Sunday, June 17, 2012

The blouse is back!

Pirates, Peasants, and Poets
Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's remembers the blouse.    Even though this item of clothing has its roots in menswear (think pirates, peasants, and poets...) they are primarily womenswear now.

With its updated 1970's fashion, the blouse was the quintessential clothing piece for a polished woman in the corporate world.  The 70's and 80's were the "dress for success" era, where if you "dressed" like you were upper management, you were more trusted and could move up in the company.

1970's pattern
(Which, by the way, is still how perceptions of success are perceived today...and also the reason that it matters how sister missionaries dress!)

The blouse basically became a woman's version of a men's dress shirt.  We wore them in silkier fabrics, with feminine details (like lace collars, and bows) and they were cut to flatter and drape on our shapelier figures.  They were so popular and durable, that for years, every DI, Salvation Army store, and Saver's was full of these polyester blouses.

Well, guess what!  The blouse is back!  It has actually been back for a couple of years now, but we are finally seeing the trend here in the conservative west.  (What that means is that we are finally gutsy enough to wear them even though our eyes have been telling us we are wearing what our moms wore...)  Anyhow, there are a lot of advantages to the blouse that make it very popular again today.

Here is a list of why the Blouse is a great addition to your wardrobe:

1.  Many of the fabulous styles can be found in washable fabrics that are easy to wear, and easy to care for.  So, the runways feature the blouses done in silk, while we can find them done in polyester.  Polyester has become so well done these days that it is hard to tell often if it is silk or not!  The fibres actually have to be tested with a "fire test" to see if the burn or melt--burning meaning it it is silk, and melting being polyester.  So, wear that polyester with pride!  You look fabulous!

2.  The cut of the blouse is more appropriate for real women.  Going the way of the Dodo bird are the fashions that highlight the "yoga" body that most of us don't have.  (that is of course, unless you are actually on your way to yoga, which apparently I am all day everyday when I'm at home in my yoga pants...) The blouse is not as fitted as the tailored "mens" style clothing we have been packing ourselves in for the past 15 years.  We have lumps and bumps as women, and the blouse drapes more comfortably over them.  You can actually look and feel thinner because you aren't wearing some little knit ditty that makes you look like...well, a stuffed sausage.

3.  No more busting buttons!  One of the best things about a blouse is that often the style doesn't button up front.  It is hard to have a great fitting blouse that buttons over the "bumps" of the bust!  Nothing like playing peek-a-boo with your top because you can't keep your placate closed on your shirt.  Unless a shirt is tailored just for you, it can be tough to keep things "locked and loaded."  A blouse solves this, and all the while letting you enjoy the cool comfort of a woven fabric.

4.  The fashion trend now allows us to dress down our nice blouses by pairing them with jeans.  This is a nice departure from the buttoned up, corporate, Sunday best version of the blouse that makes them fun to wear.   For Sister Missionaries, of course the fashion choice is clear.  However, that means that the blouses you take on your mission can be repurposed a little while later at home!  (and believe me, these blouses will survive, despite your best efforts!)

Here are some great blouses we are carrying right this minute at our store!  

We designed these babies ourselves, and carefully chose the fabric and construction to make them comfortable and durable for Sister Missionaries.  They fit well, are easily altered, and built to last.

This top comes in a nice Rose, Sky Turquoise (pictured), Smoky Taupe, and Berry Red.
If the elastic in the sleeves bothers you, we can take it out.  

This blouse has coordinating cuffs on the short sleeve under the blazer.
Currently this blouse is only available in Cream with black trim.  

Here is that same bow blouse under one of our favorite blazers.

There are more to come!  Just keep in mind that "The Blouse is Back!" We are so glad!  You will not only feel better in a blouse, you will look better too.

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