It’s September and we’ve all got that back to school feeling. But I’m not quite ready to invest in boots and winter coats yet. Instead, treat yourself to a blouse that will breathe life into your autumnal favourites and ready you for the new term.
Like so many others, my kids went back to school today (in fact the eldest started high school – yikes) and all of them were giddy at the thought of a new term. Yes, we’re still at that age (just). As I helped them all into their crisp new uniforms I couldn’t help feeling slightly envious of that fresh out of the wrapper feeling that comes at this time of year. And then I remembered that this is why we love autumn; the excuse to buy a new ‘uniform’ aka new season fashion.
But I’m not going hell-for-new-leather-ankle-boots just yet. This year, I’ve been a bit more reserved in my buying habits while trying to shop my existing wardrobe more. But one item I do recommend you indulge in right now if you’d like to give yourself a back-to-school treat, is a new blouse.
Let me clear. I’m not talking about another one of those boho peasant blouses (unless you really are clinging on desperately to summer) or an overtly ‘going out’ top. This should be a proper button through blouse / shirt with collar and cuffs. I will allow a pussy bow tie or the odd frill as long as it can still be worn for work. Because, whether you work in an office / freelance / stay-at-home or all three, I think a good blouse is really underrated.
Firstly, it makes you look like you care and you’ve made an effort. Especially if you’ve been wearing tees or sweatshirts all summer. Likewise, if you know you’ll be in jumpers all winter soon. Either way, the blouse is a nice change.
Secondly, it works really well with a pair of jeans by smartening them up for the office or elevating them from hum-drum if you’re at home. And a good blouse makes a cardigan or a sweater look far more interesting when it does start to get cold.
Thirdly, it’s just a great way to introduce some print into your wardrobe. At the moment, I’m really drawn to dots and spots (I know, this from the stripe-addict!). But I realised it’s a print that’s sadly lacking in my wardrobe and so it felt like a worthy update. After all, there’s no point buying something of which you already have five (unless it’s a breton top of course).
So which ones? Mine was from H&M a little while back. But, not surprisingly, &OtherStories gives really good blouse all year long in lots of different styles, colours, prints and fabrics. I particularly like this star cluster print, this spotty cotton frill and this petrol print shirt. Boden is a good port of call if you like more of a tailored shirt look but they also do lovely silky feminine versions and again in great prints.
I would also suggest a look in good old M&S, where you can pick up some really affordable blouses such as this Dalmation style print and this cute ladybird print. And of course Mango is always worth a look. I like this simple printed shirt which comes in spots, stripes and florals.
By the way, the black flared jeans were bought earlier in the year from Gap but I’ve just spotted some good alternatives at Topshop. Or try Toast and Cos for a darker indigo wash. They’re definitely easier to dress up than blue denim.
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