High on my list of items to look for are silky blouses, especially in pretty colors and interesting prints. During the holiday sales, I found many from various designers that made me swoon, but I was sadly faced with the truth that most clothing is not made for someone my size. I had to stage an intervention on myself after I agonized over a beautiful silk Kelly Wearstler blouse. My mind raced through all my options before I made myself walk away. Could I get it altered (a long list considering the shoulder, length, sleeve, and width of the size 0 were all enormous on me), or maybe just wear it underneath other items to hide the poor fit? Without sacrificing a huge sum of money on alterations or a good fit, I found myself settling on hoping the usual suspects of Ann Taylor, LOFT or Banana Republic would come out with something interesting. It pains me that my shopping options are so terribly limited.
Luckily Ann Taylor has come through with a few silky blouse options that piqued my interest in their new spring arrivals. During a recent 40% off promotion, I picked up the Silk Button Tab Long Sleeve Shirt in Bright Royal Blue and the Graphic Looms Print Blouse.
Silk Button Tab Long Sleeve Shirt, size 00P:
Wow! This color is absolutely gorgeous and the main reason why I’m tempted to keep this blouse. This silk/spandex blouse has a hidden placket, button tab sleeves, and working chest pockets. Typical of silk blouses, the fit is roomy, which unfortunately means a trip to the tailor for a slimming on me.
An unrolling of the sleeves reveals they are a bit too long for me and end in baggy lumps:
Someone a size bigger than me will probably find this a beautifully fitting blouse (and I’m jealous!). I like that this blouse is silk, and love the color, but the baggy unrolled sleeve and need for a slimming are deterring me, especially at the price. Even at 40% off, this blouse is expensive. The sleeve is easy to work with, considering I’ll mostly wear it rolled, so I need to think about this one for a bit longer. I can’t stop thinking about how beautiful this color will look layered under sweaters and blazers, not to mention tucked into jeans for spring. Hmm…
Item measurements, size 00P (laying flat):
See Cher’s review of this blouse.
Graphic Looms Print Blouse, size 00P:
I’ve been especially interested in printed blouses, since my wardrobe is full of so many solids (snore!), so when this blouse popped up online I was really excited. I saw it in store in regular sizes and was convinced it was silk at first touch. It has a crepe texture to it, which I was surprised to see was actually polyester after investigating online. This disappointed me as I’m not a fan of polyester, but I had to give it a try anyways.
This blouse didn’t photograph very well, but I think you can get the jist of it. The fit is slimmer than the button tab blouse, but could still use a slimming on me. This blouse features a lot of seaming which creates a more feminine shape, slim button cuffs (I needed to unbutton the sleeve in order to both put the shirt on and take the shirt off), and a very slightly rounded collar (the button tab shirt has a pointier collar). I like the high contrast graphic print for it’s simplicity and interest. I’m not a fan of florals, so I’m often hard pressed to find prints that I do like. This one fits the bill.
View from the back and side:
I had never seen this kind of cuff before, and after doing some Google searches, I discovered it’s called a “turnback cuff”. It’s a menswear style that was popularized by none other than Sean Connery in the James Bond series! It’s a unique and bold detail even for most menswear aficionados, so it’s interesting that Ann Taylor would make so bold a choice. I have a feeling a lot of women will be confused by this strange looking cuff. While it looks a little weird on it’s own, it’s actually very nice for folding over blazer cuffs for a peek of fun print, which was the first thing I tried after scratching my head over what to do with this crazy cuff. I think this cuff would have been more successful on a crisp cotton shirt rather than a flowy blouse, since it would fold back a little stiffer instead of appearing floppy. Maybe playing with different folding techniques will help.
Between the better fit, more wallet-friendly price, and interesting print, I’m thinking this one is a keeper. Even that turnback cuff, as odd as it is, is slowly growing on me.
Item measurements, size 00P (laying flat):