If you were to add up all the button-down blouses in your closet, chances are you couldn't count them all on one hand. But out of all those work-appropriate tops you've racked up over the years, how many of them can you say really wow your audience? If your answer is none, then you'll probably want to check out the ones we've tracked down for you. There's everything from a chic lace print to studded collars and retro polka dots — these blouses mean business. Hey, there's no time like the New Year to get yourself a new look, even at the office. Any one of these button-downs will instantly liven up your work wardrobe, and the good news is that with the right bottoms, you can take them right into the weekend.
Sometimes it's not so much about reinventing the styling wheel as it is about reinvigorating it. That said, we're looking to punch up the ladylike layers we already own — a classic blouse-and-sweater set, in this case — with this season's prettiest Fall color combos. Trust us: it's a sweet and polished pairing that complements everything from a cozy tweed miniskirt to a slicked-up brocade trouser. And, to help you put your color-wheel cravings and cold-weather layering to work, we've styled up 10 of our favorite combos as a jumping-off point. First up: saffron yellow and emerald green. We wouldn't mind wearing this jeweled-toned combo with a black wool miniskirt and lace-up booties — what about you? Click on to see (and shop) the color combos worth experimenting with this Fall.
While the season still permits, we think it's time you put your shorts to work on that 9-to-5 grind. A pencil skirt, a sleek dress, and ankle-cut trousers are easy office options, but listen, it's hot out and we're really into the idea of keeping our work wardrobe as simple and as skin-baring as possible — without getting HR involved. To prove that shorts can be just as professional as your most modest black sheath, just look to our six styling combos here. If you wear a bolder print on top, keep it tailored and neutral on bottom. If you opt for a more casual pairing (think denim and beige), then punch up the final look with eye-catching accents and a heeled sandal. If you want to take on a more retro bow-tie bib-front top vibe, play up your quirky sensibility with another nod to alternative silhouettes via menswear-inspired pieces. Ready to make the shorts-and-blouse combo work for you? Keep clicking.
The bow tie blouses coming down the Fall '11 runways at Mulberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Tory Burch, and more speak emphatically to a very feminine style sense. Not to be confused with a man's tie, these tie neck blouses are all about retro-inspired, ladylike appeal with high, Victorian-like collars, or sometimes deeper, more modern necklines. They appeal to the season's call to elegance, like high-waists, structured handbags, and slim skirts and trousers — and they wear just as well with them, too. Bow tied they feel prim and poised; undone they're just a little sexier. Either way they're like having a key accessory already built in to your look. Click through to shop our editor's picks and channel one of Fall's biggest trends.
Photo Courtesy of Allure Korea
What's easier than throwing on your favorite cutoffs and topping them off with a gorgeous, billowy top? After spying Nicky Hilton showing off the look, we're thinking there are few seasonal outfits that pack as much of a punch with so few pieces. It's an opportunity to showcase your stems and your bohemian sensibility. Plus the look goes from the beach to a city stroll in a snap — as you can well see. Just shop our editor's picks below to find your own boho blouse.
Femininity emerged on the runways for Spring '11, but it's already here for Fall in the form of fabulously romantic ivory blouses. Soft ruffles, creamy palettes, and high collars make this blouse a standout with basics or even with prints. If you doubt the versatility, just refer to these Fab favorites — we love the way Taylor Swift, Isabel Lucas, and Roxy Olin recently sported the style, each with a little of her own twist. A touch of feminine whimsy to any outfit, a pretty contrast to structured blazers or tailored separates — just a way to wear a little Fab romance.
When I'm feeling a little flower child, I look to Nicole Richie for inspiration. After all, she's the queen of chic hippie looks. Case in point, this flowy bohemian blouse from her new Winter Kate collection. The small floral print, exaggerated bell sleeves, and wispy chiffon are all reminiscent of the sweet '70s. I like how she perfected the throwback look with her favorite pair of cutoff shorts and floppy hat. Too groovy for your liking? Try it with skinny jeans or tucked in for a more polished appeal.
A friend of ours went to visit one of the designers of Mexican brand, TEAMO, and sent us this picture of one of their Spring 09 blouses. Buttoned-up and cropped to perfection, it got us thinking about how many blouses were styled this way on the Spring 09 runways. Crop tops we're written about, but the buttoned-up look is just now permeating in our minds. We remember seeing a similar look, right off the bat, at the Karen Walker show. It was similarly cropped but, in this case, floral. There were also fabulous examples of buttoned-up tops at Behnaz Sarafpour--these came with strong shoulders too. Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren both did it in creams with full fledged androgynous styling to boot. Even Marc Jacobs, as feminine as was his Spring 09 collection, kept things tidy with this look. 'Buttoned up', admittedly, is something we'll see every season but there seemed to be a plethora of examples this Spring. Just like the choice to tuck-in, buttoning up is a subtle yet marked trend in its own right.
To see that pink TEAMO blouse in action, click here.
This Diane von Furstenberg Philippine Blouse ($285) encompasses two Fab trends: a nude color palette and plenty of pleats. I would toughen this romantic blouse with a pair of skinny black pants and my favorite Fall jacket. Sounds Fab, huh? The only thing stopping me from putting it all together is the price.
To see the look for less, read more