One thing Carolina Herrera and I have in common
(let us all take a moment to ponder the first and undoubtedly last time I will ever utter that sentence)
is our love of a good white blouse. I'm semi-obsessed with the things. There have got to be a good dozen white woven garments that button up the front in my closet, and it's one of two things I can always be counted on to look at in a store even when I'm there searching for some other specific thing. (The other is a black skirt -- the quest for the perfect black skirt is never-ending.)
Some white blouses are so beautiful as to drive one to madness :
It's Robert Rodriguez, I found it on sale at the Neiman Marcus Last Call here in Austin and if they'd had three of the things I would have bought all of them. (Seriously -- if anyone stumbles across any of these in a size 8, please let me know immediately.) It actually came with a tie that was sewn on:
but I busted out the trusty seam ripper and detached it so that I can wear it or not as I choose.
Why is this blouse so good? Well, for starters, it's beautifully fitted. It has great seaming and darts front and back so that it nips in very wonderfully at the waist:
(Check out the darts at the top of the shoulder. Little details like this go a long way to making you look like a million bucks.)
For another thing, it's nice and long. That means I can wear it untucked, perhaps over a vintage skirt whose waistband is in slightly rough shape, or I can tuck it in and not have to be constantly fussing with it. It drives me mad when my shirttails aren't quite long enough to tuck in properly -- I'm constantly shoving my hands in the back of my waistband like a first-time hit man checking to make sure his gun's still there. What else is nice and long are the sleeves -- they actually go past my elbows. I love a short-sleeved blouse, but I have big biceps. Some of this is because I have some extra poundage on me these days and some of it is because of many years of bartending, but the fact is I have pretty substantial upper arms. And may I point out that there is a difference between short sleeves and cap sleeves, which most manufacturers seem not to notice. Ugly truth is, if you don't have a nice upper arm, a little-bitty cap sleeve is going to make it look worse. For short sleeves I need something that comes near my elbow. These sleeves are also nice and full, which is a lifesaver for pear-shaped gals like me. Those nice puffy sleeves help broaden my top half in order to balance out my bottom half. All in all, it's just about perfect. I'm going to have to insist you look into getting yourself something like this, and to that end I've dug up a few alternatives (click for links):
Nearly identical, available in women's and misses sizes, and on sale for under thirty bucks! (Yes, you may kiss me.)
If you are not worried about making your top half look bigger, or if in fact you shouldn't make your top half look bigger with poofy sleeves because there's enough... er, poofiness up there already (translation: if you've got big boobs), try a sleeve that's fuller at the bottom rather than the top:
Love the pintucks on the sleeves, and the way it nips the waist.
Slightly more va-va-voom in a dressier fabric:
Dotted swiss! I love dotted swiss!
If you just can't get behind the poofy sleeves but still love the fit:
And not to forget my petite sisters:
I believe with all my heart there is almost no situation a good white blouse can't save. So go getcha one. And if you have recommendations, I'd love to hear them!