Frivolous Universe

HOW TO WEAR BLOUSES: Bold Colors and Print-Mixing Bring this Vintage Staple into 2012

Kelly: Have you embraced the blouse yet? If not, might we suggest a 2012 resolution for you?

Nicole: In case you’re hesitant, I’ll let you know that Kelly and I only fully embraced the blouse a little over a year ago.  The love affair actually started with the blush blouse  you may remember from last week.  It snowballed from there.

K: What’s the difference between a blouse and any old top? A blouse blouses over some kind of gather, usually at the waist or hips with a belt.  Ninety-five percent of the time blouses must be tucked in, or it just doesn’t work. Girls don’t wear blouses. Women wear blouses. On the first day of 2012, we wore ours tucked in, belted, and layered with cozy knits.  Vintage 70s You Babes floral blouse with billowy sleeves, wool sweater vest, and skinny jeans.

floral big sleeve blouse, sweater vest, jelly belt, etra vintage purse clutch, skinny jeans, bcbg max azria lavendar loafer pumps

K: Lisa Sanchez grabbed this wool sweater vest in a everything-you-can-fit-in-a-bag-for-a-dollar sale at a thrift store and I was the lucky recipient. Because this vest is slim with a crew neck, we thought that a blouse with voluminous sleeves and a high-collar would give the silhouette visual interest. Nicole got me these carved rose studs in Boston last year.

carved rose studs earrings, floral big sleeve you babes vintage blouse, old navy wool sweater vest

K: Ah, another Nicole present, this red jelly belt was in my Xmas package. It faintly sparkles in the sunlight… like vampire skin.

N: I got the belt at a funky little shop in the West Village.

red jelly belt, vintage etra clutch purse chain strap green, vintage embroidered mint hankercheif

K: Oh the power of socks should never be underestimated, young Padawan. Even though this green isn’t in the rest of the outfit, I love the way these mint textured socks look with my lavender loafer pumps.

N: A big lesson we’ve been learning lately is that socks can make or break an outfit!  That little extra detail might be all you need to make your outfit adorably quirky and interesting. (Also, 10 points for your Star Wars  reference)

rolled up jeans cuffs, textured mint socks check, lavendar loafer pumps bcbg max azria chain hardware

K: Enter my grandmother’s vintage embroidered hankerchief in the same shade of mint green as my socks. This way, if I catch some rabid fashionista eying my sock choice, doubting the wisdom of the hue, I’ll whip out my mint handkerchief and shriek, “Does this justify if for you??!!”

Ahem… This vintage 70s Etra suede purse has a chain strap that hides away to convert into a clutch. Repeating motif! Chain strap on purse and chain hardware on shoes.

N: We repeat our mantra once again: details, details, details.

vintage mint embroidered hankercheif, vintage green etra purse clutch chain strap, diamond infinity band platinum

K: At $3.00, this blouse might be one of my best vintage finds. I can’t wait to wear it in warmer weather and show off its sheerness.

pansy print floral you babes high collar blouse top, wool old navy sweater vest green colorwork

N: I’ll call this outfit “what I might have worn on New Year’s if I wasn’t baby sitting 100 twenty-one year olds.”  Unfortunately my New Year’s was spent working a private event for over 100 drunk college kids.  It was messy.  There was blood.  It was not much fun.  I decided to make  myself feel better by putting together a fabulous blog outfit consisting of this vintage silk bow-tie blouse, sparkly cardigan and wool high-waisted trousers.

K: I love how fearlessly you mix three vibrant, saturated colors. The bright blue, red, and magenta are so playful, that they make these classic items (blouse, cardigan, and trousers) feel youthful and modern.

pink tie-neck blouse bow magenta, blue sequined sequins cardigan sweater, wool tweed gray pants grey, argyle pink socks, red round toe pumps

N: When your sweater is as embellished as this, it’s best to keep your jewelry sparkly but simple. So I went for a simple rhinestone stud earring.

K: There’s something very wintery about the beaded embellishments on this cardigan.

bow tie pink magenta blouse top, blue sequined sequins cardigan sweater, rinestone studs earrings

N: I love just the little pop of pink coming out of the sleeves and the neckline.  I actually bought this sweater at a second hand store in Boston on the same trip I got the earrings Kelly is wearing.

pink magenta bow tie neck blouse top, blue sequined sequins cardigan sweater, gray grey wool trousers pants

K: Alternative title to this blog: “How to Wear Socks with Pumps.” This outfit wouldn’t quite work without them.

N: Socks save the day again!  Pink argyle ties into my pink blouse.

pink gray grey argyle socks, gray grey wool tweed trousers pants, red round toe pumps shoes heels

N: The jewel tones of my outfit caused a light explosion in my living room.


pink magenta fuschia bow tie neck blouse, blue sequined sparkly sequins cardigan sweater, gray grey wool tweed trousers pants, red shoes pumps heels

When in doubt, tuck and belt.

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