Monday, March 1, 2010

Women's Look - Blouse, Slacks, and... Sneakers?

John Marine | 3/01/2010 03:20:00 AM |
(UPDATED: June 16, 2015)

NOTE: This blog entry may be edited regularly to include updated content. Enjoy reading!

A dress blouse and dress pants is a common career look. Imagine trading pumps, boots, and/or sandals for... sneakers? The most common place you may see this look is usually at restaurants and cafes. Of course, the ladies need a good pair of slip-resistant and athletic-type shoes. While there's nothing wrong with wearing a pair of pumps or sandals or boots with a dressy blouse and dress pants, wearing sneakers can make a nice look as well. Certain sneakers work best. So if you're expecting me to talk about pairing a blouse and career pants with some Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers, think again.

It can be surprising how you could mix in a professional look with a pair of sleek sneakers and look great. The combination of a blouse with dressy pants and sneakers. Where would you likely see this clothing combination is at most restaurants. I can't find a good enough picture to use. So when there isn't a picture to share online, I have to describe this to you all.

Here are some pictures for inspiration:
woman blouse and slacks
^ from: - a woman wearing a blouse and slacks. But in this blog entry, rather than wearing these pumps...

Again... instead of the pumps this model wears, imagine replacing those pumps with sneakers like these:

dressy sneakers
^ from: - wear sneakers like these Skechers?

Note the sleek, casual design of these sneakers. These are like the same kind of sneakers I mentioned in my thread about the men's look of an oxford shirt + jeans + casual shoes. Or since we're talking "classy with a casual touch," these sneakers below are a bit more relevant, as these are work sneakers:

work-appropriate sneakers
^ from: - This is a pair of sneakers suitable for certain workplaces.

Again, these are an example of sneakers I've seen worn with classy-style work outfits.


JUN 16 2015 - overhaul of entire post

NOTE: This blog post is not about just wearing a blouse with sneakers. Instead, it is the combination of wearing a dressy blouse with dress pants, but with sneakers. You may see this look at certain restaurants. That is the look being described here.

--- The Look at a Glance ---

This is a mix of formal with a little casual to it. It can be a playful look as you're pairing a dressy look with some casual shoes... or at least they are considered casual. Here is the look that I'm trying to come along with. Just follow the model:

The Blouse.

I'm thinking more along the lines of short-sleeve or elbow-sleeve blouses. Nothing wrong with long-sleeve blouses either.

The Slacks.

No jeans for this look. The emphasis here is on dressy pants and pants normally accepted at the office or at restaurants.

The Sneakers.

The key here is on certain kinds of sneakers that, when paired with a blouse and career pants, is actually not bad to wear. There was a trend for retro-style sneakers in the past. When I first seen these sneakers, I thought they were bowling shoes at first (only not multicolored). The kind of shoes I've most been into as far as pairing with a blouse and sneakers are bowling-inspired retro sneakers. Below this paragraph is a pair of bowling sneakers, for reference:

bowling sneakers (for reference)
^ from: (for reference) - bowling sneakers; this picture is only provided for reference.

Pay attention to the SHAPE of the shoes rather than the designs and stuff. Why did I choose these? The shape of the shoes are sleek. Think about pairing shoes with this kind of shape with a comfortable and chic pair of slightly wide-leg wool dress pants with cuffed legs.

--- Building the Look ---

Now it's time to look for a few different pieces to get this look going. These are items you can find on Amazon. So let me show you some stuff online to get the look started.

NOTE 1: This section contains links to Amazon products. You are welcome to click on images and links to learn more about each item. You are free to order any items featured in this section or in any widget if you choose. Please see "An Important Amazon Note" in my blog's sidebar to see more information on any Amazon items shown.

NOTE 2: This section will be replaced in the near future with a brand new section devoted to putting looks together.

Now let me put some looks together here. Remember the key pieces- each look requires a button-down blouse, some lovely slacks, and (most important to this blog entry) a pair of sneakers. It's classy with a casual touch. So let's begin! If you want to buy any of the items on Amazon, feel free to do so. You may even want to buy all three items together or mix-and-match garments I feature in separate sections. The majority of the sneakers may be from Skechers, but I'll try to mix things up. (NOTE: All sizes are American women's sizes unless otherwise specified. All items are available on Amazon as of the date of the initial blog post.) Let's begin!

Here is how to read each look I've put together...


Blouse: (information on the blouse)
Slacks: (information on the slacks)
Sneakers: information on the sneakers

Since I don't have a Polyvore account or something, the next best thing is to combine Amazon items and put them together in this format. Don't look so much at any single element. Instead, the focus is on putting together the three key items to build the look I've tried to mention here. If you want to buy a certain item (that's why I've put this all together for you) or learn more about a certain item, you are free to do so by clicking on the item to place an order on Amazon for it.

I have put together a variety of different looks to help illustrate the outfit I've tried to discuss throughout this blog. Happy shopping!

Outfit 1: Freestyle.

This is a look that has no common theme. There is noreal price range. It's more like a look I've thrown together in grab bag fashion. Kind of consider this as a dream outfit.

Blouse: six colors - sizes Small to XXX-Large
Slacks: three colors - various sizes: 4-18 for regular sizes, 4-18 for Short sizes, and 8-16 for Long sizes
Sneakers: two colors - 5.5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US)

This is the basic look. The sleek sneakers were key here. It was about giving a sleek pair of sneakers to the look of a classy blouse and classy pants. I actually saw what I had inputted previously and found a much better blouse to feature here. I've always found a nice quality to khaki-colored pants and sleek black (or dark brown) sneakers.

Outfit 2: Inexpensive Blouse + Pants + Sneakers.

These are all relatively inexpensive in putting this look together. Most of these were done by seeking items priced from Low to High. Here, I challenge myself to complete this look I've discussed by finding mostly low-priced items. The whole look should cost no more than $60 USD or $75 USD.

Blouse: six colors; sizes X-Small to XX Large, 1X and 2X, and 1X Plus and 2X Plus)
Slacks: Black Stripe only - various sizes: 4 to 14 for regular sizes; short sizes 6, 12, and 14; and 12 Long size)
Sneakers: two colors - sizes: 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US)

The most expensive item of the look are the sneakers. The pants are sleek and lovely from the Target-exclusive Merona brand. The shirt is very basic and inexpensive. Because of the color of the slacks, I felt like a pair of casual sneakers would do best. The lighter details of the sneakers somewhat overpower the rest of the outfit. Still, what was important to me was the low profile of the sneakers. I was thinking of the black color for these sneakers in coming up with this look.

Outfit 3: Blouse + Pants + Sneakers for Juniors.

Now I turn my attention over to Juniors here. The same three pieces will be found on Amazon to put a look together. I'll try to remain consistent here with this look. I've tried not to think of something too expensive (since we're talking Juniors' fashion).

Blouse: three colors; sizes Small to X-Large
Slacks: Black only, sizes in odd numbers from 1 to 17
Sneakers: two colors - sizes from 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US)

I had better luck finding the pants to this look than I did with the blouse and sneakers. The look is classy and casual at the same time. The same blouse you could probably wear to school can be good for wearing the pants and the sneakers too.

Outfit 4: Blouse + Pants + Mary Jane Sport Sneakers

Only lace-up sneakers have been featured. This section, however, for another pair of sneakers. It pertains to mary jane sport shoes. They are considered sneakers, but are mary janes with a sporty touch. The key here is on replacing the lace-up sneakers with a pair of mary jane sneakers.

Blouse: five colors - sizes: Small to XX-Large for Regular sizes, X-Small Petite to X-Large Petite for Petites, and Large/Tall to XX-Large/Tall for Tall sizes)
Slacks: only one color - sizes: 8, 10, 12, and 14
Sneakers: two colors - sizes 5.5 B(M) US to 11 E US

Cute blouse, cute pants, cute sneakers. I had to go with work-type shoes here since we're talking about work-related fashion here. Not a bad combination for restaurants or something.

Outfit 5: Blouse + Pants + Sneakers for Plus Size Women.

Now the attention is for a Plus Size figure. I'll look for all three items here. The only requirement is that the blouse and pants have to fit for Plus Size figures.

Blouse: seven colors - sizes (plus sizes highlighted) X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large, XXX-Large, XXXX-Large, 1X, and 2X
Slacks: four colors - sizes Large, 1X Plus, 2X Plus, and 3X Plus
Sneakers: three colors - sizes 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US)

The toughest part was in finding sneakers. It wasn't in finding any sneakers, though. The challenge was in finding sneakers that could suit larger feet. It meant I'd have to find shoes that could suit sizes C/D or even the E sizes. I was able to find a cute blouse and some lovely pants. The pants were conveniently from my "Plus Size Fashion" blog entry.

Outfit 6: Blouse + Pants + Sneakers for Petites.

Time to look for a blouse, pants, and sneakers for Petite (5'4" or shorter) women. For a twist, I'll try to find some laceless sneakers.

Blouse: eight colors - Petite sizes X-Small to X-Large; other sizes available for non-Petites
Slacks: Black/White only - Petite sizes from 2 Petite to 16 Petite; other sizes available for non-Petites
Sneakers: five colors - sizes 4-4.5 B(M) (or 35 M European) US to 12/12.5 B(M) US (or 43 M European))

I based my Petite shoe option based on a sizes 4 and up. Otherwise, I'm sorry I couldn't find appropriate shoes for Petites. I mixed things up with a pinstripe pair pants available for Petites.

Outfit 7: Blouse + Pants + Sneakers for High-End Women.

This section pertains to the one not willing to spend lots of money to try a look like this. The premise was mostly for an average-size woman. So here is an expensive look with expensive items!

Blouse: white only - sizes 2 and 4
Slacks: Black only - sizes 0, 2, 6, and 12
Sneakers: Noir only - sizes 4 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US

I usually seek the most expensive (but most relevant) items. The blouse is from Robert Rodriguez, the pants are from MaxStudio, and the sneakers are from Arche. I feel great about this look because of the amount of class this look provides. I chose an expensive blouse to start things off. The part I feel best about are the high-waist pants. I felt that with a dressy blouse tucked into high-waist pants, I can consider a stylish pair of sneakers to go with them. They are the perfect fit for the high-priced diva to try this look out. It's a high-dollar way of having a classy look while being casual. The sneakers are casual, but they add an edge of class the way the sneakers are designed.

Of course, these sneakers I mentioned can be worn with almost any outfit. I just brought up blouse + slacks + sneakers because I've seen waitresses at certain restaurants wearing dressy blouses/shirts, dressy pants, and wearing some work-appropriate sneakers. That's primarily where I got the inspiration for this look and in trying to mention this look to you all. The right kind of sneakers along with a lovely blouse and dressy pants can make for a very nice look. I can't give you a widget here for more because only certain kinds of garments could work best with this look.

EXPERIMENTAL: Do you have your own look of wearing a dress blouse, slacks, and sneakers? I may feature proper pictures to better explain the look I'm trying to describe. If so, pass along an Email at Contact Me via E-Mail, and if I like your picture, it may be featured in this blog entry to better showcase the look I've been describing here!

Thanks for reading! More blogging madness to come!

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