After years of designers making bold statements designing around body parts – literally leaving shoulders cold and midriffs bare – we are finally returning to proper “design”. No longer will you have to resort to a Sex and the City style statement necklace to cover an all-too-plunging neckline. This season marks the debut of the “statement sleeve” blouse. Designers are offering a veritable plethora of sleeve options on coats, jackets and dresses, but I decided to focus on blouses. I found 5 blouses to make a bold statement in 2018.
Perhaps it’s because the remake of Dynasty has my mind’s eye flooded with long forgotten images of Crystal Carrington in sharply tailored slacks and Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan Dexter (she married him twice, if you’ll recall) in pencil skirts to set off their dazzling blouse choices. Maybe it’s because as a fashionably impressionable teen of the 80’s, my fashion sense is forever ingrained with shoulder and sleeve fashion power.
Here are some of my favorite statement sleeves of the season
Moving up from your perfectly manicured hands, let’s look at the top that puts the visual emphasis at your wrists. Zac Posen’s button front cotton blouse features origami folds that remind me of my all-time favorite couture collection – John Galliano for Dior in Spring 2006. Powerful yet feminine, this gauntlet style will arm any fashion warrior princess with all she needs to slay her fashion frenemies!
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The eternally demure Carolina Herrera offers a blouse that bares just a little more wrist. The bracelet length poet sleeves with lace insets on her silk taffeta blouse are pure Herrera drama. You’ll be a hit among the ladies who lunch. Never mind that you’ll need a full time lady’s maid to press it. You probably already have one just to keep your Anne Fonteyne white blouse collection in Bristol fashion anyway. If you already have all three colors of the Cartier Love bracelets and are starting to double up, this blouse will perfectly showcase your collection.
This season, Akris, the go-to supplier of Swiss designer luxury sportswear for urban professionals, offers a tulle wing sleeve tunic top that brings the focus up to the shoulder. The ribbons stripes on the tulle sleeves are like mini hoop skirts for your shoulder that create a peekaboo effect more powerful at grabbing envious fashion eyes than any simple cold shoulder.
This season, my fellow Filipino Los Angeleno, Monique Lhuillier combines two of my favorite materials – point d’esprit tulle and floral guipure lace. Her illusion top features lace self edge, fluttery, elbow length sleeves and a bateau neck tulle yoke that seems like the perfect French fashion fantasy escape from my fall favorite Breton sweater. Leave your marine stripes in 2017 and embrace the floral lace and adorable dots of 2018!
Finally, I know I just dissed the cold shoulder of yesteryear, but Oscar de la Renta’s ruffled illusion blouse features ribbon-tied, bell sleeves that are too delicious to resist. This tulle topped illusion blouse is wardrobe malfunction proof, yet still gives that daring sense of precariousness to your evening dressing. Wear it confidently knowing that even the most vicious fashionistas cannot gown step you!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little trip through the season’s statement sleeve offerings and that your 2018 is off to an amazing start fashion wise. Perhaps I’ve left you inspired to revisit the blouse and invest in new partners for your slacks and pencil skirts for cocktail hour this season. Let 2018 be the year that a killer blouse kicked your favorite LBD’s ass!
Shop 2018 statement blouses
Zac Posen Spread-Collar Button-Front Cotton Blouse, $890
Akris punto Striped Tulle Wing-Sleeve Top, $595
Monique Lhuillier Floral-Guipure Dotted Illusion Tulle Elbow-Sleeve Cocktail Blouse, $1,295
Carolina Herrera Button-Front Full-Sleeve Taffeta Blouse with Lace Inset, $1,690
Oscar de la Renta Bell-Sleeve Illusion Crepe Top, $1,490
You may also want to read The Top 10 Secrets Stylish Women Over 40 Know.
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