The New Favourite Blouse

I've mentioned in previous posts my recent struggles with roll necks. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly however for a start they are not practical in summer unless you're going for the red faced, melting make up, going to pass out any second from over heating, dear god get this thing off me sort of look. And a bit like jeans I find they can be a safe bet, they're that item of clothing you know can be a quick fix to an outfit. Not sure what to wear under a pinafore? Or with an a-line mini? I know why not stick to the same old formula as always and add a roll neck. The roll neck and mini combination is in every shop at the minute. It's been done and personally I was starting to get a bit bored with it. Enter the Victorian blouse. Quite possibly my favourite discovery this year! Discovery is probably the wrong word, the Victorian blouse is a pretty timeless classic worn by Jane Birkin and Francoise Hardy countless times in the sixties and it has always been a favourite of mine. However up until recently it's been difficult to find a suitable one unless you were prepared to trawl through eBay endlessly, praying the perfect vintage Laura Ashley Victorian blouse of dreams would show up and for less then £50 (never happened, if you want a good one you have to be prepared to dish out the cash). But this year someone finally heard my prayers and there's been Victorian blouse a-plenty on the high street. 

It's such a nice little break away from your every day samey shirt or a standard roll neck. It's usually high necked (like my good friend the turtle neck), collarless and buttons at the back not the front, making it clean cut and perfect for under a pinafore because its not too fussy or messy. But then on the other hand it can also be dainty, feminine and sometimes on the frilly side with embroidered or pin-tuck detailing, so it can be worn tucked into a skirt or trousers as the focal point of your outfit. Am I making sense here? If not please see the below photos of how I wore mine this summer. 

Pin Tuck Victorian Blouse- Topshop
Denim Skirt- AC for AG Jeans
Crochet Detailed Blouse- Zara
Denim Playsuit- New Look
Crochet Detailed Blouse- Zara
Floral Skirt- Vintage

I recommend taking a trip to Zara as they seem to have got the Victorian blouse down to a fine art and have managed to make their blouses ruffley and frilly enough without looking garish or cheap using crochets and Broderie Anglais. Dahlia is another label doing this kind of blouse proud at the moment, keeping them feminine and dainty in sheer or lace materials with embroidered patterns. I've got my eye on this Dahlia number, aptly named the Hayley Victoriana blouse... Santa Claus take note please. 

Hayley Victoriana Blouse- Dahlia

This kind of blouse also works really well in winter. Maybe not in the day, because it's way too cold and it's time to welcome back knitted roll necks with open arms. But for a night time look, a Victorian style blouse is a nice addition to your outfit. One of my favourites is this ruffled Zara blouse with smock detailing on the neck and cuffs. It's got a seventies, slightly over flamboyant kind of look to it which I'm in love with! I've been wearing it with either a vintage black velvet a-line mini oooor most recently the Topshop forest green treat pictured below. Any jewel coloured velvet and you will pretty much always have my attention, I just think colours look so much more vivid and rich when done in velvet. This particular shade of deep green, along with the matching belt (comes with the skirt, hooray!) give the skirt a retro feel which helps carry through the seventies/vintage (admittedly slightly Austin Powers) style of the blouse, so you'll never look more ready to party like its 1979 or 1899 or 1999... 
Sophia x
Sheer Smocked Blouse- Zara TRF
Velvet A Line Skirt- Topshop
Blouse- Zara
Velvet Mini Skirt- Vintage

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