That is not a typo. This post is the first in a new series on this blog, where I will feature one main piece with various blouses, to show how the overall look can change dramatically by replacing just one item, or wearing it a little differently. Just as there is the One Ring, and the One True Pairing, there is One True Blouse.
And yes, it will be posted on Tuesdays. Punny things are my vice.
This series will reference the numbering system in my 2017 wardrobe post (link) for ease of use. Today’s post features a dress I got via Devil Inspired, Souffle Song’s ‘Rococo Story’ JSK in navy; only it is not navy, but prussian blue. I will review it in detail in a separate post, but the print is worth mentioning here. Deep blue, gold, brown, red, ivory, and forest green are all present in the palette. Glorious jewel tones, and an interesting challenge for color coordination.
WARNING: This post contains lots of images.
This is blouse #18. As a neutral, white and ivory technically ‘go with anything’. However in this case, it doesn’t really add to the main piece. It is there to cover up the arms, and little else. There is gold shot through the fabric, but from a distance, it just looks plain.
This is not a bad coordinate, really. But it is rather tame, and the gold detailing down the front of the blouse is hidden under the JSK.
II. Okay, so the print has gold in it. A gold blouse seems like a good idea, then. This blouse is #65, in champagne gold satin, with a high collar that shows above the neckline of the JSK. Dressy print and a dressy blouse together.
Except, the champagne gold is too light in tone for the rich golds on the dress. It looks washed out in comparison, and from a distance it just reads as ‘white’. In addition, the high sheen of the satin reflects even more light, and it just doesn’t complement the JSK.
III. Fortunately I have other golds in my collection (and silver, and a ton of ivory; but that’s another story) This gold is a medium shade, and closer in tone to that on the dress- but not quite the same. Putting them together made me realize that Souffle Song’s gold shades are actually closer to brown than anything else.
This blouse is #66, a strong contender. The ruching (aka shirring) detail at the sleeves and neckline is quite nice, and the bishop sleeve is a nod to the intricately patterned moldings on the bodice, almost like stained glass.
IV. But it’s not quite right yet, so let’s try a darker color. How about something with black, to go with the lace? This blouse is new to the family; I missed it in my wardrobe post. It appeared previously in my LOCUS SOLUS coordinate. The gold is not a perfect match to the dress, but it is in stripes which lead the eye down the line of the sleeve. Stripes are great fun.
It’s made of thick mesh, so this blouse is hot. Like, death in a fire hot. Since we were planning on an outdoor shoot in 28-30°C weather… that’s a no. Next contestant!
V. This sheer off-the-shoulder top (not really a blouse) is something I wear on casual days, when I can’t be bothered with buttons and long sleeves. One example is my Briar Rose coordinate. The fabric breathes well, and it’s in the right color family… but I can’t help but feel something is missing.
The top is just too plain. The fabric is striped, but it feels underwhelming for what I had in mind. But I do like the color a lot, I think I have another blouse in that color somewhere…
VI. Found it. This is also meant to be worn off the shoulder, but the fabric is velveteen and that is a no-go for summer. I really like the shirring all over, but velveteen doesn’t breathe, and I wouldn’t be able to either.
VII. Maybe something with more medieval details? My feed is blowing up with Game of Thrones right now, and even though I’m not a fan myself, I enjoy seeing people get so worked up about who kicked the bucket, and how. And why.
No, that doesn’t quite work either. I really like the sleeves but that plain V- neckline is boring, and I don’t care for how much it peeks out of the collar. Maybe for another time, when I have more accessories to play with.
IIX. The brown-golds in the print reminded me of an old dress I used to wear back in my Dolly Kei days (link). Just for fun, I dug it out of my closet and put it on the mannequin.
And it was the one! When combined, they became
Captain Planet a totally different dress. The paisley pattern of the underdress was the ideal complement to the detail on the bodice, and a perfect match to the gold and brown in the skirt of the JSK.
Now, I don’t usually go through 7 blouses before I find ‘the one’. Most of my wardrobe is made up of pieces in complementary tones; also I go through a long period of ~deep introspection~ before making major purchases, to avoid being burned by items I can’t wear (as mentioned in 5 Things That Just Didn’t Work) or items that turn out to be nigh-impossible to coordinate, aka my Problem Children.
It just so happens that this was something out of my usual field: it’s a print, and it’s blue, which is rare in my wardrobe. It took some time, but I am very happy with the feel of the final coordinate. Truly, it is the one that was meant to be.