The time has come to talks a little bit about blouses! Being one of the most iconic pieces in women’s fashion history, there are endless different ways to wear a blouse. Over the past centuries, outfits around blouses have been a staple for women, using them for lots of different occasions.
Learning about how ladies used to combine these (and to a large extent they still do) will greatly develop your fashion sense. No matter your age, blouses can look sexy, conservative, and/or intriguing, and they are definitely super comfortable pieces every woman must own.
We now present to you some of the most relevant designs and the various ways to combine them. With the following list, you will be a blouse expert in no time 🙂
One of the most traditional fabrics, especially in blouses, is lace. It is made out of cotton (but you can also find linen and silk) and even though it comes in a wide variety of patterns and shapes, the common trait all lace pieces have is the open design similar to a spiderweb.
Lace blouses are very popular, however, lots of designs are not worn today. This is mainly because of their traditional look, as there are various designs from the 16th century up to the 20th century.
We now give you an example of this and how you can flawlessly incorporate it into your wardrobe.
Victorian/Edwardian Era Lace Blouse Outfit
The Victorian and Edwardian eras encompass the periods in which Queen Victoria and King Edward ruled Britain. In the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, so these blouses slightly resemble modern ones.
A very appealing suggestion from that era involves a puffy design and long sleeve design with a very elegant high-neck. Below you can see it
Not something you see every day right? Still, you can make it look awesome.
These types of blouses flow great with a medium-length skirt (slightly below the knee) that falls gracefully, avoiding too narrow or wide hems. A-line and pleated skirts work but remember to adjust them highly into your waist.
As for the shoes, you can try a conservative route; low-heeled pumps or simply flat ones will suffice. That is all you need, as you can see the traditional alternative is very straightforward.
However, if you wish to give the outfit a more modern touch follow this advice; wear a skirt with vibrant colour and modern cuts (maybe an asymmetrical design) and try a little higher heels like the stilettos. Ankle straps and even contrasting belts are also welcome.
On the other hand, wearing jeans allow for a casual look or trousers to formal occassion is welcomed. So much for the old lady blouse! 😉
Finally, remember to keep your underwear in check as bras peeking out of your blouse will completely ruin the outfit.
1950s-hybrid Lace Blouse Outfit
Fast forward a few decades and we have a slighlty different outfit.
By this time, lace blouses were a lot thinner and less bulky. Refined details are also present in blouses from this time, making them way more feminine pieces than their predecesors.
Outfits around this type of blouses rely on equally delicate shoes. Go for low stilettos or kitten heels.
The skirt, on the other hand, can be any medium to a large one, but we suggest you go for the bell skirt. Not many girls try this look so you will stand out, plus the combination flows really well and looks like something out of a modern fairytale.
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Next, we have the ruffle blouse, an underrated blouse with a unique design that is also not very common despite its elegant design. These blouses are characterized by large frills on the front of the blouse (could be on the collar or throughout the whole front) and sometimes also on the cuffs. Sleeves are long and are usually bishop sleeves.
Throughout history, ruffle apparel has been worn by the aristocracy, and even to this day blouses like this are a symbol of power and nobility.
The Ruffle trend was very popular around the 1960s, and the following outfit is a throwback to that time.
Retro Ruffle Blouse Outfit
One thing to remember is that blouses with ruffles covering most of the front and with the high neck are very elegant. Thus, the first alternative you have is formal trousers.
The best advice for the shoes is to wear comfortable heels with a pointy edge. No need for super high-heeled shoes or ankle straps since the trousers (especially if these are flared) will cover all the way down to your feet.
Maybe if you choose to wear slightly high and fitted trousers, a pair of medium to high stilettos will work.
Another Alternative For The Ruffle Blouse Outfit
Now, if you prefer to wear skirts, there is one that seems to have been made especially for the ruffle blouse… the tulip skirt!
The way tulip skirts close contrasts beautifully with the frill and the bishop sleeves. Medium to short tulip look the best and remember to avoid complex patterns or pleated skirts to maintain formality.
In this case, a slightly more fitted top will look better.
Also, since most of your legs will be exposed you can wear ankle straps (with not too many straps though) with high heels. Of course, the stilettos are also welcome.
Finally, since the ruffle blouse has long sleeves and a high neck, it is not convenient to wear necklaces, watches, or bracelets. Instead, focus on the earrings and rings.
In the future, we will provide detailed guidance on these accessories so stay tuned for that!
Next, we have the long blouse! Long blouses come in all shapes and forms (remember that a blouse can be of multiple types at the same time) but the common trait across all of them is the extension of the hem below the hips.
These blouses are casual for the most part, but factors such as the prints, the sleeves, the neck, and choosing to wear them either tucked or loose will greatly affect the way you look.
Long retro blouse with medium sleeves
During the 1970s long blouses with necks were an attractive casual look, especially because very exotic patterns were printed in them. Wearing blouses like this is super easy, just keep in mind the following tips:
- The printed pattern should be very flashy and eye-catching. Since this is the main attraction of your outfit you want to draw attention to it
- If the sleeves are thin and well-fitted, do not tuck the blouse, this makes the blouse shine even more
- Roll up the sleeves for a more casual look
To contrast well, the pants should be very conservative. Add a simple set of jeans or other casual well-fitted pants with a contrasting colour to the top.
For the shoes, casual alternatives like flats, loafers, or slip-on sneakers give the final casual/comfortable touch.
Long blouse with flared sleeves outfit
Long blouses with flared sleeves are a different story. In order to avoid looking excessively baggy, tucking the blouse is recommended in this case. When doing so, a belt can come in handy.
Also, in this case, the printed patterns should be a little more conservative as the flaring by itself draws attention, but don’t be afraid to try some vivid prints like the floral one.
Again, lower body jeans are suggested although you can try more daring pants like leather pants. Notice that since the blouse is tucked, you can also wear mini skirts. Denim ones will surely look great on you.
Finally, blouses like these high heels look very appealing, especially when the belt’s colour is matched and the jeans are tight. It is a widely popular combination among mature women, but younger ladies can also benefit from it 🙂
Halter Neck Blouse
Halter blouses are those that cover much of the front but the back is mostly exposed, leaving the only attachment on to the back of the neck. Most halter blouses are sleeveless.
Also, these types of blouses are rare, as most of the halter pieces are tops. Still, you can pull off various semi-formal and formal outfits with it, however, these are all modern looks as only the halter tops are old enough to be considered vintage.
Halter neck with skirt outfit
Long skirts will add a unique look to your blouse, but two very specific skirts will take it to a whole new level; the standard long pencil skirt, and the long pencil & split skirt.
The elegant design of these, as well as the tight fit, go hand in hand with the tucked blouse, allowing for a very attractive look. Wear high heel or high ankle straps with it, or if you prefer a more exotic look, the gladiator heels (pictured below) also go with it
Try to keep the prints as simple as possible to maintain formality. Note that the sleeveless design allows for watches and bracelets to shine.
A More Conservative Halter neck outfit
If you are more of a trousers girl, good news for you! The Halter blouse can also be worn with formal trousers and look as stunning as with the skirt
In this case, slim, normal fit, and maybe even slightly loose trousers can be worn. Depending on which one you choose, your shoes will change a bit.
For the slim alternative go for stilettos, for the normal fit goes for the pumps, and for the slightly flared ones you can try the mules. These last ones are less formal so if you wish to switch it up to the pumps that’s fine. Remember that all of these are high heels.
Last but not least, we have a traditional blouse dear to all of our hearts thanks to the iconic shape of its neckline. The sweetheart blouse takes its name thanks to its heart-shaped neckline. Most of the time these blouses are short-sleeved, although you can also fin full-sleeved ones.
Modern designs have puffy shoulders or flared sleeves.
Women in the mid and early 20th century wore this type of blouse too (almost) every formal event, becoming so popular that now we have tops and dresses with this type of neckline.
Our first suggestion is a throwback to that era.
1940s Sweetheart Blouse Outfit
Blouses from that era usually had either polka dots or floral prints. Sleeves were short and ladies combined them with long and wide skirts.
Circle skirts, A-line skirts, and bell skirts (all high-waisted and extending around knee-level) are the best choices for a traditional combination.
Of course, you should aim to wear heels according to that era. Avoid super high heels with flashy designs, the simplest choice would be the right one too in this case.
One thing to note: Necklaces look particularly attractive in combination with these blouses. Also, small and thin gold (or similar) pieces, as well as slightly bigger pearls will look fantastic. This is even better if the blouse is off-shoulder too.
Atypical leather outfit for the sweetheart blouse
As our final suggestion, we now give you an unusual way to combine a sweetheart blouse. If you come across a long-sleeved version of it, you can contrast it with a mini skirt. Just make sure the sleeves are not flared or with exotic cuts.
To spice up the outfit a little bit we suggest you go for the mini leather skirt. Not only it is more visually attractive than most mini skirts but also keeps the figure tight and straight.
If you don’t like the fabric, you can go for similar short skirts that are also adjusted tightly and have a plain design (avoid pleated designs unless you have flared sleeves or similar)
Finally, the mini skirt allows for a sexy look that is best complemented with high stilettos or ankle straps. Don’t be afraid to display all your beauty with this outfit!
Do not make this mistake!
So that is it for now! These are some of the most popular blouses and unique combinations with them. As you can see, blouses are not necessarily formal attire, and definitely NOT old women’s apparel.
Nowadays, many young ladies make the mistake of wearing only the standard tops on an everyday basis. We hope that this post helped you broaden the picture you had of blouses, and allow you to wear them in ways beyond the traditional one.
Even the oldest blouse on your wardrobe has room in your most stylish outfits!
Thanks a lot for reading, and stay tuned for our upcoming blouse review, where we go through some of the best/affordable blouses on the online market.
Have a great day, and don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in the comments below 🙂