Camisoles Beneath Blouses: White or “Nude”?

seamless camisolesWhich are the best camisoles to layer beneath blouses? Is a seamless camisole important, or a nude-for-you camisole? Or is a white camisole the best thing under a white blouse? Reader S has a question, and I thought it might be a fun topic because I’ve said before: I am a fan of plain, non-lacy white or black camisoles (with a nude-for-you bra) beneath sheer blouses, rather than “nude” camisoles. They make it clear to the non-fashion people you work with that it’s safe to look at your blouse — a solid camisole avoids that weird Barbie look of “it’s sheer and I think I see skin but there’s no bra or nipple and I’m so confused…” I also think it streamlines things in your closet, because if you need a camisole to raise the neckline of a dress, you’d want a white or black one anyway. But maybe I’m in the minority. Here’s S’s question:

I recently got several lovely silk button up blouses. I love the feel and look, and the step-up in fabric. However, they are kind of sheer. I have been searching high and low, and can’t find a good nude camisole that doesn’t show all the straps and seams and edges under the silk, making it look cheap and not well put together. Not the look I’m going for. Why can’t they make the camisole equivalent of these panties?

nude camisolesIn addition, most of the “nude” camisoles I have found look like they’re nude on a banana cream pie, but not on me. like this one (pictured at right).

I’ll weigh in with a few answers for S, but I’m curious to hear what readers say about this whole issue. [Read more…]

How High to Button Your Shirt for Interviews

blouse-buttons-suitsWhen interviewing, must you button your shirt all the way to the top? How many buttons are acceptable to leave unbuttoned? Reader S wonders…

I am going for an interview at quite a conservative organisation. I have a navy skirt suit and was going to wear a white button up shirt. Do I need to button up all the buttons up to the top?

I have an immediate, initial gut reaction here — but I’m curious if the readers agree. Before we start, note that the WSJ just discussed this very topic for men’s attire; in the past we’ve talked about whether shirt collars should be tucked into a blazer or splayed on top, as well as where to get the best button-front blouses. Here’s my gut reaction $.02:

NO! Don’t button it all the way to the top! That would look weird, and fussy, and… and… I’m thinking of a hitman in a movie but can’t quite put my finger on which movie. (Also: Rainman.) I dug up a few pictures for inspiration, though, and my opinions shifted as I studied it. So I’m really curious to hear what readers say.  Here are some notes:

[Read more…]

When to Tuck Your Blouse

when to tuck blousesWe haven’t talked about whether a professional must tuck her shirt in YEARS, and not one but two readers wonder… so let’s discuss. First, reader A wonders about tucking:

I recently read a fashion post suggesting that a woman in a professional environment should never wear her shirt untucked. I am fairly short (5’3″) and busty, and the tucked-in look usually isn’t very flattering on me. Though I can sometimes pull it off with a blazer on top, tucking my shirts tends to make my torso look very short and my bust look huge. Is it really necessary to wear only tucked shirts in a professional setting? I’ve always thought reasonably tailored, hip-length shirts were fine untucked, even in a conservative environment. What do you think?

Meanwhile, reader S wonders:

I was wondering if you could weigh in on a debate I’m having with a couple friends — we’ve been discussing whether it is more professional to wear a button-down shirt tucked or untucked with dress slacks/trousers. One person says untucked and tucked are equally professional, one person says tucked in is ok only if the trousers are worn with a belt, and one person says tucked in is always more professional! Thoughts? (And thanks!)

I’m curious to hear what the readers say here. We’ve talked about how to keep your shirts tucked, rounded up blouses especially for busty women, as well as done Hunts for crisp button-front blouses and silk blouses… but I’m not sure we’ve ever talked about whether you MUST tuck your shirt in for big events like interviews or presentations.  For my $.02, as someone who (like reader A) is short and busty, the tucked-in look is rarely a good one on me, and I would consider an untucked, fitted blouse — worn with trousers or a pencil skirt — to be a classic workwear outfit.  I would make a few caveats, though, for when you can wear a blouse untucked: [Read more…]

Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Button Down Blouse

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Collective Concepts Button Down BlouseWow — there are seven glowing reviews for this polyester blouse, from Collective Concepts. The reviewers note that while it’s a bit sheer, it’s great with both a pencil skirt and skinny pants. All four patterns seem cool, too — I’ve pictured the “blue ditsy” pattern, but there’s also a simple black and white polka dot, a pink/orange “brushstroke” floral, and a cool mint green geometric pattern. They were $69, but are now marked to $47.99 at Piperlime. Collective Concepts Button Down Blouse

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Psst: Check out more great deals at the Corporette Bargains page!

Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Peacock Shirt with Tie

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

BASLER Peacock Shirt with TieI feel like I am seeing beautiful blouse after beautiful blouse this season — including this gorgeous peacock-themed one from BASLER. I love the vibrant teal and royal blue, mixed with the more muted brown and green, and I love the ombre effect — I think it would look stunning by itself, and very chic under a blazer or cardigan. I’m a bit . . . intrigued? . . . that a $350 blouse is made from polyester, but it is machine washable, so there you go. It’s $350 at Bloomingdale’s. BASLER Peacock Shirt with Tie

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Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Evie Silk Long Sleeve Top

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

MARC BY MARC JACOBS Top - Exclusive Evie Silk Long SleeveOooh: I really like this red Marc by Marc Jacobs top. Love the round collar, the three-quarter length sleeves, and the fluid feel. I always feel like these flowy, meant-to-be-untucked blouses work best with straight or cigarette pants — what are your thoughts, readers? This silk blouse is $248 at Bloomingdale’s. MARC BY MARC JACOBS Top – Exclusive Evie Silk Long Sleeve

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]