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Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
Maybe it’s just me, but the ruffled white blouse is everywhere this season. Yes, yes, there are lots of pirate/Labyrinth jokes to be made, but this is something that you will be seeing a ton of this summer and probably on into winter. So I thought we’d round up some of the best out there, in a range of prices. First, let’s check out some of the higher-end things for inspiration:
|Love the cap sleeves, close fit, and origami-like ruffles. It’s available at Neiman Marcus for $890. Carolina Herrera Pleated Tie-Neck Blouse|
|This one has more of a Latin flamenco-dancer type feel to it — note the multiple ruffles on the placket. I like that the sleeves are kept very simple, but still wish they had given them regular cuffs. Escada White Ruffle Front Blouse, available at Bloomingdale’s for $695.|
|I like the floaty quality to the crepe de chine here, the wispy ruffled collar, and the fact that it’s both a tie and a blouse. This one was $690 at Saks, but is now on sale for $414. Oscar de la Renta Ruffle Front Sleeveless Blouse|
Now for the more affordable ones — I think that in general, the more fitted the blouse is, and the “looser” the ruffles, (nothing overly crisp or clown-like) the better the blouse looks for the office. And even though I generally dislike tucking blouses, they do generally look so much better when tucked. I’d wear any of these under a blazer or even a cardigan for the office, paired with a clean, classic bottom, such as a pencil skirt or a pair of trousers. I’d avoid girly accessories and matches to this — an A-line skirt, a pink cardigan, etc. would all make it overly feminine for the office, in my opinion.
|This one is nearly sold out at Neiman Marcus (sizes 10-14 are all that’s left), but given the fact that it’s Magaschoni and on sale that’s not bad. Love the darts and the puffed shoulders, and like the crispness of the collar versus the looseness of the ruffles. Was $220, now $77. Magaschoni Ruffle-Front Cap-Sleeve Blouse|
|This blouse (which we’ve featured before in the darker print version) is gorgeous — and available in Petite and Woman sizes. I like that the ruffles go all the way down to the waistband, and like the relaxed look to the V-neck collar (although I do see a top button, so you can fasten it all the way to your neck if you desire). The slight puff to the sleeves looks lovely, also. It’s $79.50 at Ralph Lauren. Loryna Cotton Ruffled Blouse|
|This blouse is one of my favorites, actually, even though it’s more of a tan than a white. I like the small origami-type ruffles and the long cuffs, as well as the fact that the blouse is stretch. This was $99, now $59.40 at Dillards (limited sizes available). Antonio Melani “Delores” Blouse|
|LOFT’s website is momentarily down, but I like the look of this ruffle blouse. Compared to the other blouses, this has much smaller ruffles on the collar and placket — and it’s a nice way to sample the trend in a safe way. It’s $44.50 at LOFT (in regular and petites). Favorite Ruffle Blouse|
|Finally: I like this sleeveless number from The Limited. I like the darts and the cascading ruffles, and the round jewel neckline looks flattering and work appropriate. The blouse is $44.90 at The Limited (available in white, green, and yellow). Mixed Ruffle Sleeveless Top|
Readers, which of the ruffled blouses is your favorite? (If you’ve seen another one that’s still for sale, please share it in the comments!) What do you think of wearing them for the office?
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