Meet Your Back-To-Work (Or Video Call) Saviour, The Big-Collared Blouse

Waist-up dressing just got a lot more interesting.


by Natalie Hammond |

In normal circumstances, saying you’re going to make a 50% effort at something is rather like saying ‘I do… Until something better comes along’. But for the past few months, at least where your clothes are concerned, 50% effort can have 100% impact.

Emma Corrin
Emma Corrin at the Venice Film Festival ©Getty

So how does this translate when you’re heading back into the office and have two thoughts running through your mind. What should I buy from Pret? And what on earth should I wear? After almost six months of working from home, your muscle memory for office outfit choosing might be out of practice, especially if you’ve been subtly switching your camera off on video calls. What you need is something that’s still 50% effort but 100% impact, and we suggest a blouse.

Not just any blouse, but a blouse that comes with in-built big collar energy so that you don't have to worry too much about your bottom half. Emma Corrin just wore one at the Venice Film Festival, arriving yesterday with a cheerful blue-and-white sailor-collared blouse from Miu Miu. Tucked into a long leather pencil skirt, it was the ideal return-to-work outfit, chic but not remotely try-hard.

Slightly frillier versions, with even bigger collars, are proving popular on Instagram, with LaVeste’s School Shirt emerging as an influencer-favourite. Its gingham shirts, with their signature squiggly edges on the collar, can’t seem to stay in stock, while Topshop’s burgeoning blouse collection is also flying off the shelves. Arket’s selection, meanwhile, has a slightly more puritannical feeling. Its folded-collar blouse is reminiscent of American Gothic, while its lace-collar blouse, with a collar that stretches down towards the belly button and out towards the shoulders, could be straight out Jo March’s wardrobe. Wear either with straight-leg jeans, however, and you’ll look very AW20.

Of course, if you’re not returning to the office for the foreseeable, then a big-collared blouse is just the thing for Zoom. Only this time, make sure your camera's on.


SHOP: The Best Blouses

Zara, Poplin Blouse With Peter Pan Collar, £29.99
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Arket, Wide Collar Blouse, £59
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SEA, Tivoli Pleated-Bib Cotton-Voile Blouse, £330
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Ganni, Feathery Blouse, £215
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Ghost, Kala Blouse, £89
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H&M, Large-Collared Blouse, £17.99
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& Other Stories, Boxy Button-Up Blouse, £55
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