Romantic blouse (ro-man-tik-blous) n. 1. Historically, a loose shirtlike garment favored by noblemen, Shakespeareans and the Quaker Oats man. 2. This season, a top, with or sans sleeves, constructed with all sorts of ruffles.
This season, tops take their direction from the unlikely duo of the Quaker Oats man and flamenco dancers, both of whom get their fashion flair with full-fledged ruffles.
The romantic blouse of '08 takes many shapes. Some are more traditional – long-sleeved puffy shirts or tops that tie in a bow at the neck. Others take their cue from the sleeveless, hip-long, empire-waist silhouette that's been popular with trendsters (and comfort-cravers) for several seasons. Embellishments like beading, pleating and sequins give casual, daytime tops a modern, glam appeal.
Go with a traditional white, or fall into one of the season's rich autumn-leaf tones: purples, burgundies, golds and deep greens. If blue is the hue of choice, look for sapphire-rich color.
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Pair your romantic top with everything from jeans and boots to pencil skirts with booties for a look that's feminine, sophisticated and surprisingly strong.