Welcome to the worlds greatest guide to women's blouses. Are you actually looking for information about laides blouses? Well, we hope you are because the reality is that you have found our women's blouse page.
What is a blouse?
The word most commonly refers to a girl's or woman's dress shirt.
Traditionally, the term has been used to refer to a shirt which blouses out or has an unmistakably feminine appearance. Blouses are often made of cotton or silk cloth and may or may not include a collar and sleeves. They are generally more tailored than simple knit tops, and may contain feminine details such as ruffles, a tie or a soft bow at the neck, or embroidered decorations.
Blouses usually consist of light fabrics such as silk or thin cotton fabrics, until the early 1990s are often made of softly falling synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester). Sometimes they are decorated with frills, embroidery or loops. The classic of the ladies' blouses is the white shirt blouse. The open spade, peter pan, reverse and revere collar is another common type of classic ladies' blouse.
During the later Victorian period blouses became common for informal, practical wear. A simple blouse with a plain skirt was the standard dress for the newly expanded female (non-domestic) workforce of the 1890s, especially for those employed in office work. In the 1900s and 1910s, elaborate blouses, such as the "lingerie blouse" (so-called because they were heavily decorated with lace and embroidery in a style formerly restricted to underwear) and the "Gibson Girl blouse" with tucks and pleating, became immensely popular for daywear and even some informal evening wear. Since then, blouses have remained a wardrobe staple.
Various new and different forms of collar emerged in the 1920s. They diminished in sizes by the 1950s, but were huge in the 1930s. At the beginning of the 1970s, popular styles included the rounded collar, sausage dog collar, then extra wide collar and double cuffs from shirts, that fell on them often from fashions relating to synthetic fabrics like usually polyester. At the beginning of the 1960s the bubic bangs hairstyle came back, then later wide collars. The fashion of standing collar and federal collar, loops, rounded collars, revere collar and the smallest collar, sometimes with concealed button fly on a "smoking blouse", attached folds and stressed set-in-followed in the 1980s. Again, thin and often shining synthetic fibers were very popular.
Tailoring provides a closer fit to the wearer's shape. This is achieved with sewing of features such as princess seams or darting in the waist and/or bust.
Are blouses only for women?
Historically, a blouse was a loose-fitting upper garment that was formerly worn by workmen, peasants, artists, women, and children. It is typically gathered at the waist or hips (by a waistband or belt) so that it hangs loosely ("blouses") over the wearer's body. Blouses were rarely part of the fashionable woman's wardrobe until the 1890s. Before that time, they were occasionally popular for informal wear in styles that echoed peasant or traditional clothing, such as the Garibaldi shirt of the 1860s.
Learn about different shirt styles in our fashion terminology section.
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