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Beautiful Blouses for the Spring and Summer

One of the best ways to add freshness to a spring and summer wardrobe is to add a beautiful, trendy new blouse or two. A great blouse can transform many well-loved basic pieces. It can make you feel very fashion forward without having to revamp your wardrobe. That, of course, is right in keeping with our growing awareness that “less is more” and more isn’t always better.

But, take note! These are not tees or pullover-type tops. When we describe a blouse we mean a garment in which the textile has more substance. In general, blouses are more stylish and have some polish-that’s what makes them a good addition to enhance a wardrobe.

There are a few new trends that are fun, pretty, and playful, and that can work for many different style types. You’ll see a big emphasis this year on feminine details like puffy sleeves, gathers, ruffles ties, delicate patterns, and prints. Now, generally, some of these, particularly ruffles, are signatures of a very youthful style, but the designers have figured out ways to incorporate these elements and still create a sophisticated look.

The Not-So-Plain White Blouse

G Label Tracy Puff-Sleeve Button DownThis one will take you from the late summer into the early fall. It incorporates the themes of gathers, ruffles, and puffy sleeves, but in a more played down version making it less of a youthful style and more sophisticated.

G Label Tracy Puff-Sleeve Button Down, $375

Anthropologie Scalloped Buttondown

The scalloped edge on this feels very modern, and when paired with other items in the color on the contrast piping, the look is effortless and polished.

Anthropologie Scalloped Button-down, $120

Nicole Miller Peplum Blouse

A less exaggerated sleeve but with slight peplum waist and a large dose of chic takes an ordinary white cotton blouse to another level entirely.

Nicole Miller New York, High-Low Blouse, $58

The Classic Button Down

A classy plain button down is always a good staple. And these are available everywhere, of course. But as we said, textile is the key. Go for the highest quality, as it will outlive any trends. Silk, fine cotton, and even good linen for the spring and summer have staying power. And luckily, they are all available at just about any price point.

These have a very playful feeling, and are a lovely way to wear the print trend for more casual occasions.

Anthropologie Grayson The Hero Buttondown-2

Anthropologie Grayson The Hero Buttondown, $138

Long-Sleeved Printed Blouse in Sunlight yellow

Frank & Oak,Long-Sleeved Printed Blouse in Sunlight Yellow, $80

Petra Floral Buttondown-2

A three-quarter length sleeves in an unusual color , with beautiful design details, or something in one of your eye colors is a great way to wear this style.

Anthropologie, Petra Floral Button-down, $140

Solids are great options, as they’re so easily mixed and matched. They also make a great summertime replacement for a cardigan.

Everlane Blouson Shirt

This one has that appealing hard/soft combination that gives it more staying power over the long run than some items incorporating this trend. And, you can’t beat a great silk blouse for around $100. The straight-cut means less tucking in, or an easy French tuck, which is perfect for the summer.

Everlane, Clean Silk Blouson Shirt, $110

Everlane Silk Relaxed Shirt

This one is a great high quality bargain that just happens to come in 12 different colors.

Everlane Silk Relaxed Shirt, $98

Anthropologie Belted Utility Tunic

The utility trend is in everything womens-wear, at the moment. Pair with your power neutrals, an olive shade is the next best thing to never-boring-beige.

Anthropologie, Belted Utility Tunic, $120

You just can’t go wrong with linen for the spring and summer. Look for a color that will look great on its own or highlight a tan in a flattering way.

Tommy Bahama Crystalline Waters Long Sleeve Shirt

Tommy Bahama Crystalline Waters Long Sleeve Shirt, $115

Tommy Bahama New Sea Glass Breezer Sleeveless Linen Shirt

Tommy Bahama, New Sea Glass Breezer Sleeveless Linen Shirt, $95

Trend Watch: Twists, Ties and Sashes

Dries Van Noten Knotted blouse

This blouse has impeccable tailoring, and will look great with everything from jeans to a ballgown skirt.

Dries Van Noten, Knotted Blouse, $625

JOIE ARIN BLOUSE

Joie, Arin Blouse, $298

Florals are a universal and eternal print and this one combines femininity and fierceness. Would also look great in the autumn, layered with your suits and slacks.

Ralph Lauren Tie-Front White Blouse

Every wardrobe needs some version of a plain white blouse. Taking a cue from the trend toward ties and sashes and applying those to the plain white blouse takes your simple white blouse up a big notch.

Ralph Lauren Tie-Front White Blouse, $80

Prints continue to show up everywhere and these are versatile ones that can go more casual or formal depending on what you wear with them.

Vince Camuto Sleeveless Tie Blouse

Add white slacks, espadrilles or sling back pumps and gold jewelry to this blouse, and you have a nice outfit for a slightly more formal afternoon occasion.

Vince Camuto, Sleeveless Asymmetrical Tie Front Graceful Wildflower Blouse, $89

Leith Floral Print Twist Front Top

The gentle drape on this very vibrant color gives it a more soft quality but makes it eminently wearable for a variety of occasions, both casual, workplace, and date night. If the shorter length bothers you, just layer over a cami, tucked in for a seamless, modest effect.

Leith Floral Print Twist Front Top, $59

Trend Watch: Ruffle and Gathers

The key is to ruffles, is to keep the particular element in check. Pair with your wardrobe pieces with clean-lines to offset the business of a ruffle.

Anthropologie Tabitha Ruffled Blouse

Anthropologie, Tabitha Ruffled Blouse, $295

Rebecca Taylor Tailored Silk Strip Blouse

Rebecca Taylor Tailored Silk Stripe Blouse, $295

Anthropologie Ruffled Satin Blouse

Anthropologie, Ruffled Satin Blouse, $98

Cloth & Stone Calder Buttondown-3

Anthropologie, Cloth & Stone Calder Buttondown, $80

JCrew Boat Neck Top in Stripes, Main, color, MISSY STRIPE SAPPHIRE Smocked Boat Neck Top in Stripes

Puffy Elizabethan-type sleeves (but just this side of Seinfeld’s famous puffy shirt) are making an appearance at many retailers this year. The subtler volume and gentle gathers add lovely soft elements, accentuates the waist, with a flattering boatneck.

J.Crew, Boat Neck Top in Stripes, $63

If you’re drawn to some of the styles with more girly elements than what typically work us for Prime Women, look for a more nuanced version of the style. But if you have a more dramatic personality, go ahead, embrace it in a more exaggerated piece and wear it boldly as an artistic statement. Your gut will tell you if it works or not.

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