There may be something of interest here
Oooo, I like it! Thank you for posting that link. It'll be fun to see if we can find patterns to knock off our own versions, too.
You're very welcome - quite a few good ideas here
Interesting, but with few exceptions - dowdy, dowdy. Nothing exciting to my mind but I liked several of the fabrics.
Nevertheless, interesting to see what trends are in different countries
Well, yes, but if there is a trend in Britain these days it must be back in time but not far enough to be vintage. Last year in England I didn't see any clothes that inspired me, but then I wasn't shopping Bond Street in London. While good restaurants and hotels have considerably improved their menus - to my surprise - the clothing seems still be be dowdy, most of the stores cater only to the young set and anything else is old-ladyish.
Middle-of-the-road fashion in Britain has always been dowdy, matronly, in my view. The young designers, the design students do some stunning stuff.
Is "dowdy" also defined as "modest"? Gail
Hope you don't mind me butting in here. I've always thought of dowdy as old-fashioned, so I guess modest would be a part of that.
I've become a real fan of "modest" recently, even on the "Sweet Young Things". No religious connotation intended.......It's just that we've seen SO MUCH skin, for so long, it's kinda boring. Gail
Oh my, yes
Edited to add
The skin, I mean
Edited 7/17/2008 9:54 am ET by Katina
I think you can be modest and fashionable. My church is doing a fashion show this september with all modest clothes, and from what I've seen so far, we'll all be looking nice.
A wonderful project for the ladies of the church and a good example for the young girls. Titus 2:3-5, but I intended no religious connotation, in my previous post. Gail
Edited 7/17/2008 1:45 pm ET by GailAnn
that is one of my favorite verses. i have it underlined in my bible.
Interestingly, it is written with great authority. We aged women have no option, we are commanded to be 'teachers of good things". Gail
Ah, very Bridget Jones....some interesting ideas, especially for young singletons. Some of them would look pretty silly on a mature American woman, but the concept of an interesting blouse makes a very good organizing basis for a work wardrobe.
Thanks for the link; I was running out of summer-break internet sites to check!
You're welcome. The idea's to get some creative thoughts going. Remember the 5-rectangle jacket recently?
Too bad, I can't remember the name of the book or the author, but several years ago, I read a book about the "Well-Dressed" woman. The author recommended having a large selection (minimum of 12) of finely tailored blouses, in exquisite fabrics, even if the cost of that allowed you to own only 2 skirts...............Her reasoning??? A lady is usually seen sitting down. A desk, a table, a car door, or another row of seats, in front of her. Not to mention the aprons, she would be wearing while caring for her family, or doing physical work. Gail
No less than 12???My, my!
Could this have been it?
I don't think so. Hard to tell. To the best of my recollection it was published in the early 1980's, a counterpoint to some of those Malloy "Dress for Success" books. Gail
I liked most of the blouses on that site. Not for me, at my age, but I think they would look great on younger women. So many details to think about - the gathered or ruched yokes, the different sleeves - I really prefer fabric manipulation as an embellishment, above added or contrast trims, and several of these blouses fill that bill.
Yes, I posted the link for that reason - to inspire ideas. Glad you enjoyed it
I too, saw these blouses highlighted on AOL information blogs and had to go see them and my first reaction was "OH MY" I didn't think dowdy though, I just thought ... this too shall pass! It was a little like checking out the blouse rack in the plus size shop where you really have to LOOK to find something appealing. It could also be that I feel too old (or out of shape?) for most of those styles. I had to look up dowdy: plain, unfashionable in style; dressed plainly. Most of these blouses are anything but plain.
Another thought: The Queen of England has always been described as wearing dowdy looking clothes and I think she always looks wonderful in well put together outfits in beautiful fabrics. It is HER style. So, maybe dowdy is really in the eye of the beholder? Just like beauty.
Do I hear an AMEN?
Never let it be said that we "Gatherers" don't have opinions!
Maybe my age is showing but I've found the definition of "blouse" has changed. These days, many self described "indies" call tee shirts blouses. Imnsho, only four (3, 4, 6, 8) could be considered blouses (and even that's debatable), the rest are shirts. I don't know how it is I have the definition I do and I can't even define it well. I've been trying to figure that out. I do know some things. If it has a row of buttons down the front, it's a shirt. If it's sportswear, it's a shirt. While both are tops, a shirt is not the same thing as a blouse. In my mind, a blouse is dressier, not sportswear. Like I said, just my not so humble opinion.
The department stores that have a separate blouse department would seem to agree with your description.In my opinion it is quite possible to be modest without being dowdy. I do not consider them synonymous, they are two different things.
Oh, how the language changes.............In 2000, I substituted for the Wardrobe instructer (who was on maternity leave) in the Theater Department of a nearby, 4 year, college, for one semester. Without exception, the students BELIEVED their "waist" was level with thier belly button! I could not convince them otherwise. Gail
The problem with ppl knowing where their waist is has not gone away. I have to argue with my students whenever I teach a class. I now call it their "anatomical waist line" and tell them to just leave it at that.
My physical waist IS level with my belly button. I'm pretty long-waisted. Folks' waists (that I have measured) vary from very short (about 3" below their bust) to low like mine. But I agree with you that most people who only wear ready to wear have no idea how things are supposed to fit.
I'm having a bit of a hard time getting my mind around your definition of a blouse. I do agree a blouse if dressier than a shirt or a top. That said, I have had what I consider blouses that button down the front. Sometimes those buttons were covered by a placket, but other times, they were not. Usually, the buttons were especially decorative, as jet or pearl or crystal, but always shanked, or perhaps classy as in self-covered buttons. The fabric and drape of the garment somehow contributes to the definition of a blouse. Not trying to split hairs here. Just an opinion. I never really thought about this differentiation before, but it is an interesting conversation.
This wasn't addressed to me, but I interpreted it as shirts usually buttoning down the front but blouses frequently button either front or back. I didn't understand it to mean blouses didn't button down the front.It IS a tricky thing to try to describe, I agree. The descriptions I'm hearing tend to use words for blouses that sound more feminine...more delicate fabrics, delicate touches, more ladylike, etc.I bet the majority of women don't even think about the distinction we're discussing.
You may be exactly right about Kathleen's point, although when I looked at the examples she mentioned NONE of the ones she called blouses had buttons in the front, and ALL of the others did have buttons in the front. In my mind, blouses are more feminine. Shirts are more casual and probably lean to more crisp fabric and possibly masculine type details. I've owned and loved several silk shirts, which would belie the crisp fabrics, but they were very tailored. The sand washed ones were my favorites. I agree there are likely very few who make this distinction, and they may think we are AR (the R standing for 'retentive') or that we need to get a life! You think? I still think it's an interesting conversation.
The very best part of the Threads Gatherings Discussion is there are ladies here who DO think about the same sorts of things I think about.
Clothing, Fabric, Yarn, Books, History, Family, Femininity, Sewing, Needlework, and the future.......................
I couldn't agree more. I am absolutely delighted to have found this forum.
Edited 7/17/2008 3:56 pm by JunkQueen
A year or so ago I looked for a "blouse" to wear with a suit, 85% of them looked alike. They had a (crooked) jewel neckline, had two or three buttons down the back, (would barely go over my head) and had short sleeves (I'm old...I don't do short sleeves)...and were usually in polyester or really, really, cheap silk. This included some more expensive stores, not just Walmart/Target. It was depressing and it was obvious that they didn't think there were many well-dressed people wanting blouses.
Frustrating, isn't it? I love blouses with detailing, particularly done with fabric manipulation. They seem so feminine to me, and there does seem to be a dearth of those types of blouses in RTW. How did you solve the problem? I might have reworked a blouse in my closet or gone to the resale shop and found one to rework. I dyed an off-white silk blouse that had a lovely draping neckline once. I intended it to be red, but miscalculated, and it turned out pink. It worked just fine since I was putting it with a black and white (tiny) checked suit. The thought occurs to me that perhaps a insert of chiffon -- either plain or perhaps tucked or shirred -- that would then make a higher neckline, of course. You could then add long chiffon sleeves. But then you could start from scratch cheaper and easier..... Sometimes I get carried away with my recycling.
I don't remember but I probably gave up and wore a black silk turtle-neck or tank...my uniform/
Even the stores use different names for the same thing. What you're describing (and I would call a blouse) is what some stores/catalogues call a shell, but I've seen sleeveless silk tops called shells....
Well, when I put them on there is one word to describe them...ugly. Lest anyone take offense...I'm talking about how they look on ME, not necessarily the style. That, of course, is why I sew.
Absolutely why we sew. And dear, dear, no reason for people to take offence - we all have different ideas, different lifestyles, different backgrounds, which is one of the reasons it's so interesting to 'chat' like this.
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