    Reply
  4. These blouses are great. Loved looking back at the dresses and the places they were photographed and the quality of that photography.

    Reply

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