This is the second part of my Wardrobe Essentials series: the adaptable and versatile foundations needed to build a wardrobe for any occasion. You can read the first part here.
The blouse has been a classic wardrobe staple for years and years, since the 1900s when they first started to be worn regularly for both day- and evening-wear. My favourites are the silk blouses worn in Upstairs, Downstairs (so sad this programme's been cancelled!): Blanche, the lesbian archaeologist, wears her simple and plain for comfort and practicality, whereas Lady Persie wears hers embellished and bold.
Structured, more tailored shirts or flowy, more feminine blouses are both as versatile as each other: they can both be dressed up to be more formal or worn more casually depending on your personal style and the occasion.
A well-made, well-proportioned silk or chiffon shirt is a super versatile addition to any wardrobe, a true classic wardrobe essential.