If there’s one piece in your wardrobe you can count on to take you to work in the morning, drinks in the evening, a delectable brunch the next day, and that glitzy weekend event—it’s a blouse. Explore our collection of cute tops for women!
Like denim and clean-cut trousers, blouses have been an essential of the fashion scene for decades. Between white chiffon wraps and linen shift tops, blouses’ variety and unwavering feminine lean give you a fun and flattering alternative to otherwise understated basics. With so many options in our womens linen clothing collection, boho collection, women’s petite tops, and more, there are so many options to interchange these pieces.
All that said, knowing how to style a blouse isn’t always straightforward. We’re here to help you unlock all the styling possibilities.
#1 With Jeans
Jeans are the no-fuss, got-your-back wardrobe piece no matter what top you’re working with, and blouses are no exception. Denim jeans are a tasteful, timeless neutral with just as many varieties in cut and color as blouses, giving you a variety of different ways to build a stunning look.
Depending on which you choose, your denim can either dress up or dress down a blouse, allowing you to style it for exactly the kind of occasion you need. With the perfect blouse and denim combo, you can make jeans appropriate for more sophisticated occasions or as part of your casual weekend getaway outfits.
Try the following outfit ideas for a denim-and-blouse ensemble:
- Denim French tuck – For an easy styling touch, pull on your favorite blouse and jeans, then do a French tuck. Here’s how: tuck only your blouse’s front hem into a straight-legged or skinny pair of jeans. These universal denim cuts are sure to flatter with many different blouse styles. We love to finish this look with either colored heels or a patent loafer for a professional lean.
- With wide-legged jeans – Wide-legged pants are everywhere in recent fashion seasons, and we couldn’t be happier. Not only are wide-legged jeans comfortable and relaxed (perfect for spring or summer), but they’re also a flattering addition to a blouse. Tuck a blouse into wide-legged jeans, add a statement belt, and voila—you’re looking chic.
- With capri-length jeans – For an easy breezy outfit as we head into spring, try slipping on a pair of capri jeans with your blouse. The cropped style keeps your outfit casual and relaxed, and you can even dress it down further. When rocking capris, try unbuttoning your blouse over a tank or short-sleeved top for a relaxed, summery look.
#2 With Winter Layers
A nice blouse can steal the show all on its own—that much is for sure. But did you know that blouses also make for phenomenal layering pieces?
While some blouses pose more layering difficulty because of embellishments like flowy sleeves, buttons, and other baubles, there's sure to be a layering-friendly outfit to be made of any blouse. You just have to find the right style for the blouse you have—and have we got the inspiration for you!
Try out one of the following layers over your blouse to keep you both warm and trendy:
- V-neck sweater over a collared blouse – Perhaps the smartest-looking style combination out there, a structured collar peeking through a sweater's V-neck never fails to elevate an outfit. And it works with any type of collar you could think of: traditional button-up collars, bow-front collars, Peter Pan collars, and so many more. A V-neck sweater vest is another trendy take on this look and is perfect for blouses with accent sleeves.
- Long coat – There's no single garment quite as powerful in its immediate drama as a long coat, so it’s no surprise it pairs beautifully with the classic blouse. A structured coat with clean, tailored lines—we like the feminine pea coat or its bold cousin, the trench coat—elegantly offsets the looser fit of most blouses. If it’s not too chilly, try wearing your coat open over a blouse and high-waisted bottoms for extra-flattering proportions.
- Turtleneck under a blouse – If you're looking for a lighter and less bulky layering option for your blouses, a thin turtleneck is your go-to. When styling a regular button-up blouse, leave a good portion of the top buttons undone to give your blouse an intriguing new look. Or, revamp your sheer and/or lace blouses by adding a colorful turtleneck as a base layer—a fun variation on the traditional nude camisole. Learn more about how to style a turtleneck.
Part of what makes a wardrobe staple a truly reliable piece is if it can be worn throughout the seasons. We’re glad to say that blouses more than make the cut as a year-round favorite, especially with so many layering options.
#3 With a Skirt
As a styling piece defined by its femininity, the blouse is a natural match for its sister in femme fashion: the skirt. When put together, the two make the ultimate team—and with so many cuts and kinds of either garment, there's no limit to the number of outfits you can put together with this stellar styling combo.
Here are a few different ways to pad your foray into one of our favorite ways to style blouses:
- With a midi skirt – Don a romantic midi skirt that falls below the knee for a striking complement to your blouse. An idea for how to accessorize this look could be with ballet flats and a belt or scarf to add a European flair to this winner of an outfit. Discover how to style a midi skirt.
- With a matching set – What better way to celebrate your blouse than with a solid set to accent it? Pair your blouse with a matching skirt and jacket set for a modern and lovely look. With lighter pieces, this can create a great vacation style look.
- Add tights – While this isn't a specific skirt style per se, it's a universally fashionable tip no matter which skirt and blouse pairing you choose. Tights are a sleek accessory that balances the blouse’s drapery and gives your final look a clean, polished aesthetic.
Once you find the skirt that best complements your blouse, try accessorizing with colors that further accentuate the piece and its pattern or hue. You could add a handbag that correlates neutral shades, a pair of tights in a bright color or coordinating print, or some statement jewelry to finish off the outfit.
#4 With a Dress
Styling your blouse with a dress is perhaps the most unexpected styling tip of the bunch. The truth is, dresses and blouses make for a darling (and sometimes daring) duo. Though they're a step away from the familiar ease of pulling on a pair of white skinny jeans with your button-up, once you learn to style a dress and a blouse together, you won't go back.
If you’re looking for inspiration in crafting your new favorite dress/blouse outfit, we have a few pointers for you:
- One stunning look that requires little effort and no extra embellishment is wearing your blouse under your dress. This single layer frames your dress with a sharp pop of contrast and gives a charming je ne sais quoi to your whole affair. For this outfit, we’d reach for a silk slip dress or a sleeveless sheath dress to go over a collared shirt and a flowy blouse, respectively.
- In a showcase of its versatility, a beautiful blouse could also be worn as a layer over a dress. This is a go-to method if you’re donning a dress you want to dress down; unbuttoning a blouse and throwing it on over your dress is simultaneously chic and nonchalant. Tie your shirt fronts at the waist to give enhanced shape to your dresses silhouette.
One Blouse, Endless Styles
Because of its overwhelming versatility and long-stay hold in the fashion world, the scope of what defines a blouse has shifted over the years.
Design features like lace, buttons, frills, and other embellishments commonly adorn blouses of the twenty-first century, though the garment’s origins have roots in French workwear. Ultimately, today, a blouse is known to be any loose top that’s characterized as undeniably feminine.
As such, this one simple garment can take countless forms, and each form might require different styling techniques—for instance, learning how to style a white blouse with lace paneling will probably differ from learning how to style a big blouse or one with oversized elements. Here are just a few of the classic styles to consider as you begin to mix and match:
- Button-down blouses
- Peasant tops
- Linen blouses
- Peplum tops
- Wrap-front blouses
Everyone’s personal style is different—your girlfriend might go for the classic Oxford shirt, while you prefer the beachier peasant top. And both blouses will be just as fashionable once you know how to style a blouse, no matter which style you’re rocking.
Spring Forward into Karen Kane's Spring Collection
We've learned that a blouse brings with it boundless styling opportunities for all seasons, aesthetics, and occasions. One blouse now has the potential to build dozens of different looks, even when you're working with the same wardrobe.
As we leap forward into the new season, Karen Kane wants to celebrate by providing a new array of styles in our spring collection. We're ringing in warmer days with everything from chunky pullovers to pleated shorts—both of which look absolutely divine with a blouse, might we add.
At Karen Kane, we believe in fashion design and distribution that’s not only stylish but also sustainable, conscious of both your needs as a consumer and of our community’s needs. All of our comfortable and contemporary styles are made of ethically sourced materials, and we work hard to ensure our cotton blouses are just as environmentally friendly as the sweaters we layer on top of them.
The Museum of Foreign Literature and Science, Volume 2. Summary of Fashion for 1822 (1823). https://books.google.com/books?id=xlY5AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA371&lpg=PA371&dq=%22Summary+of+Fashion+for+1822%22&source=bl&ots=aBrRwNfaVY&sig=ACfU3U06qCjD535pgtsgLkNsmJwrYt2huQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2ytHFvKX9AhXrN0QIHQ1vBVQQ6AF6BAgGEAM#v=onepage&q=%22Summary%20of%20Fashion%20for%201822%22&f=false
Scribner Library of Daily Life. Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Volume 1: Academic Dress to Eyeglasses (2005). http://ebooks.rahnuma.org/Encyclopedias/Encyclopedia_of_Clothing_and_Fashion_Vol-1.pdf