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The Blouse Is Back! This Season's Newest Looks

Structured or not, blouses are feminine and can make you look soft, powerful, or both. For the office, pair them with a jacket and pencil skirt or palazzo pants. For a casual day shopping or in class, opt for sleeveless and flowy with a pair of gouchos or leggings. Whatever the ocassion, a blouse is a great choice as it provides form, function and fashion, all in one beautiful package.

Many blouses are pulling their style from bohemian inspired prints and the bold and beautiful colors of the eastern shores. Eastern nations live for the heat, and the materials in which they produce their wares make exceptional choices for steamy summer days. Their clothing is both beautiful and comfortable. Loose and made of cotton and linen, the embroidery pops off of these and indulges your inner sex goddess as it accentuate the plunging necklines.

A newer version of the blouse this season is the gathered collar blouse. At first glance, this appears to be a top that you can throw on and run out the door. One glance in the dressing room mirror tells you otherwise though; if you're going to wear this style, you must buy one with the right fit. This style carries pleats at the neckline, which, left buttoned up creates an unflattering paunchienss. Opt for a blouse that you can unbotton and let flow in to a plunging, deep V neckline, which in turn will push the pleats to the sides making them much more comfortable. Choose three quarter or elbow length sleeves on these because if you go with a full length sleeve, the gathers at the wrist will give the illusion of draping your body in fabric instead of the peasant vibe you're trying to achieve. Lastly, these blouses are best paired with a skinny, pencil skirt or skinny pants and should always be long enough to cover your waistband.

Simply stunning are accordion-pleated tops. Delicate and intricate, the pleats add both a softness and a subtle volume to your look. These should always hang a few inches below your waistband because, with the amount of fabric in these tops, they tend to be billowy and will float up; choosing one too short leaves you exposing skin that you don't want showing, unless you're 18. Speaking of skin, you do want to show some off with these tops, but make sure it's in the shoulder and neckline area. Accordion-pleated tops are best done sleeveless. Again, with so much fabric, if your body is totally covered, you're going to look incredibly akward. Paired with the simplest of jewelry, this will be a top you will wear again and again.

Overall, I'm incredibly excited about the new trend in blouses. Even for those of us who think we don't pull off the feminine and girly look well, these pieces are sure to sway your opinion. No one says you have to choose them in pastels; go for bold and bright and make the statement you're known for! Above all else, have fun with these new styles and remember, as long as you carry yourself with confidence, you will not only look sexy, you'll feel it too!


How To Wear This Season's Hottest Looks

This season, the cutsie dress is making a strong comeback along with t-shirt dresses, drawstring waists and hems and mini skirts. These are all simple additions to your closet and are very inexpensive updates that can be done. If you're a mom, you may find your daughter raiding the attic for some true vintage treasures; if this is the first time you've seen this look, you might be wondering the best way to pull these looks together. So, before you go shopping, check out these few tips that you should keep in mind when purchasing.

One of the cutest, and most flattering looks, is to pick a jumper that is fitted and rouched at the bust; this creates a swingy shape and gives you room to wear a shirt underneath. Jumpers and pinafore dresses are already very girly, so choose them in neutral shades and compliment them with a shirt that is bold in color. If you're headed to the farmer's market, throw on a bright, paper-thin t-shirt underneath and put a pair of flip-flops on your feet; on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you're going to the office, opt for a more structured blouse, bold, but sans frills, and a pair of ballet flats or wedges. The rouching at the bustline gives this outfit plenty of flair, so jewelry is not necessary.

T-shirt dresses are a staple in many a fashionista's closet. One of the simplest items to slip on, dress up or down and head to Starbucks in, everyone from Los Angeles to New York City is wearing them. The problem with these is that, traditionally, they have been made to be a bit more clingy; those of us without a personal trainer can be left feeling a bit self-conscience. This year, designers are answering the call to ease up and design a dress that even those of us that are not a size 2 can wear, comfortably and confidently. Showcasing t-shirt dresses with more swing and shift has allowed all of us to enjoy one of the most perfectly perfect clothing items that summer can bring. Another addition has been the drawstring hemlines which give these a sporty look with more volume. Pop these on with sandals or ballet inspired Keds and you can go from morning to evening without ever changing your clothes.

Mini-skirts are back and popular as ever this summer season. For those of us who lived the 80s and early 90s, these are nostalgic pieces that bring back visions of Cyndi Lauper and the women of the Van Halen videos. Since then, like us, the mini has evolved. Different cuts require careful consideration when pairing with a top and shoes so you can look your very best. If choosing an A-line mini, you'll have some swing to work with at the hips. Boxy styled t-shirts will create a straight and uniform line around your torso if you tuck them in, which equates to ultra-flattering. Paired with a set of canvas Mary Janes and you'll be cute and comfortable.

Fitted minis are sexy and the ultimate in classic throwback. Because the hemline is longer on this style, you'll find that these hit the lower thigh and will make for the safest option at the office. A loose blouse, belted, gives a softer look and balances the sexiness; low heels complete this look. A newer addition to the mini line-up, but very in line with the trends, is the bubble mini. These are meant to be worn low on the hips, so if you're self-conscience about bending over and the possibility of your lower back showing, this may not be the best look for you. These are gathered and very full, so they are best balanced with a fitted tank and flat sandals or espadrilles. Finally, the full mini rounds out this group of summer fashion. Of all 4, this mini will make your legs appear the slimmest because, again, it is a very full skirt, but more structured than the bubble. Paper-thin tunic-style shirts look great with these and create a long, lean look. To make your legs appear their longest, slip in to wedges.

In the heat of summer, a dress is often the simplest and most comfortable thing to wear. It also happens to be incredibly sexy and versatile. The fact that these are low maintenance and inexpensive additions to your wardrobe make the purchase a no-brainer. Show off your sexy smarts and grab these styles up today!


Classic Pieces Your Closet Can't Live Without

As a woman with impeccable taste, you undoubtedly have a closet full of beautiful clothes; however, there are essential pieces that no classy lady should be without. If you can't get them all at once, piece this wardrobe together one garment at a time. The next time you get an invitation to that special event, you'll be glad you did.

Black Pants: A flattering pair of sleek black trousers not only outlives any trend that will come and go; it is a pair of pants that will work for any occasion. Whether you're having lunch with a colleague, attending your child's school play or meeting with the PTO, well made black pants are a suitable wardrobe solution. Both professional and casual, they can be dressed up or down.

The Black Pump: This classic leather pump has also held it's own regardless of any trend. Like the black pants, they can be dressed up or down and worn with trousers or skirt; if you really feel like living on the wild side, slide these on with your favorite pair of jeans -- nothing drives a man crazy like a heel with denim. In the end, whether you choose a plain pair or one with a subtle embellishment, a pair of black pumps will add class and polish to any outfit you choose.

A Cashmere Wrap: No matter how you slice it, cashmere is luxurious. No matter the occasion, if you want just a little extra warmth, wrap it around yourself and be instantly happy. Understated and sophisticated, a cashmere wrap oozes style and class.

A Small Clutch: No matter where you go, you need a purse. Your everyday handbag can seem overwhelming and large, no matter how expensive, when you're staring at your sweetie across a candlelit table. Instead, opt for a small clutch that will hold just the essentials like cell phone, lipstick, keys and some cash. Some will come with a strap that is either removable or a tuck-away, leaving you with the option to make it a wristlet if you're trying to enjoy a martini while standing in crowd.

A Little Black Dress: This number says chic without even uttering a word. Whether it is ultra formal or very simple, it will always be sophisticated in its style simply because you can change the entire look with just your accessories. For eons, women have shopped for the perfect one whether it is a V neck, full skirt or a more fitted look you're after; if you find it, take good care of it. You'll likely be taking it out time and time again!

A Dark Colored Suit: I know, I know. Suits aren't much fun. But sometimes the occasion calls for it, and when it does, you need to be ready. A dark colored suit is a fail-safe in today's society. When you arrive in a well fitted jacket and skirt, you look polished and professional, ready to take on anyone. Invest in the best that you can afford as this will serve many uses over many years. Even if you don't always choose to wear the jacket and skirt together, you can wear them as separates.

Trends come and go as quickly as some of today's so-called celebrities. If you want your wardrobe to stand the test of time, invest your money wisely and pick up classic pieces that you can wear, time and time again.


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