Style

A Sexy Blouse

It’s easy to feel blah in the winter — especially when buried in a wool sweater or a giant coat. But one look we’re really into right now that is truly easy: a silk blouse paired with jeans. One tip for styling is to unbutton it a little and let a lacy bra peek out a tiny bit. Silk drapes so beautifully, and you just feel good. It’s great for both work or dinner dates, and I’ve officially made it my winter uniform.

Here are five we love: classic, pockets, stripe, steal and stretch.

Thoughts? Would you wear this? What brand of shirts do you love?

P.S. Lovely earrings and five outfits that always work.

(Top blouse from Kloni & the Krew and bottom blouse from Filipa K via Emma Elwin .)

  1. Christine says...

    I’m a bit late to this thread (I’ve been on vacation the past two weeks and am just catching up on things), but when it comes to silk blouses I LOVELOVELOVE the ones Equipment makes. Not only are they high quality and look wonderful, but I have large shoulders and arm muscles for a woman and they are the only button-ups I’ve found that aren’t tight across the shoulders.

  2. I have one silky shirt, but I actually like cotton better. Also I will admit to loving a good flannel in the winter! It may not be as sexy, but I love the soft feel and casual look.

    One of my resolutions for this year (maybe silly) is to have more fun with my style. Old me would have obsessed over this plain color button-up, but new me wants something more exciting and fun. Maybe it has something to do with sitting at home with a newborn these last few months…

    eemmllee.wordpress.com

  3. Maywyn says...

    Silk shirts…deep copper and a dark green khaki. A dark navy blue rayon shirt is an essential item in my wardrobe since I was a teenager. It is #1 with the white blouses. The current favorite had bleach splashed on it. The little pink dots on navy disappeared after I carefully (leave in too long fabric can disintegrate) bleached out the bottom half of the shirt. Hilarious…now the only spots are the blue paint dots I put on the shirt to cover the pink dots.

  4. Onelove says...

    I’ve been doing this. Didn’t know it was a “thing”

  5. raissomat says...

    Hah, that’s MY uniform too!! Way to cold to wear right now, but I have three silk bluses to pair with my two pair of plain jeans . Two printed and one with peter pan collar. Always on the hunt for a classic one, but what colour should I go for?!

  6. Talia says...

    A pretty look, but I have to pass. Too cold in my area (I’d freeze!, and while they look sexy on some, I look messy/sloppy.

  7. Lauren says...

    You can’t beat Equipment for a simple silk top. Very pricey, but beautiful and they last for years. I still get compliments every time I wear my black button down purchased 4 years ago.

  8. Julie says...

    I have several silk Everlane blouses and I never reach for them. I love the idea of being “effortlessly chic” and throwing on a silk top with jeans, but it logistically doesn’t make sense:
    You sweat once – it’s over.
    Deodorant gets on armpits – it’s over (and I’m not going to wear pit guards).
    Oil stains or smudges – inevitable.
    Static cling – constant.
    Handwashing – don’t mind so much, but it’s still tedious.
    Drycleaning – forget about it.

    I’m giving up on silk and going for lightweight or uniquely textured 100% linen and linen+cotton blends.

    If I’m being too snarky about silk, educate me. I’ve tried and I just don’t get it. It’s fussy to me (beautiful – but fussy).

    • Twyla says...

      I was going to say the same thing – once you sweat it’s game over.

    • Kate says...

      I love hand-me-downs, Julie. :)

    • Stephanie says...

      You said it! Too much required to effort to look relaxed.

    • raissomat says...

      I love silk, but I always machine wash it. It’s fine, it gets a little bit matte right away but it’s fine. I wear a thin cotton short sleeve underneath, or Some good deodorant (watery consistency, not many ingredients). The oil stains can be resolved by some special soap stuff (saponaria in italian) that absorbs the moisture, or corn starch. Just let it sit a few days, brush off, wash.
      Use those shirts!! You will love the feeling of silk on your skin, and it’s subtly isolating in a very good way!

    • Robbi says...

      I know this is going to sound totally uncool…but a few months ago, I needed some blouses and I didn’t want to spend the money for silk because I knew I was going to wear the heck out of them. I bought a few blouses on sale from Nordstrom…and they were polyester. I was so surprised at the drape, and the hand and feel of them. I machine wash them and hang to dry. I think you can totally get this look with poly. I love silk but your list above is an accurate description of the issues with silk.

    • Julie says...

      @Robbi – I have a 100% polyester shift dress from Target that I’ve worn weekly for close to 8 years now. 8 years! I machine wash, hang to dry, and it’s perfect. Never faded, shrunk, or stained. I’m picky about polyester (hate that clammy sweaty feeling some blouses give), but sometimes it just works. No shame.

  9. Laura says...

    I love this! I’m trying to not buy new clothes this month and just play around with my existing wardrobe for new looks. I have a couple of blouses which I’ve not worn in ages, one of which I hadn’t even taken the shop tag out of since I bought it. After reading this I tried on a few, tucked into some skinny highwaisted jeans I got back in December and I love this look! So simple, but looks so stylish and cool. Thanks for the style inspiration! x

  10. Meghan says...

    Can anyone comment on the fit of the Everlane silk shirt? I love the shirt (and the price!), but I’m afraid to buy without trying on. I’m usually between size 4 and 6 in button-downs, and I’m not sure which way to go with this one.

    • Frankie Rose says...

      I bought an everlane blouse secondhand and I sized up. If you have any bust at all (I’m a 36C) you may have to contend with the dreaded pull from the buttons if you wear your normal size (in my experience).

  11. Emily B says...

    Beautiful shirt–I’d definitely wear that–but letting your lacy bra show? I’m sure some people can pull that off, but that seems like a little much for most work environments.

    Also, maybe I’m modest, but I’ve always been a fan of covering up, showing less skin. I’m not a “let it all hang out there” kind of girl.

  12. Katherine says...

    Ive been binge watching The West Wing recently and this is totally a thing!

  13. Shannon says...

    A few years ago, I was on a visit to London and found the most beautiful navy silk blouse at Jigsaw (honestly, I probably could have bought up the whole store!). It’s slightly A-line, so it’s very flattering. I wear it messily tucked into the front of jeans, with it slightly unbuttoned, add a splash of bright lipstick and I always feel stylish and sexy. If I need to add a layer I’ll put a light weight wool cardigan unbuttoned over it. Perfection!

  14. Lindsay says...

    Does anyone fight against massive static cling when they wear silk in the winter?

    Anything great solutions out there??

  15. sara says...

    These look lovely on the models, but as a pear shaped woman, I find it very difficult to find blouses that fit around my hips. I end up having to go up a couple of sizes and just looking frumpy. It would be great to find silk blouses that have someone of an A-line shape.

  16. April says...

    To work? Ah no. I can’t say showing my bra would be office appropriate. On a date, sure.

    • Twyla says...

      Cue Seinfeld episode

  17. Tanya says...

    Beautiful! But not warm enough for a cold winter – wool sweaters can be sexy too!

  18. Heather says...

    I have a bright blue silk button up blouse. It is great for work or casual wear. I wore that piece all through my first pregnancy, leaving the buttons undone and pairing it with a black tank top. I always feel put together with this piece.

    It was a pretty cheap find at JCP several years ago so I took a chance on silk, which at that time I would have typically avoided because it is so delicate. I have several silk blouses now, all because of that first blue top.

  19. Mullica says...

    That’s actually so funny cause I am wearing a navy blouse right now. But it’s not as fancy. It’s just a rayon shirt from Uniqlo but I’m not super good about maintaining my clothes so I figure it was a good inbetween.

  20. I love the look – but I feel like it only looks THAT good on small/thin women. I wish my body type would let me pull that off! Beautiful shirt, regardless.

    http://objectsicantafford.com/

    • Samantha says...

      I agree. These shirts are MY SARTORIAL SPIRIT ANIMAL… on slender girls. In reality, on me (super curvy/busty) they just create lots of extra volume. :/ It’s not cute.

    • Lisa says...

      I’m curvy and wear his look a lot- what makes it work for me is pairing a very high rise jean with a loose silk blouse and doing either a full tuck or a front tuck. That way it doesn’t show any tightness around the hips. Looser helps keep the fabric away from your armpits and I roll the sleeves to show some arm so it isn’t huge everywhere. Then wear a long and somewhat heavy necklace to weigh down the fabric.

  21. I absolutely love a slightly unbuttoned blouse with lace bralette underneath, especially tucked into high-waist jeans with a more masculine shoe. It’s the perfect balance of trying but not trying to hard. In terms of brands, I think Everlane and Equipment are my favorite, but I’d like to try Cuyana! I’ve also seen beautiful ones from Sezane.

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

  22. Aislinn says...

    This is so effortlessly sexy. I’d love to wear this. I’m actually reinventing my wardrobe and this is exactly the sort of piece I’d love to add. Classic, neutral, chic.

  23. Scarlett says...

    Yes! I love tops like these. And for those saying they don’t work on curvier women: I, a curvier woman, beg to differ. Tuck it in to a pair of high-waisted pants (flares, skinnies, ankle jeans, anything) and it looks so, so good.

  24. I love this look. I just recently decided to try and purchase products made in the USA or at least (like Everlane) inform me of the factory they are being produced. Ive read so many things about fast fashion and working conditions for men, women and children.
    A brand I heard from you all, Cuyana, makes a beautiful one is fun colors. https://www.cuyana.com/gathered-silk-shirt.html#navy
    With my small budget it will limit me to a couple pieces a year but it’s worth it. I just bought my first pair of Jeans (fancy ones in my book) made here. Rag and Bone. They cost a pretty penny but felt like heaven once they were on.

    • d says...

      What is the length like on Everlane tops? I have a long torso and since they don’t have free returns, I hesitate to try them. Thanks! =)

  25. Lisa says...

    Very sexy, but as a plus sized, boobylicious woman it would look crazy on me. I can just see sweat stains, bras cutting in and not looking sexy showing off my huge tatas. All smaller women look so effortless in this look though!

  26. Cynthia says...

    I like them all, but my favorite is the convertible sleeve one, because it comes in purple.

  27. Oh, I love button down tops so much, especially in silk! I’m one of the lucky (or unlucky) few who essentially never sweats- it’s a big problem when I get overheated but a great advantage when wearing silk.
    My favorites are the washed silk Equipment blouses- I got one in a blushy-nude color for Christmas- the one I had wanted since some time in high school, 6 or so years ago.
    As a cheaper and less dressy alternative, the LOFT ones are quite lovely. I have a burgundy one that a friend passed on to me.
    And a silky emerald green one from J Crew.
    One of my favorites is one that I’ve only worn twice, to college admissions interviews, but I’m hoping to get more familiar with it. It’s a beautiful ruffled front silk blouse from Ralph Lauren that looks very dressy-equestrian.
    And I recently found a leopard print Ted Baker that ties in the front but buttons up the back, the sleeves are very Poldark :P Very voluminous but gathered at the wrist.

    Also have a cotton pajama top with piping from J Crew that I wear out with dressier bottoms (but I lust for a silk pajama set) and a Victorian style cotton blouse that I got second hand when I was in Paris this summer.

    Admission: I would really love a striped silk shirt to add to my collection- striped are king.

  28. This is one of my favorite looks, casual and subtly sexy . I’ve been searching the thrift shops for vintage mens button downs for a while (cool collars and cuffs).

  29. shopgirl says...

    But it’s soooo freezing…..brrrrr!

  30. Meg says...

    I have the Everlane blouse in blush and wore it tucked into jeans literally last Friday night – totally agree that the way it drapes is so beautiful. I wish Everlane would make it in navy too!

  31. I love pairing a silk blouse with jeans too! So effortless, but elegant – and yes, sexy even too! I always lust after Equipment blouses, but they’re rather out of my price range. Uniqlo has some excellent reasonable options. xxx

  32. Jennifer says...

    Most of the time I love this blog because Joanna and the team seem down to earth and the conversations are genuine. Then there are posts with $400 shirts and I’m like ??? What world are you guys living in?

    • Same here. I don’t have $400 to spend on a blouse…

    • Emily says...

      The uniqlo one linked is $29.99.

  33. Sasha says...

    I bought some dress shirts and silk blouses a few years ago in attempt to dress nicer, but found they gape too much at the chest (wearing a small and 34D), and going up a size just makes me look like I am wearing a shirt that is too big. I teach, so showing lacy bras is not an option. I found this to be true for Everlane, Brooks Brothers, Jcrew shirts. Does anyone have any brands suggestions that won’t have this problem? One band-aid solution that I found is to wear silk blouse with a vest-that way I am not self-conscious about my chest, and I stay warmer in winter.

    • Cazmina says...

      There’s a UK brand, Pepperberry, that is specifically designed for larger-chested ladies. I don’t think they have any stores in the US but presumably they ship internationally from their website.

    • Kate says...

      I have the exact same problem, Sasha! I’m also a 34D and wear a small – sometimes medium depending on the brand. My sister-in-law bought me a beautiful silk blouse from Massimo Dutti but I have to put a piece of double sided tape between the two buttons near my chest area so my cleavage doesn’t peek through! I work in a professional office atmosphere so cleavage and lacy bras aren’t appropriate – although I’m all for a little of both on date nights with my hubby :)

      I’m curious to try the Pepperberry brand that Cazmina listed below. I’m not seeing any silk shirts on their site but they have a very pretty chiffon button down as well as a cute gingham button down! I’m off to investigate more and see if they ship to the U.S…

    • Natalie says...

      Oh boy, I can totally relate! It’s a constant struggle to keep my 32DD’s under wraps in button-up blouses. If it fits the shoulders, arms and waist; it is bound to gape at my bust. Fashion tape has been a workhorse for me. I use it to secure the fabric between the buttons together. Another solution I employ are spandex bandeau tops. I still need the support of a underwire bra, but I wear a bandeau over the bra to peek out like a camisole. This is the best in the summer when a full additional layer is just too dang hot! Excited to check out Pepperberry! Thanks, Cazmina.

    • Maria says...

      Hey, this problem prevented me from wearing button-up shirts for years! But it’s actually super easy to solve. Just sew on a little snap between the buttons (sew it on the inside, so that the snap is sandwiched between the fabric and isn’t visible). You can find the snaps anywhere, including drugstores and Amazon.

    • Leena says...

      Agreed! Button downs used to be the bane of my work life existence but now I have found a few solutions. 1. Either sew a snap button or a hook in between the two buttons that gape. (or truthfully have my mom or a tailor do it) :) 2. Sew the fabric between the two buttons that gape shut along the button panel seam. Then you just pull the shirt on and off like a non-button down shirt. Both work really well and you can wear the fitted shirt without giving an accidental peep show.

    • raissomat says...

      You can open the top buttons and wear a thin cotton camisole or short sleeved top underneath! I do that just to change the look sometimes, still looks professional! Plus I avoid sweat stains thanks to the lil cotton sleeves.

  34. Don’t you get cold though? I definitely feel frumpy wearing a sweater all winter, but if I don’t, I am freezing and I end up with a sweater on at the end of the day anyway.

  35. Lizzy says...

    I have a couple of the Everlane ones that I hand wash with Caldrea delicates detergent and then iron on low heat. It is sort of a pain, really, but I do love the feel of a silk blouse! Also, to the person with pit problems, I wear stick-on dress shields! They work like a dream. I wear them under wool sweaters, too.

  36. Rebecca says...

    Love it.. but the curvier ladies like myself, often have trouble with the buttons staying closed all together.. or going to a bigger size means droopy at the shoulders. Tips?

    • Natalie says...

      Fashion tape is a godsend. Secure the fabric between the buttons with double sided tape. I typically leave the strip on until I wash it to make it last longer. Otherwise, camisoles.

  37. I had a silk blouse and I could never launder it well enough and I didn’t want to pay dry cleaning. So now I have cotton shirts and this winter I bought one poly blouse (from Target – http://www.target.com/p/women-s-convertible-sleeve-blouse-mossimo/-/A-51272081?lnk=rec|pdpipadh1_0-49|related_prods_vv|pdpipadh1_0-49|51272081|7) and I LOVE IT. Drapes so well and it holds the heat in well enough for me to feel warm in one layer. The olive green goes with so many things!

  38. Nikki says...

    Every time I wear a silk blouse to a meeting I inevitably sweat and pit out. It’s so embarrassing! Anyone else have this problem?

    Separately. Any handwashing tips? I either get wrinkles that I can’t manage to get out with either an iron or handheld steamer, or the shirts shrink and pucker in strange places. I’m using tepid water and just a little Dr. Bronners peppermint soap, then a splash of vinegar in the rinse water.

    • Al says...

      I have the same issue! Silk blouses=pitting out no matter the temperature. It’s the worst!

    • Isabella says...

      Cold water and a little mild dish soap, and handle very gently while wet — silk fibers get extremely fragile when wet! I find that charmeuse is very wrinkle prone after washing, but other weaves like crepe de chine are not. Just be sure the shirt isn’t wrinkled while it’s drying, and let it dry flat on a folded towel. Works like a charm for me! (But no advice about the armpit sweat — I definitely have this problem, at least with tighter-fitting silk clothes).

    • Yes! I was going to comment the same exact thing!

    • Rebecca says...

      Me too! I just don’t buy silk tops or dresses anymore. But if anyone has a magic solution, please share!

    • Me TOO. I’d love to hear a magic solution as well…

    • raissomat says...

      About the pit sweat, it’s not magic, but I’ve sewn in linen inserts under my arms in my silken (peach) wedding dress. Just two very simple fitted moons, attached to the already existing sewing who attaches the sleeves. Also for everyday use, I wear very thin cotton short sleeves that cover my pits.

  39. Catie says...

    I’ll add another suggestion to the list for those concerned about price or fabric care.

    I love the LOFT utility blouses (linked below). The price point is decent, and GREAT if you can get them on sale (which LOFT does all the time…currently an extra 40% off as I type). I’m a PhD student, and I wear these in my daily life around campus/the office with jeans, but they’re also perfect for pairing with skirts and pants for teaching, conferences, etc. Highly recommended! (I also find the cut to be on the more generous side–I have broad shoulders and a D chest, and this is flattering and well-fitting without being constraining!

    http://www.loft.com/tops-the-utility-blouse/cat3070009/?SortByFacetSelectedValue=remove&DocSortOrder=remove&catid=cat3070009&question=&fRequest=true&goToPage=1&N=0&categoryType=regular&priceSort=DESC&country=&currency=&Submit=Submit&productId=423747&colorCode=4886

    • Lexi says...

      Thank you😍. I’m going to check those out; I have broad shoulders and a large bust and finding button ups is no fun.

    • Kelly says...

      I agree! I bought one this fall and I love it. I wear it with tons of different things and find it always looks good and drapes nicely. And it’s not a pain to wash.

    • Lauren says...

      These are so cute- thank you for sharing! I have a few silk blouses that I love, but I’m also expecting a baby in 7 weeks and I’m not sure how new baby spit up/drool/food will go with silk shirts and dry cleaning. These Loft options seem like a good (and flattering) alternative!

    • Kate says...

      Yes! I have a few of these tops as well–they’re wonderful (and ALWAYS on sale).

  40. I love this look and I’ve been doing the partial tuck with everything lately! Silk is so nice to wear but it’s so pricey and such a hassle to care for but it’s not easy to find a good alternative. I actually have a few of the Express Portofino shirts you featured and they fit nice but are 100% polyester which makes them yucky to wear and I’ve found they hold on to smells forever (don’t wear them if you go for Indian food…yikes!)

  41. Sierra says...

    I love this look and I have an everlane one that is beautiful.
    BUT, I can not seem to manage the extra unbutton thing. Even though I’m only a B cup I never have that subtle bit of flat chest showing. I always end up looking a bit trashy – and every movement puts more on show. I don’t think I’ve ever actually left the house with it unbuttoned.
    Maybe it’s finding the right bra that is the problem??

  42. Kelly says...

    I wear Grana silk shirts, which are beautiful and affordable.

  43. Diana says...

    Yes! I would totally wear this. Very “me”. Love the colors. Simple style yet sleek and sexy :)

  44. Maria says...

    This is basically my uniform most of the time…my wardrobe is overrun with silk blouses!

  45. Katie says...

    How do you care for your silk blouses? They are beautiful but dry clean only is a pain!

    • Anon:) says...

      I’ve had excellent luck just washing them on cold and very lightly drying them to release wrinkles before hanging. Some tend to get a faded washed-silk look after a while, but not always. It’s saved a ton on dry cleaning and cleans better.

    • Maria says...

      I wash and dry my Everlane silk like normal (but definitely with like colors) with no side effects so far (and I’ve had them for years)! Doesn’t work for all silk, but Everlane seems OK.

  46. Alice says...

    Yes! #ordered

  47. This is what I wore to work today! I have a lovely silk blouse from the Archive by Alexa Marks and Spencer collection. So effortless and classy.

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      That is a great one. Uniqlo often really nails it.

  48. Sara C. says...

    This is what I wore for NYE! I love the look.

  49. Amy says...

    This has been my go-to night out look since fall. (Thank you Cup of Jo for validating my fashion choices!) Brushed silk navy blouse paired with black denim or faded/distressed boyfriend jeans is my uniform, red lip optional. The Hanky Panky “Wink” Bralette in black is my fav under this.

  50. Blouses are my thing and this is a wonderful one!

  51. I basically have the exact same shirt as this pic but I feel SO UGLY in it whenever I put it on! I can’t figure out why, haha. It feels frumpy and shapeless and too business-y while somehow being unflattering even though it fits me nicely and drapes so well. Same color too which is usually nice on me. Life’s great mysteries, haha.

    • Brianna says...

      I have the same trouble with blouses, Virginia. I always feel like they don’t fit me quite right, even in petite sizes.

    • Alice says...

      Is it silky or cotton? A silky feel makes all the difference because it drapes and is so flattering!

    • Cazmina says...

      I feel the same in blouses when the sleeves are to my wrists. Rolling them up to 3/4 length suddenly changes everything.

  52. Love this blouse! I always want to wear button downs (because don’t the most stylish?), but they always feel too stiff and uncomfortable to me. This one looks so soft and comfy!!
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  53. Sandra says...

    So cute, but silk plus a young kid = a no for me. But maybe the polyester one if it isn’t too sheer.😀

  54. Colleen says...

    Nah, already did the circa 1995 version…

  55. Lora says...

    Oh those wonderful Everlane blouses! I love this look, but its hard finding supportive lacy bras for us busty gals. At least, ones that look deliberately delicate and lacy and not just a normal bra with a lace overlay.

    • Isabelle says...

      I second this…it’s my life mission to find one

    • Liz says...

      Freya makes lovely bras – I’m a 34E. Good fit, good support, and great looking.

    • Melanie says...

      Prima Donna — I’m a G and this Belgian brand was a life-changer for me. I particularly love the fit and look of the Deauville line.

    • Sharon in Scotland says...

      Have a look at Bravissimo, (U.K. based, but they ship all over) they have lovely bras from D to K cup sizes. The panache ones are good and have some funky colours……….so sexy letting a bit of peacock blue bra peep through!

    • Emily says...

      Evollove makes pretty, supportive, and comfortable lacy bras in bustier sizes. AND they seem to be on great sale right now–especially at Kohl’s.

    • Lora says...

      Love all these suggestions! Thanks everyone!

  56. Cheryl says...

    Looks nice – but one silk shirt unbuttoned is not warm enough for winter where I live!

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      Haha, you should see the massive hooded puffer coat I have on over my silk shirt today.

  57. I have an olive green silk blouse from J.Crew I bought maybe 6 years ago, and it is still one of my favorite pieces- timeless and elegant. I love wearing it with jeans to “dress up ” an otherwise casual party or date night. (And in LA, wearing silk feels so fancy, when jeans and tees are de rigueur!)

  58. Jessica says...

    talk to me about those black jeans….!

    • Brianna says...

      Ditto!

    • melissa says...

      yes, please!

    • Chrissis says...

      YES THE JEANS

    • Mary says...

      I have a pair of Wedgies and am SO into them and am very ready for them to make a Wedgie with a finished hem. They’re almost perfect!

  59. Michelle says...

    Great idea! For me, silk doesn’t have enough stretch and give to make me feel comfortable (I like to be ready for adventures!). I love J. Crew’s featherweight/vintage tees, the short-sleeve in summer and the long-sleeve in winter, because they give me that same sultry, airy vibe that makes me feel sexy.

    But also ready for adventures.

  60. Amour Vert has some beautiful silk blouses, too. :)

    • Natalie says...

      Adore Amour Vert! Especially their sustainability practices.