Two Ways: Styling a Ruffle Blouse for Work

Jan 23, 2023

Have you ever purchased a piece of clothing that you loved in the store, gotten it home and then let it sit in your closet for weeks because you don’t know how to style it?  When I bought this J.Crew blouse, that is exactly what happened to me.  So to get my own creative process moving, I thought it was the for a Two Ways.

The Blouse // This Ruffle Neck Poplin Blouse has J.Crew 2008 vibes.  When I spotted it, I thought it was the perfect thing to wear under crewneck sweaters.  And I love a high neck blouse for adding a little drama to your look.

If you love a ruffle detail, this Tuckernuck Faye blouse is a popular choice.  Chico’s also has a popover blouse with a v-neckline that would look cool under a blazer. For a layering piece, this affordable Amazon top would look nice under a crewneck.

Look One – Relaxed Business // The phrase “business casual” just doesn’t mean anything anymore.  I think business casual is jeans with a blazer.  Others think of leggings and a sweater.  So this outfit is more of a relaxed business attire because one-half is all business and the other is in jeans.

This jacket from & Other Stories is positively scrumptious.  I love the heavy, red tweed.  It’s a piece you can wear in winter or layer over navy or grey separates in summer.  UpTempo has a similar jacket in plus.  Not a fan of red?  Here is a similar jacket in black.

I am not on team Mom jeans.  I know every woman under 33 years old feels differently, but they are just not for me.  I’m wearing skinny jeans or I’m wearing bootcut/mini-flares.  I understand if this makes me uncool, I do not care.  I will not wear jeans that make it look like my tush starts at my thoracic vertebrae and ends at my knees.

I finished this look with a very cool pair of Linea Paolo flats (love the chain detail) and a set of rings from J.Crew.  If this is the look for you, I suggest wearing your hair up to show off the collar, and instead of a red lipstick try a red nail polish.  If this look is a bit too Atlanta Junior League for your taste you can skip the blouse and go with a graphic tee.  This Frida Kahlo one is very cool and brings in the red from the jacket.

Look Two – Pure Professional // Being back in suits feels very strange after a few years in sweats.  I’m 12-months in to being back in the office, and it still strikes me as odd.  If you’re just headed back, Banana Republic has a lot of fantastic suiting.  This Lido suit jacket and pants gives you a modern look in a professional package.  The suit also comes in lots of fun colors if you want to jazz it up.  If you are looking for an ivory suit for less, Amazon has some Ramy Brook pieces.

Mixing white and ivory can look a bit stark, so I chose not to go with a standard brown shoe.  This burgundy pump from Sarah Flint was the obvious pick for a bit of winter color.  I would also add a burgundy purse.

I added a pearl earring because that’s my number one choice when I wear shades of ivory, but a modern gold earring could also be a good choice.  For the makeup, I would wear a sheer berry lip from Clinique.  I might also grab a berry-hued polish.

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How To Wear It, Style, Three Ways

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  1. Jen B says:

    The Frida Kahlo link is broken. And while on the subject, I remember you were looking for post ideas.. I’d love one with ideas for ‘adult’ graphic tees. I always feel like I’m doing a bad impression of someone cool when I try to find the right mix cool/worn with also things that aren’t more appropriate for an actual teenager.

  2. Clark says:

    I’ve been eyeing the Sarah Flint site for ages, but haven’t pulled the trigger because they are so expensive – have you had good luck with their shoes?

    • Belle says:

      It’s been hit or miss. The pumps I usually like, the flats are not built for my feet.

    • Jen B says:

      I now own a pair of flats and pair of heels. Love love love the heels, I could see how the flats are not for some but once the leather breaks are in they are lovely on my very-average (in width and length) feet, and I think they manage to have a point without overly squishing my toes.

  3. Elle says:

    The black jacket link goes to the red plus size one on Nordstrom

  4. Tiffany says:

    I positively cackled at your description of the effects of Mom Jeans.. I could not agree more!

  5. Fan fr bost says:

    Both these outfits had me saying wow. Well done!

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