La Chemise

silk shirt, colored denim, grey denim, business casual

A button-front blouse can be a warm weather shortcut to Business Casual. But most woven blouses (never mind the proverbial “crisp white shirt”) worn alone, sans jacket, just aren’t my best look. What looks “classic” on some women is just frumpy on me. But a longer silky blouse worn almost as a tunic, now that I can manage. The key is softer fabric that drapes.

silk shirt, pearl station necklace, Eiffel Tower print

Who could resist this tipsy Tour Eiffel print? Not I, certainment.

grey denim, organic cotton, cuffed skinny jeans, comfortable pumps

The Stuff:

Blouse: Equipment Jeans: Eileen Fisher / Earrings: Nadri Necklace: Chanel, from ?? A similar look but with real pearls here, and see other options below / Pinky Ring: vintage from Beladora, more here / Shoes: Fitzwell (recommend highly for comfort!)

Do you wear button front blouses? What style and fabric type work best for you?

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27 Comments

  1. August 28, 2013 / 4:57 am

    Wonderful look, Une Femme – the slight cuff of your jeans and your leopard shoes really finish a great outfit. I had my hair lightened yesterday, and we are very close in color now – love it!

  2. August 28, 2013 / 5:19 am

    Great blouse and I love it that you paired it with leopard shoes…have I told you that you have me seriously looking at going blonde. I do not know if I have the courage…but I am giving it great thought. You look fabulous!

  3. Maryblair
    August 28, 2013 / 5:32 am

    I thought that I was the only woman in the universe that just can’t pull off the crisp white shirt! I love the idea of silky-drapey alternative! Love your blog and style. I’m about to turn 50 and will be celebrating with first-ever trip to Paris in December. Planning to use lots of your ideas 🙂

  4. August 28, 2013 / 5:44 am

    Love the print on this blouse and pairing it with your animal print shoe is fun and spirited! Great fit on the jeans. I think the light tone of the jeans balances well with the light tone of your hair. Beautiful outfit.

    blue hue wonderland

  5. August 28, 2013 / 5:44 am

    That’s the perfect blouse for you! Very cute outfit. 🙂

  6. August 28, 2013 / 5:52 am

    I also do not feel that button front tailored shirts do anything for me. Sometimes a mandarin collar works, but over all, I avoid them. White is also not flattering for me, so darker solids and neutrals tend to reign.

  7. Elle
    August 28, 2013 / 5:53 am

    In the summer (hot, humid DC summer), if I’m not going to a client meeting, a crisp woven cotton shirt worn outside of slacks is a uniform for me. I find that the less expensive ones actually work better for me, so I have a selection of Lands End and LLBeans that I wear a lot. They come in lots of nice bright colors, are machine washable and don’t need much ironing, and they wear really well. I pair them with long necklaces along the lines of what you’re shown, or with a light cotton scarf if it’s a “cooler” day and I can stand it. I also have some far more expensive blouses that hang in the closet for some reason – either they’re too fitted to be comfortable, or too thin to hang well, or they never come out of the wash looking right – I don’t know.

    And I STILL love those shoes!

  8. Amelie
    August 28, 2013 / 5:54 am

    For me, minimizing the frump factor re shirts, centers around showing some skin and adding structure. So I rarely wear my sleeves fully down,usually scrunching them either all the way up to the elbow or just partway. I also pop the collar, it frames the face nicely. Also, if appropriate, I sometimes wear a coordinating or contrasting cami/tank underneath and leave a few more buttons unbuttoned. It helps the visual vertical lines. A long necklace helps too, as you have done. Also a curved bottom hem is more visually elongating and flattering as opposed to a straight line which can cut one in half.

    • August 28, 2013 / 6:09 am

      I totally agree with Amalie. All great suggestions.

  9. Susan Daniel
    August 28, 2013 / 5:56 am

    I really love this blouse on you! I can’t do the classic white blouse either. There is something about softer fabric. And yes, your hair color is fabulous on you. Mine is blonde, but not quite as light. I think lighter hair is good on those of us that are over 50 (or over 60 in my case).

  10. August 28, 2013 / 6:11 am

    Wonderful! I’m the same way with the shirts/blouses, but like you, I find I can wear the Equipment shirts (and their clones). And if I see this one anywhere, I’m snapping it up and flattering you (you know, as in imitation is the best form of . . . ) 😉

  11. August 28, 2013 / 6:34 am

    Lovely shirt I have just found some good silk ones in Uniglo.

  12. August 28, 2013 / 6:39 am

    I’ve been buying and wearing Equipment shirts since they came out again (not sure when they had stopped making them before, but I think I wore them in the 80’s as well) – they’re the only shirts I wear and I probably have about 10, bought over a period of 5 years or so. In fact I’m wearing one in my photo here! You look great in yours, but I agree with Amelie about rolling or scrunching up the sleeves and popping the collar.

  13. August 28, 2013 / 6:39 am

    Very few button blouses suit me. My colouring is warm so white is a no-go. For une femme with an ample chest, buttons usually gape no matter what the size. A blouse where the buttons are concealed under a fold of fabric is a possibility. I do like La Tour Eiffel and the softer draping makes it more attractive.

  14. August 28, 2013 / 7:17 am

    I love it! What a fun print, and an easy-wear blouse! I like your addition of leopard shoes, too.

  15. Cécile
    August 28, 2013 / 7:45 am

    Susan, I LOVE that Chanel necklace… Where did you get it? at the C boutique?

  16. GingerR
    August 28, 2013 / 9:41 am

    Excellent suggestions!
    I like a tank underneath for a business casual -not quite a jacket- look.

  17. Jill
    August 28, 2013 / 9:52 am

    Great post and I love that Equipment shirt. I can never resist an Eiffel Tower, ha ha! I have been wearing my J. Crew linen shirt so much this summer I wish I would’ve bought two of them. I had stayed away from button-down shirts for a long time but am starting to love them again and have even flirted with the half-tuck that Emmanuelle Alt is known for, with some success! Unrelated side note: Do you have time to join Adrienne and me for “How I Wear My: Neon”. Do you have any neon in your closet? XO, Jill

  18. August 28, 2013 / 9:54 am

    Lovely look my dear! I am especially admiring your leopard shoes… and then to read the comfort recommendation… I will have to go look more!

  19. Karen
    August 28, 2013 / 7:16 pm

    so nice! Love the equipment blouse.

  20. Tiffany
    August 29, 2013 / 1:23 am

    I have lots of silk shirts/blouses that I generally wear semi-tucked … With a pair of skinny or rolled up jeans or ponte pants, they’re one of my uniforms. Definitely have to have the drape rather than stiff fabric.

  21. Mette
    August 29, 2013 / 8:41 am

    You can wear shirts with ease, I can´t. I like the shirt, but do you need the necklace?
    I´m living a phase, where one piece of jewelry is enough.

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