Exploring Blouse Styles for Every Occasion

There’s such a wide variety of blouses out there, it can be difficult to choose which to add to your wardrobe. The important thing to think about is the types of occasions you’ll likely wear your blouse to, and what seasons you’d like to wear it in. The good news is that, when it comes to blouses, it’s pretty hard to go wrong, and no matter which blouse you choose, you’ll have an opportunity to wear it.

Before we look at the different blouse styles out there to choose, let’s remind ourselves why blouses are a worthy inclusion in your wardrobe.

Top reasons to rock a blouse

  • Blouses give you an instantly polished look, with little effort. In fact, many blouses are made from fabrics that require zero ironing! 
  • Blouses are lightweight, so you can wear them in all seasons. In summer, you can opt for a sheer sleeve, off the shoulder, or even short sleeve or sleeveless blouse. Also in the warmer months, opt for blouses made from natural, breathable fibres. In autumn and winter, you might wear a camisole or skivvy beneath. 
  • Blouses can give you an elegant feminine look as they often include features like frills, puff sleeves, bow tie collars, and shirred cuffs. As the range of blouse types is wide, you can decide how far you want to go with the girly-factor. If you like a subtle feminine touch, you could opt for a blouse with gentle pleating around the neckline. If you want to go ultra-feminine, opt for one with puff sleeves, frilled cuffs, and a big pussy bow collar! The choice is yours!
  • Blouses don’t require a lot of dressing up, especially if your blouse includes eye-catching features and embellishments, or is made in a gorgeous print. For this reason, you can keep the rest of your outfit fairly simple, and limit accessories. This makes the whole business of getting dressed to go out much easier.
  • Blouses look right in most settings. They look neat and tidy at work, and you can wear them with jeans on the weekend. For an evening out, mix a blouse with a nice skirt or pants and heels, and evening jewellery, and you have a great outfit. Blouses work everywhere!
  • In the cooler months, a blouse can make for a great base layer beneath a nice jumper, blazer or jacket. So when your outfit might otherwise look a little drab, a blouse collar peeking out can add more interest, especially if it has a detailed or bold print.

Blouses to look out for

Let’s look at the different types of blouses you’ll come across when shopping, why you might choose them, and where you might wear them.

Peplum Blouses:

Peplum blouses have a fitted upper bodice that then opens out at the waist, creating a loose ruffled or flared hemline. The charm of the peplum style is that it can add volume around the hips, which serves to accentuate your waist, and creates a really shapely silhouette. 

Most of the peplum blouses you’ll come across offer a subtle peplum effect, though there are blouses out there with full peplums. Whether you choose subtle or accentuated will depend on where you plan to wear your blouse. For a formal event, a full peplum blouse can look very stylish with a pair of tailored pants or an evening skirt. For work, you might want a peplum top in a toned-back style, (wear with structured pants or a pencil skirt). For casual outings, a peplum blouse works well with jeans and wedge sandals.

Wrap Blouses:

Wrap blouses are extremely flattering and comfortable for most. They traditionally have a V neckline, overlapping front panels, and a waist tie that enables you to wrap the top around your middle and create shape. There are many tops these days, however, that are sewn to taper in at the waist without the waist tie, offering more of a wrap effect.

You can wear a wrap blouse to most occasions. For work, look for modest wrap blouses with a higher V neckline, and a lower hem. Pair with work pants or a high-waisted skirt, and consider some delicate stud earrings. 

For day outings and evening events, you can opt for a lower V-neckline. Pair your wrap blouse with denim jeans or a flowy maxi skirt for a casual-yet-stylish ensemble.

Tunic Blouses:

Tunic blouses (also called tunic tops) are loose-fitting tops that typically extend below the hips. Often they have an A-line cut, with a loose hem. Because of their length, they offer a modest look, with no risk of showing your midriff when you don’t feel inclined to. 

A tunic blouse can be a comfortable option for work, but you need to wear the right type of pants. They can look bulky with a wide-leg trouser, so wear them with slim fit, tailored pants, or if your work attire is very casual, with some structured leggings. 

On weekends, tunic style blouses are a comfortable option for shopping trips and casual brunches. Again, you can wear them with comfortable leggings, jeans, or even with a midi or maxi skirt. You can also add a statement belt if you wish! 

For winter wear, look for long sleeve tunic blouses and consider wearing a camisole beneath for added warmth. In summer, choose breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton, silk or linen.

Off-Shoulder Blouses:

Off-shoulder blouses feature a neckline that either sits below the shoulders, or is elasticised so that you can pull it down to reveal your shoulders. Showing a bit of shoulder not only cools you down in summer, but also gives off a very feminine and flirty look.

Off-shoulder blouses aren’t generally considered suitable attire for work, so keep these for the weekend where they look great at casual outings and for dates. Style with jeans, tailored shorts or any length of skirt for a brunch date or outdoor gathering. 

For the evening, a ruffled off-shoulder blouse with tailored trousers, drop earrings and heels will look sophisticated and stylish!

Button-Up Blouses:

Button-up blouses are similar to shirts, but a little more relaxed and feminine. Like a shirt, they close at the front and have buttons running down the centre, so you can easily adjust them or tie them if you want plenty of styling options. Button-up blouses are perfect for work and look good with a high-waisted pencil skirt or tailored work pants. A blouse will also look great for day outings and evening occasions. 

For a day look, wear a blouse with jeans or a casual skirt. You can add a statement belt to add extra style to your ensemble. 

For the evening, look for button-up blouses in deluxe fabrics like satin, embroidered fabrics, or with sheer lace sleeves.

Ruffle Blouses:

A ruffle blouse is basically a blouse with ruffles included somewhere in the design. It could be that it has a ruffle hem, ruffles around the neckline, or ruffled sleeves. The overall look is delicate and feminine.

Ruffle blouses can look appropriate at work, depending on the details, however you might want to keep the rest of your outfit subdued, i.e. wearing it with tailored pants. 

For special occasions or date nights, a ruffle blouse with a midi or maxi skirt gives off romantic vibes. 

For a daytime look, style your ruffle blouse with jeans or a mini skirt for a casual and feminine ensemble.

Pussy Bow Collar Blouses:

This classic blouse style features a bow or tie detail at the neckline, adding detail that instantly offers a feminine and polished look.

These blouses work well for any occasion. For work, achieve a retro-inspired vibe with a pussy bow collar blouse, high-waisted skirt or work pants and tailored blazer. 

For casual outings, a pussy bow blouse looks great with jeans, or even with wide leg trousers and a statement belt. Add ballet flats and a stylish shoulder bag and you have a neat and fashionable ensemble.

For evening affairs, opt for a satin pussy bow blouse. Wear with slim-fit pants or with a gorgeous maxi length evening skirt and classy heels.

High Collar Blouses:

High collar blouses are an obvious contender for autumn and winter dressing. Featuring a high neckline, they offer that little extra warmth around the neck. Additionally, they are reminiscent of Victorian era blouses, meaning they create an instantly elegant and modest look.

High collar blouses look chic in both formal and professional settings. Style with a cardigan or fitted blazer and a slim skirt, or alternatively, with wide-leg pants and a belt if needed. Add minimalist jewellery for an added touch of glamour!

Blouses with Balloon, Puff, and Flute Sleeves:

Sleeves can turn a regular top into something truly special, which is why you’ll find a lot of blouses with interesting sleeve designs. It might be balloon sleeves that cinch at the wrist, sleeves that puff at the upper arm and taper in at the elbow, or flute sleeves that are fitted at the upper arm and are wide at the lower arm. All these styles are very feminine in appearance, and also, generally comfortable.

So add visual interest to your garment with these fashionable sleeves. Pair with fitted trousers or a pencil skirt for a modern office look. For a casual outing, style with slim fit pants, jeans or shorts and ankle boots or sneakers for a trendy ensemble.

Just remember that, when you’re dealing with puff, balloon or flute sleeves, they might not work with outer layers like cardigans and jackets that have slim arms. Make sure you try your blouse at home with your outer layer so that you make sure it’s not too bulky to be comfortable. (You don’t want your sleeves riding up inside your jacket.)

To wrap it up…

With women's blouses available in a wide range of styles, there’s certainly a blouse to fit every occasion, whether it be for work, a special event, or to wear to the shops. It’s well worth having a number of blouse options in your wardrobe, so that you’re prepared for any occasion. Look for interesting blouse features and designs, and for prints that add a unique element to your overall look.

At Femme Connection, we have a huge range of blouses in our collection. Take your time to peruse these versatile women’s tops and find exactly what you need for your fashion tastes!

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