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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Perhaps this photo illustrates what I am trying to say.
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.
Clearly the blouse stands on its own in the RTO environment, but for Zoom, this brooch is the finishing touch.
** 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.
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