Shop this look: Calvin Klein blouse (oos; black option) | Kensie jeans (oos; similar here) | Melanie Lyne screw and crystal bracelet | Civion arrow bracelet (use code LILYBELF25 for 25% off!) | Aldo booties (oos; similar here) | Michael Kors bag (colour “luggage” is no longer available)
A while back, I published a post entitled “My Go-To Outfit Formula For School“, in which I explained that the easiest and most diverse outfits arise from a blouse+jeans+tote combination. This outfit is a classic example of such. Pairing a blouse with jeans dresses it down for a casual, yet classy and stylish look. Conversely, it can be dressed up with dress pants or a pencil skirt for different purposes, for example business wear. I frequently invest in pieces like this blouse, purchasing it with the intent on making it last a long time and getting many uses out of it. Here is where most people make a mistake: they will purchase the lowest-priced item, which usually means the lowest quality item. I look for high quality items, more specifically high quality materials, fabrication, and cuts. For materials, I avoid anything that will fade out, such as cotton. I aim for polyester, and if your budget permits, silk is the best option. It keeps its colour, does not wrinkle, and does not contain static. For fabrication, I look at the seams and how the garment is put together, if it is symmetrical and even, and the stitch work. Lastly, in terms of cuts, I look for a classic shape that accentuates my figure; therefore a tailored waist, hemline ending at the groin, and sleeve length that fit my arms nicely. Depending on your body type, a garment that is not cinched at the waist will look like it does not fit you and will make you look bigger than you actually are. In addition, a garment that is too short will show skin and a garment that is longer than the groin will make your legs look shorter and your torso thicker. Of course, there are exceptions to this statement. For example, a crop top is worn with the intension of showing skin, and longer garments, such as tunic tops, can be worn longer with leggings to cover your behind. Furthermore, sleeves should be an appropriate length (full-length sleeves specifically). If the sleeves are too short, the item is too small and it will look distasteful. Similarly, sleeves that are too long (unless they are meant to be rolled), means that the garment is too large and again will look like you do not know how to dress for your body.
As seen in the pictures above, I like to do a front tuck with my blouse, so that my torso appears thinner and not as bulky, and so that my legs appear longer. Obviously there are numerous other ways one can style a blouse. I paired this look with booties and a tote bag, matching the brown leather throughout to create a sense of cohesiveness. I have mentioned before that I like to use tote bags in my outfits, mainly because they are large enough to use for school. It is spacious enough to be able to fit my Mac and other school supplies. Instead of purchasing shoulder bags or cross-body bags AND a school bag, I kill two birds with one stone by only purchasing one item with a dual purpose. This is a great way of saving money if you are still a student and don’t have much financial liberty.
*Please note that these are just my personal opinions and style tricks I have picked up over the years.
Have a lovely day ❤