Ask Belle: Beyond Boring Blouses

Jul 10, 2014

Belle,

I recently cut about 6 inches off of my hair.  It is now above the shoulder. The cut makes me feel a little more powerful and sure of myself. And all my shirts are boring me to tears. I need things that are a little more funky, unique, noticeable than my usual v-neck tee-shirt.

I cannot stand collars (the glory of being self-employed is that I can avoid them) and adore necklines that are not the norm.  And I do not tend to spend a lot on shirts, but could be swayed for quality.  Do you have any ideas?  And stores you think I should check out? 

Many thanks!! Meredith

Let’s start with the stores.  I would begin with the outlet shops: Saks Off 5th, Banana Republic Factory, J.Crew Factory, and Neiman Marcus Last Call.  Here are some of my favorite tops from those stores.

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Neiman Marcus Lace Inset Blouse ($45) // Michael Kors Three-Quarter Abstract Blouse ($45) // Rachel Roy Pleat Collar Blouse ($99)

The blouse on the left has a cool, lacy neckline and a pleated, accordion back.  I’m not usually a big fan of the longer rear hem, but I like the way this one is styled.  It would look great with jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt.

If you like the look of a blouse with a different fabric on the yoke, there are some lovely options out there.  I adore this $20 lace yoke tee from Off 5th in white or black.  I also like the wrap-around sheer yoke on this Free People top (comes in five colors).  And while it might be a bit more than you wanted to spend, I have to mention this blush-colored Marc Jacobs top with a textured yoke (so pretty). Plus-size?  Try this Vince Camuto mixed-media tank.

If you’re comfortable with a unique neckline, why not a bold print?  I love this MK blouse above and it’s slightly crazy print.  This sleeveless Olive & Oak blouse has a great ikat print to it.  I’m also slightly obsessed with this snake-print blouse from Rebecca Taylor.  But my favorite blouse is also the least expensive (for once!)–have a look at the subtle floral print on this top from JCPenney with shades of purple and black.

Lastly, maybe a slight ruffle at the neck would be nice?  This pleated collar top from Rachel Roy is lovely.  I also like this LOFT blouse with a waterfall effect on the placket.  Or if you’re looking for something more subtle, try this Mango blouse with a slight ruffle on the sleeve or this cute, jade-colored, flutter-sleeve top from Forever21.

Plus-size?  Try this pleated neck top from Jones New York.  Petite?  Check out the ruffle front and beaded neck on the NY&Co. top.

 

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  1. Mary says:

    Thanks for these suggestions. I recently went from shoulder length brown hair to a short gray crop – at the age of 36, I decided to give in to nature. Now I’m thinking a lot differently about my wardrobe, both in terms of style and color. Because I am young with gray hair, I especially want to stay away from anything that could veer towards boring or dowdy. With gray hair, the color of tops especially is also a major concern. I will be clearing out a number of tops from the closet soon because they now make me look washed out and tired.

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