While casual tees, polos, and other shirts certainly have a stable place in a woman's wardrobe, dressy blouses are also essentials for special occasions.
Defining Dressy Blouses
The difference in a dressy type of blouse has a lot to do with detail. These blouses don't necessarily have to be flashy; they can be simple, but are set apart from an everyday, plain, or casual blouse by details such as cut, embellishment, fabric, pattern, material, or other detail. Take for example a classic woman's button down blouse - in a cotton blend with standard buttons, this blouse is the perfect partner for a great suit, or can be cute and casual paired with jeans and a great sweater. Take the same blouse, however, in a satin fabric with pearlized buttons, and you have something dressier.
There is a myriad of different types of dress blouses available. In order to determine what's right for you, consider several factors:
- The occasion (can determine how dressy and eye-catching you want the blouse to be)
- Your body type (to choose the most figure flattering blouse cut)
- Your personal style preferences (to help ensure you'll really wear the blouse and it won't end up in the back of your closet because it wasn't really your style)
Occasions for Dress Blouses
Many women opt for something a bit more special in a blouse for certain occasions. You might want a dressy blouse for:
- A special date (or night out with your husband)
- Dinners or other evening outings with friends
- Holiday parties and get-togethers
Special blouses are also worn for numerous other occasions, from weddings or baby showers to church to shopping. Typically the more formal the occasion, the more elaborate and dressy the top will be. When deciding on the right top for the occasion, keep in mind:
- The neckline: A low cut or sexy neckline may be perfect for a hot dinner date, but not quite so appropriate at a shower or day gathering.
- Who is the focal point of the occasion? Just like at a wedding a guest's attire shouldn't outshine the bride, if the event is honoring someone else, don't go for the most elaborate blouse you can find.
- The season: While a sleeveless sequined cami may work well on a summer evening, it won't look so stunning if you are constantly crossing your arms and shivering in fall. Choose a blouse appropriate for the season and whether, or make sure to have a sweater, shawl, or wrap that complements and doesn't detract from the beauty of the blouse.
Features of Dress Blouses
Features of dressy blouses include anything that makes the blouse stand out and more formal. Details like sequins, rhinestones, pearled or jeweled buttons, embellished necklines, ruffles, beading, embroidery, or ties or ribbons are all features that can help transform a blouse from ordinary to extraordinary. Ruching, pleating, cinched or tied waists, and sheer layered looks are also common features in fancy tops.
The fabrics are also important - they are typically lighter and more airy. Common fabrics for dressy blouses include rayon, silk, chiffon, taffeta, and satin. The colors and patterns also stand out - metallic colored fabrics, unique patterns, and lacy looks all create a special look.
Special Occasion Blouses for Your Body Type
The key for most women is to create the look of a balanced figure. Wrap style dress blouses are a popular style because these flatter virtually any body type, making the waist appear smaller and giving a proportionate look.
For pear shaped women, dressy tops with wide necklines, such as square or bateau styles work well. Volume on the upper portion of the body also works well for pear shapes, so look for styles with embellishment, ruffles, bustier styles or added details on the upper part of the body to create balance.
For the apple shaped woman, choose fancy blouses that skim the body and end at the hips. V neck blouses can work well, but avoid cuts that are overly low since if you are large busted. Apple shapes should avoid blouses with embellishment at the waist to avoid drawing attention to the larger part of their frame.
For the woman with a rectangular figure, blouses with added waist details can help create the look of curves. Belted blouses, colors blocks, and varying prints will all help detract from angular frames. U and V necklines can work well.
Remember to look for dressy blouse styles that reflect your personality and that you love, but don't be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone, too. You may just discover the perfect blouse!