I Love My…Printed Silk Blouses



i-love-myDivya and Alison are the funny ladies and avid online designer discount shoppers behind Heavy Browsing. They take fashion (and cheese and whiskey) very seriously. For more ingenious style and shopping advice, visit these self-professed silk-blouse enthusiasts on their site, and stalk them in moderation on Twitter @heavybrowsing.

We consider ourselves silk-blouse enthusiasts first, and humans second.

We didn’t become enthusiasts by wearing silk blouses only occasionally. We’ve dedicated our lives to them (...wait, what?). If you’re only pulling out your silk button-ups when you’re hopping back on the interview circuit, you’re clearly not in it to win it. We wear them as often as we block Nigerian princes requesting our credit-card information — that is, almost daily.

And, nothing gets our motors running quite like a printed silk blouse, except maybe that photo of Jon Hamm. You know which one we’re talking about. Like our favorite rapper/actor/lover, Ice-T, a good silk blouse can do pretty much anything. It can elevate an outfit from thrown-together to pulled together. For us, it’s the essential wardrobe staple that takes us effortlessly from spreadsheets and conference rooms to slipping out of the office at 4:53 p.m. because we "have a doctor’s appointment" (paging Dr. Bourbon!).

We are strong believers in the fact that every lady needs at least one fantastic printed blouse (but really, more like 28) in her wardrobe that makes her feel like all eyes are on her — and not just horny construction worker eyes. The print screams you, even if it’s a little loud and has a personality disorder (still talking about the blouse). We’ve even been known to attribute an entire night to a blouse. The right one can make us go from being annoyed that our friends are dragging us to a club to feeling so super sexy that we dance until 3 a.m. while requesting as many Mariah Carey songs as the DJ will allow, and then flirt with the pizza guy in hopes of scoring free garlic knots.

Our favorite prints are the kind that go with nothing, so naturally, they go with everything. It's basically science (surprise, we were English majors). When we’re getting dressed, we always feel like we’re in a movie montage, where we swap out solid-colored cotton tops for incredible, printed, silk button-downs. Why would we wear that boring navy V-neck when we could wear this silky-soft blouse covered in portraits of anthropomorphized foxes?! We can tuck it into so many pencil skirts and pairs of skinny pants! Also, for the record, our movie montages are always set to "Party Girl" by Janelle Monáe.

Other than a really good sneeze, there’s nothing that truly compares to the thrill of finding a new printed, silk blouse to work into our wardrobes. We hunt for printed, silk blouses online like a pig hunts for truffles: Purchases get really international, the best selection is seasonal, and the resulting treasures typically end up in tasty restaurants. We wish we could say that we thrifted the ones we’re wearing from a hip East Village vintage store, but in reality, we were up until 2 a.m. in our our poorly ventilated apartments corresponding with middle-aged consignment shop owners in Nebraska and Ohio. At least that’s what they told us, and everyone knows you can believe the faceless strangers you’re chatting with online in the middle of the night.

Here, we’re wearing vintage Halston (Divya on the right) and vintage Lanvin (Alison on the left). Thanks to the Internet, we can afford these and still have leftover cash for the necessities, like rent and name-brand Q-tips. Great silk blouses like the ones we’re wearing take the stress out of getting dressed, but they can also take the stress out of awkward social situations. After all, "Oh, cool, what’s on your blouse, a 16th-century French pastoral scene?" will lead to much better conversation than, "So, how do you know the host of this party?" The only way we know how to answer that question is to excuse ourselves to go greet our other friends, Manchego and Brie.