The Supremacy of the Statement Blouse

As reliant as I have been on dresses, historically, to get through summer, this year is all about the Statement Blouse.

In our sartorially uncertain times, a statement blouse (Statement Blouse) with action slacks and sport sandals seems right (or at least, reasonable) to me for workdays that don’t involve courtrooms or clients.

You decide! I’ll just provide the facts.

Exhibit A: Demonstrably Reasonable

Please not the gathered neckline; a wide elastic was used very effectively

This simple outfit combines a smartly cut black poplin top, a pair of action slacks that may be 20 years old, and my sale-priced, stockpiled Skechers. The top is given a great shape by a gathered neckline and circular side cutouts that are finished with generous ties.

Note: I have made the cutouts work-appropriate by wearing a black camisole under the top.

Finishing things off, a small vintage Lucite brooch that looks — well, you know me — good enough to eat.

Allow me to show you the cutouts.
Can you see them now? No?
How about now?

I bought this blouse after seeing it on-line worn by a lissome young model. She was very beautiful and laughing, and thusly persuaded me to think: I can get away with small side cut-outs! I could wear this with joie de vivre on the weekends!

But alas when the blouse arrived and I tried it on, the cut-outs were much higher on the torso than I thought and revealed my bra. And that I will not do, even on the weekends.

Alas, not as free-spirited as I thought

Have we discussed Ruby Lane as an excellent source for vintage costume jewelry? It is! In general, Ruby Lane is a more (much more) affordable market than 1st Dibs. You can find some of the more famous costume jewelry designers like Hattie Carnegie and Miriam Haskell, but also loads of anonymous pieces of great charm.

This little brooch — 1.5″ in diameter — is a nice finishing touch against black, tan, khaki, and fatigue green. Although its depth can’t be more than 3/16 of an inch, fragments of metal, plastic, and glass arranged in an abstract floral design seem to be floating in a deeper field.

Very Affordable Brooch

Exhibit B; also, I am so well-lit in this photo, I look like an angel

Continuing our zealous prosecution of the case for Statement Blouses, here is one that I bought back in 2019! While the black top is elegant in its simplicity, this one is very busy. Arguably, it’s hectic.

But who can resist smocking or gingham or purple? Or all three in combination? Perhaps a stronger man than I could have turned away, but I was overcome.

Here, a mischievous angel

Clever construction

This top is cleverly constructed with a peplum that is split at the sides. Given its longer length (it covers the hips), those slits provide a lot of ease with no bulk.

This top does need to be worn with slim pants, I think. If it were 3 inches shorter, it would work with wide-legged pants. Proportions!

The Photographer wanted you to see the fabric up close. What might look like an unfocused shot is actual a very clear depiction of smocked gingham. The gingham is distorted and it’s not The Photographer’s fault.

I look like I’m thinking about ice cream here, don’t I

Thinking resolutely about ice cream; it’s 85 degrees at 7:00 p.m. but feels like 120 F

In repose, disbelieving

Leaving you with some of my favorite photos from the day. To the left, just one of the dozen expressions The Photographer caught. Like Harper, I have a lot of faces.

Below, I rushed the camera. The Photographer thinks I look like a monkey. That’s ridiculous. I look like a wild boar.

Wild boar or monkey? As always, you decide, Directorate

Black Top: Top Shop from ASOS (was also carried by Nordstrom); Purple top: 3.1 Phillip Lim; Wide-legged action slacks: Garnet Hill c. 2002-03; Skinny action slacks: Prana Halle Straight Pant II

3 thoughts on “The Supremacy of the Statement Blouse”

  1. The brooch is sweet and the gingham is lovely – I am really liking your summer wardrobe. I think these are appropriate clothing choices if working “summer hours” – however what are you wearing to court and to client meetings? Especially when it’s cooking…

  2. Love the neckline on the black blouse! I am sadly a too typical New Yorker and tend to default to black, but that gathering really adds something to an otherwise basic construction.

  3. Ooh, suddenly there’s a treasure trove of new posts—such a happy reading day, thank you! Interesting how 2019 is making something of a comeback in your current wardrobe. Personally, I believe in your ability to wear the cutouts with full joie de vivre and no camisole (not at work, but surely on some fun date or just being out and about). And given the heat in D.C., why not pounce on the opportunity to ventilate from the sides? Now I’m wondering which of my shirts I could carve up similarly…though in Fogust in SF there’s no practical advantage…


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