I remember distinctly the first moment I fell in love with blouses. I had invited my college friend to visit my hometown on the coast of southern California, and I was elated to show this East-Coast girl exactly what made my West-Coast heart sing. The two of us had initially bonded over our pride in our personal style, though I was naturally the more casual dresser and she always more polished.
Like the hundreds of beach days of my youth, I had thrown on a simple tank and shorts and rushed out the door on my way to greet her. Low and behold, she showed up in a perfect pair of vintage cutoffs, beautiful leather sandals, delicate gold jewelry and, of course, a gorgeous printed blouse. Most of the locals in the acai-bowl joint we met at were hardly wearing any more than bikinis and swim shorts. I was in awe of her sophisticated look. I had literally never thought of a blouse as beachwear before.
It was that realization that led me to see blouses for just how versatile they are. These days, I would go so far as to argue that they are more versatile than jeans—which is saying something coming from someone who wears a pair at least five days a week. How can I make such a claim, then? Because, as my friend demonstrated, you can wear a nice blouse for just about any occasion imaginable—formal or not. You can’t say the same for jeans (though blouses pair impeccably—and in my opinion, best—with a raw denim wash).
For the most casual instances, like the beach, blouses can be tucked into cutoffs and worn with flat sandals. In full vacation mode, you can wear them with soft shorts, a straw hat and a perpetual do-not-disturb facade. For anything from work to date nights, you can pair them with skinnies, straight legs and flares. Wear them with trousers, both pegged and wide-leg, for a more formal or conservative feel. Dress them up even further with a coordinating midi skirt. And á la Carolina Herrera, you can actually wear one with a ball-gown skirt, should the opportunity or event arise..
But beyond being versatile fashion-wise, blouses are versatile comfort-wise, as well. They are rarely too complicated or too fussy to put on (as frilly and fabric-heavy as they may be). Their vast range of styles means they work for everybody. They can also be quite sexy, so there’s that.
With each season comes a new wave of slightly different blouse styles—some that stand out significantly, like an off-the-shoulder cut, and others with differences that are harder to pin down, but feel fresh nonetheless. Due to their absolute practicality (which we’ve already covered at lenght), even the trendy ones rarely seem to go out of style, making them wearable for years.
Should you need a few more tops in your wardrobe this season, there’s plenty of pretty picks to choose from. Right now, we’re opting for anything floral, pastel or a tad poofy in places for an ultra-feminine feel. These are the blouses that will make any outfit look polished, we promise.
Summer's Best Blouses
Valencia and Vine Kate Ditsy Floral Babydoll Top
Floral Crop Cami
The East Order Emilia Floral Top
Glamorous Floral Back Tie Off the Shoulder Blouse
Self Portrait Graphic Floral Print Top
Reformation Aurora Ruffle Strap Top
Golden Surfer Bodice Top
Embroidered Button Down Blouse
Embroidered Mesh Crop Ruffle Top
WAYF Cesena Ruched Puff Sleeve Top
La Vie Rebecca Taylor
Off-the-Shoulder Belle Bouquet Poplin Top
La Vie Rebecca Taylor
Katharina Cactus Flower Printed Top
Ruched Camisole Top
Ashland Wrap Blouse
For Love & Lemons
Floral Ruffle Sleeve Linen Top