Oh yes, it's The Blouse. The favourite of the aged matriarch that, in recent years, has had a revival amongst the younger crew too. They've worked out, that whilst a crisp white cotton shirt looks impeccably chic, this is until a) you've bent over to tie a shoe lace of a small child and it's come untucked at the back, baring a greying g-string to an unsuspecting (and now gagging) public and is gaping open at the boob or b) you stand up and it looks like you've slept in it, as opposed to having slaved over an ironing board for 20 minutes (I hate ironing. Seriously loathe it with a passion and am pants at it to boot. I have singularly mastered the talent of ironing in more creases than there were to begin with. I am one of those people who doesn't iron. And doesn't have anyone to iron. I am an expert hanger and smoother. I iron one thing a month, if I Have to).
But the blouse.. that icon of silky, flowy gorgeousness that is comfy to wear, hides a multitude of sins, can be layered under a jumper, tucked in or out of trousers and also goes with a skirt. Welcome to our wardrobes. The perfect day to night piece of clothing.
Oh Classic Item number two.
Why are you so darned hide to find?
What am I looking for? Well, same as I was a couple of months ago really. And haven't managed to find...
Something in a silky fabric that I can tuck in if needed. But that I can also wear loose tunic style over skinnies and a blazer. I'd also like to be able to wear it during the day with trousers (did you note I didn't say jeans...but I do mean jeans as well.)
These are a classic for sure but are easily styled so as not to look like a politician. Lots of ideas further down the page but am open to more if you have them.. (I haven't mentioned under dungarees. Which I had said I wasn't going to wear... but seeing as I already have a pair of black ones which will look so great with my new red flats.... And a blouse does work really really well under them, it would be rude not to sport them occasionally. It does appear they may be making a general reappearance this season too. Not just on me).
And I have found the best sales bargain of the month (ignoring the fact it's Jan 4th). At Jaeger Outlet (which I may have become somewhat obsessed with. Forgot to include the cashmere in yesterday which has ANOTHER 40% off the listed price. If there was a time to buy cashmere, it's today and it's on the Jaeger Outlet)
But even more reasonably priced are these blouses.
V Neck Blouse was £120 now £29.. BUT it's got another 40% off. Which makes it ridiculously reasonable for a Jaeger blouse, that's got to be cheaper than Tesco?
And the red - also only £29 down from £120 and that's pre the extra 40% off.
Another lovely looking navy one at M&S in their Autograph range and I saw these last week instore. They look a lot more luxe than the price tag would give them credit for. Personally, I'm looking for something that's slightly longer in the body but then, I am 5ft10 so for normal height people this would be absolutely fine.
With this, I love the versatility of having it done up for a round neck look and undone to give the impression of a v neck.
Long Sleeve Blouse from Autograph in navy was £35
And the blush which is absolutely gorgeous. I've mentioned in the past that one thing I do like to do to breathe new life into last year's wardrobe is to embrace a new tonal colour to liven up the neutrals. Seeing as the Me+Em jumper from yesterday in blush was sold out in my size (ignoring the price tag...) maybe this would be a much better option. So stunning with greys. I also love with khaki as well...
Long Sleeve Blouse from Autograph in the blush was £35
A collar now at Tommy Hilfiger. Now these aren't the cheapest, but these are excellent quality, generous fits (although I do still tend to have to size up but the dimensions are more generous than in UK brands I find. Wear your own size if you're not ridiculously tall). And they're a good reduction. If you haven't tried the brand before, I bought my first jumper from them last Summer and have worn it loads and loads.
Cotton Modal long sleeve shirt - was £75 now £53 from Tommy Hilfiger. A shirt style but in a fluid fabric. Perfect.
And collarless again but added interest with what looks like a textured polka dot. In navy. Perfect with jeans, perfect for work. Ideal with coated skinnies or leather leggings in black for a night out.
Cotton Viscose Polkadot Blouse from Tommy Hilfiger was £70 now £49
Very similar shape at Wallis in black with a complete bargain price.
Black pleated sleeve blouse was £35 now £17 I fear this won't be long enough on me and would give a flash of food baby every time I bend over (not that I bend over a lot, I am at pains to point out but you can guarantee that were I to wear this, I would end up in a situation where I was either bending down or leaning up, giving everyone a view of flesh they need never see).
Back at M&S and now with my beloved pussy bow.. These would be ideal for work - would I wear one during the day casually? Well, do you know what - I have one of these. I have just remembered even though I'd worn it recently for a Christmas party with leather skinnies. And I had the bow undone like this. I think I should just start wearing this more during the day. Mine is black which they have but there also is a blush version too.
Long sleeve bow blouse from M&S Collection £28
And in the black again £28 I am absolutely most definitely going to be wearing mine with my black pleated skirt next time I go out. So that's one less thing on my Wishlist. TICK! Oh and if you were pondering whether to get one of these, I have had mine for six years now... And yes it is silk and yes I do handwash (ie on the machine wash cycle) it. From an era when Zara rocked.
Can we ignore the rather random pairing with the skirt. I'd be interested to know who would wear this together. Shopping at M&S..... However it doesn't take away from the fact it's a gorgeous (and highly useful) blouse.
Berry at Wallis. This shade definitely isn't just for the festive season. Teamed with grey or camel (the latter is even more gorgeous if you throw in cream as well) it can be the perfect transitional shade for taking you from Winter into Spring (ignoring the fact that we haven't had Winter yet..). And you'll already be one step ahead of the game for next Winter.
Berry Pussybow Blouse was £30 now £24 from Wallis
New season at Mango. I have just got completely and utterly distracted with looking at new stock there (go forth and drool but give yourself a spare half hour)
Tie-neck blouse £49.99 in ink at Mango
Or the white version... again £49.99
Double coloured at Tommy Hilfiger now. Love this. Really unusual but what a difference this would make to a pair of jeans, navy blazer, leopard print heels for a night out. And just as wearable during the day with faded boyfriends and a navy blazer. Just add sneakers.
Crepe Bow Blouse from Tommy Hilfiger was £85 now £60
Also at Mango are the new in oversized shirts. Oh HOW I wish there was one of these in black...
But then not everyone likes black and so perhaps the china blue will be better.
Flowy Long Shirt in China Blue £29.99
But again - guess what's going to be popular this year? Oh yes, that will be blush. Or Nude as they call it... This with a grey blazer and white skinnies.. For now though, I would love to layer under a grey jumper with black coated skinnies, boots and a grey coat or long cardigan.
Nude Flowy long shirt £29.99 from Mango - new in £29.99
I have done so many blogs on these over the years, I really have. And I have only found one blouse (or flowy shirt) that I love. One that I can happily, hand on heart say I wear weekly. But as perfect as it is for day wear, I haven't quite round round to wearing it out at night. There's something about a white shirt for the night that reminds me of my silver serving waiting days... hardly the most glamourous of memories, believe me.
Having said that, I have just remembered, I did want to try it with my black skinny scarf which I had totally forgotten about.. hmm maybe I'll do that this weekend for our big family Christmas.
This the shirt I love and wear so so often. And yes, it's now in the sale. And yes, it is very similar to the new in Mango ones above... *eyes up the nude shirt*.
Double Layer Shirt from Me+Em were £88 now £61.60 AND there is an extra 10% off all sale - automatically applied at the till until midnight tonight Monday.
The one shirt that I have toyed with all season and it's the darned dry cleaning that puts me off (apparently "grown up people" dry clean... this was according to an interesting article I read earlier about how to dress when you're over 40 and we should all be dry cleaning things by all accounts. Cock. I knew I'd gone wrong somewhere....maybe this means I'm actually still only 38).
But with the extra 10% off this is such a bargain. And I do have a big birthday lunch coming up at the end of the month... (however I could just wear my other pussy bow shirt I've remembered... YES I'm going to do that. *punches air at taking something else off the wishlist*). However could someone else who perhaps doesn't mind dry cleaning, please order it?
Satin Back French Cuff Shirt was £148 now £44.40 pre extra 10% off (even I can do those maths... actually maybe I can't. Whatevs it's a good buy).
One thing I have learnt whilst doing this blog is something I've mentioned again and again and yes, I keep forgetting. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this continually? If you're like me then let's be in it together and remember to not keep things purely for best. I shall be cracking out my black pussy bow shirt that I have always only worn in the evening, for during the day with a blazer and either sneakers or my (yet to be found...) pointed chelsea boots. Actually in the meantime, they'll look great with my Toga Pullas and skinnies. Not to mention them being the ideal shirt to wear out at night or for a big lunch. Now there's a plan, another big tick in the Classics box and one thing less to buy for my Spring wardrobe.
Meanwhile, no blouse wearing today as I was home with a sick child, bless him. The 9yr old and he doesn't normally do sickness well at all but has totally taken this bout in this stride.
Black bat sweatshirt - Zoe Karssen
Black Lola joggers - Whistles
Grey cardigan - Zara
Black Edie leather boots - Seven Boot Lane (now in the sale!)
Pom pom hat - Black
Wrist Warmers - Black
Another classic done and a timely reminder of DO NOT KEEP THINGS FOR BEST. I simply cannot be the only one guilty of this? Although I don't plan on wearing a blouse tomorrow seeing as yet again I shall be housebound with a now not remotely sick child (48hr rule.) so another day of puzzles and Cluedo it is for me.. (I refused to play Nerf guns which apparently makes me mean... Got a 250 piece Where's Wally puzzle for tomorrow though which I am looking forward to more than I possibly should be...). Obviously just waiting for the other two to drop like flies now.
Therefore I shall have time to be back tomorrow with... another classic or shall I go off piste? Thinking about it, I've been very distracted today by other items I've thought - YES, that's on the list for Spring and some, which might not be traditional classics, have certainly made their way into "mainstream" and are easy to wear.