With the Winter to Spring transition underway in many places, it seemed like a good time to feature this blouse that hit 31 wears in December (i.e., before serious winter weather arrived in Minnesota) and that will be coming out of hibernation soon. As always, a thank you to Mica for inspiring me with her 30 Ways to Wear series.
I purchased this blouse from Loft in September 2017, back before they started (and then stopped!) offering plus size. (It is a fairly generous size XXL that continues to fit just fine; I don't actually understand how that's the case but I go with it.) I was attracted to the floral print, the simple blouse cut (I don't own a lot of blouses), and the light pink + blue color scheme, but it turns out that this warm light blush color does not go well with any pink items I own! It has more of a very pale peach feel to it so it looks off with even blush pinks. While that was a tad disappointing at first, I quickly got over it because the blouse coordinates well with so many different shades of blue.
Light pink/navy floral blouse [it's really light blush!] - Loft - XXL - $35.70 - 9/2017
Total wears: 31
Cost per wear: $1.15
Additional wears to reach $1 CPW: 5
Additional wears to reach $0.65 CPW: 25
It's funny...I feel like I've worn this blouse so many times but really, 31 times is not so very many...and I haven't yet gotten the cost per wear to $1 (though I'm getting close!). I think because it is a hero/statement piece with a distinctive print and a unique color scheme, I feel each wearing more strongly than if it were a plain, more basic item. You know what I mean? I'm definitely not feeling over it, but I have reached a point that I wear it less frequently now than I did a few years ago.
Today I will share a dozen OOTD featuring this blouse, organized by the pieces I'm wearing with it. Let's get started!
Navy Pants or Jeans + Navy Boyfriend Cardigan
How is that for the most obvious combination in the world? The very dark navy that makes up the majority of the flower petals makes wearing it with navy or dark wash denim as my dark neutral a no-brainer. The classic navy trousers + navy boyfriend cardigan make an easy business casual "suit" (outer column) look.
For a slightly more relaxed outer column/"suit" work look, straight leg dark wash jeans can be substituted for the trousers. In this outfit I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the fancy statement necklace and the laid-back suede smoking slippers for casual Friday.
Another casual Friday combination, this time incorporating medium wash straight leg jeans, a solid navy scarf instead of a necklace, and leopard smoking slippers for some subtle print mixing.
Navy Skinny Pants + Cardigan Vest
I have also worn the blouse with my navy skinny pants + dark blue marl sweater vest column (an example of my fall/spring Daily Dozen long over lean outfit formula). I find that both leopard print and cheetah print shoes go so well with this blouse! I think it has something to do with the way the center of the flower is yellow and dotted looking...the print of the shoes echoes that design detail.
Soft Indigo + Soft Blue
As an alternative to the navy and dark blues of the previous outfits, softer muted blues are a nice choice that would work particularly well for late Winter into Spring. For this WFH outfit, I wore soft indigo work trousers and a soft blue quilted vest + sloth-themed scarf for a bit of a work/casual mixed-up look. Juxtapositions continued with the feminine faux pearl layered necklace and masculine Oxford shoes.
I like to wear this blouse with a white skirt and dark blue or navy topper piece for an unexpected Winter/Spring combination. Here the medium blue scarf helps stair-step through the dark blue (a somewhat lighter color than the navy cardigan above) and white by providing a mid-tone...which helps with my low value contrast. I usually repeat the dark color in the tights and boots, which feels more grounded for cold weather.
Here's the dark blue marl cardigan vest again, this time with extra brightening in the form of the sky blue scarf. I enjoy wearing these tall cognac boots with navy/dark blue because the warmth of the leather color brings depth to the otherwise cool color scheme. I certainly could have worn brown tights in this outfit, but I liked the hint of navy; I don't worry much at all about making my legs appear shorter or taller. (In a high school math class, everyone had to bring something that displayed the golden ratio of 1:1.618; I just brought myself because the length of my legs to my total height is spot on, haha.)
Aqua Tweed Skirt
The aqua tweed makes for a delicious combination with the floral blouse. The print doesn't include aqua per se but the colors coordinate beautifully, I think, and the tweed brings in some extra textural interest. The navy boyfriend cardigan and navy tights + ankle boots appear yet again; they are the kind of wear-again-and-again basic pieces that allow my statement pieces to shine.
I love wearing a dark denim jacket to the office to dress down what could otherwise be a rather dressy work look. Isn't that blue scarf a gorgeous rich saturated color? And it picks up on the brighter blue woven in the tweed fabric.
Navy Fleece Tipped Blazer
This thrifted Lands End blazer is kind of crazy...it has classic preppy tipped blazer styling in a wonderfully comfortable fleece fabric! I chose a silver scarf to echo the grey piping and a grey-blue skirt to continue the color scheme.
Finally, you saw this outfit in my 30 Wears: Olive Pants post a couple weeks ago; it was the 30th outfit with this blouse!
Since I still have somewhere in the range of 5 to 25 wears of this blouse to go to reach the $1 to $0.65 CPW targets, I have already lined up some additional outfits incorporating it. I'm certainly repeating some of the pieces above but also taking things in slightly new directions in my future outfits. I have leaned quite heavily on navy/dark blue/denim, white, and to some extent olive as my neutrals. But I have planned outfits to wear the blouse with some different neutrals: a grey boyfriend cardigan, a cream-white moto jacket, a navy and white micro-stripe skirt (print mixing), and a camel-gold skirt.
My planned outfits also incorporate a broader range of blue accent colors, including the cerulean t-shirt cardigan/jeans, sky blue cardigan, soft indigo utility vest, and soft blue quilted vest [which I just realized you saw above under Soft Indigo + Soft Blue but I'm doing it again].
As I think ahead to creating yet more outfits with this blouse, I have quite a few ideas! In terms of bottom pieces, I haven't worn my blouse with a navy skirt yet...which is pretty surprising! I have both a navy pencil skirt (shown) and a navy corduroy skirt that would work. For a new neutral, how about black pants or skirt? The navy in the floral print is so dark, it's almost indistinguishable from black. That would bring in a lot of different options. The blouse doesn't contain grey, but I think that a grey skirt or pants would coordinate well. On the print mixing side, I have grey herringbone and navy striped pants that are subtle enough to work quite well with the large scale floral print. And while I'm thinking of different blue colors, why not try a bright cobalt skirt as a wild card option?
For toppers, I have relied a lot on dark blue and navy pieces, but would like to experiment with some lighter options like the cream, white, ivory, and pale grey items below. I am very surprised I haven't paired the blouse with my chambray blazer, which is a lovely light-to-medium muted blue match to the edges of the flowers.
I still have some untried dark topper options, too. My navy and dark blue quilted vests would be easy pairings. Black toppers (such as the tuxedo jacket below) could provide a plethora of outfit options. The grey/black tipped blazer is sort of the jacket version of the herringbone pants (I'm definitely envisioning that one with pearls). As for brighter blues...well, if the aqua tweed skirt works, perhaps an aqua cardigan would also? And the admiral blue vest, while intense, could make an interesting long-over-lean outfit with skinny jeans or black, navy, or grey skinny pants.
And in case you were wondering, yes, I did make a set of bracelets to coordinate with this blouse! The set has dark blue (the floral tube paper beads), dark grey (hematite beads), and black (striped bicone paper beads) neutrals represented, so it should work with any of the options above.
Wearing black with this blouse would require me to ever so slightly tip my toe into the navy + black color combination waters, which feels a bit daring to me (I know, it's silly). Dark blue denim + black feels comfortable, but navy + black feels just a bit out there! Do you ever combine navy + black?
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