The Virtues of Black Blouses

Several weeks ago, I posted a tribute to white blouses. Today, I’d like to give black blouses their due.

A black blouse is a great addition to the professional wardrobe.
By “black blouse,” I mean a shirt — not a jersey — that buttons down the front or back. A collar is a nice feature (because collars have presence) but some of my favorite black blouses have round necklines.
Blouses in fluid or supple fabrics like silk and cotton voile (with a simple black camisole underneath) allow one to layer comfortably. If you are buying a black blouse to act as a base layer (under jackets, sweaters, or other tops) and the fabric is very light and pliable, it doesn’t matter if the blouse is too big; your top layer will simply compress any extra fabric. So if you see a Fortuny-pleated blouse on sale that is two sizes too big for you, snap it up.
My Fortuny-pleated blouse
This old post? My Fortuny-pleated blouse, which was purchased on sale and is too big for me

See by Chloe from YOOX
See by Chloe from YOOX
Carlag from YOOX
Carlag. from YOOX

So why do I love black blouses? How do I count the ways? First, black blouses look extremely chic with a black suit — far more stylish than a white blouse. Same thing is true of black blouses with medium to pale grey suits. Second, if you pair a black blouse with a black jacket or sweater (cardigan or wrap-style) and pants in just about any color (including jeans on casual Friday), you have a simple but great outfit. (Of course, this depends on the intrinsic appeal of the jacket and pants — but you’ve chosen wisely, I’m sure.) In the summer, a black blouse with crisp white pants is also foolproof. Third, it’s really hard to stain a black blouse. [Warning: I said hard, not impossible. Beware of grease stains (rasher of bacon, can of motor oil) when wearing black.]

Suoli from YOOX
Suoli from YOOX
Mauro Grifoni from YOOX
Mauro Grifoni from YOOX

And special bonus: this charming blouse by Vanessa Bruno, who seems to have struck up an alliance with Anthropologie. I thought it was black, but it’s actually navy.

1 thought on “The Virtues of Black Blouses”

  1. Would love to have several of the above blouses. The more feminine versions are the more useful in my opinion, but wouldn’t hesitate to try them all.


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