I’ve been working with clients on how to jazz up their modern classic bootcut trouser outfits for the office in Summer. One option is to wear them with a trendy blouse. This combination eliminates the layering fuss of a jacket or vest (although a camisole is a good idea.) 

Here are four pins that illustrate the concept.

Pin 1Pin 2Pin 3Pin 4

The beauty of the bootcut trouser is that its tailored fit on the thigh provides ample structure to compensate for fluid and oversized tops. This is not the case with wide leg trousers that are wide from thigh to hem. They are harder to pair with fashionably roomy tops without feeling like the outfit is wearing you.

Here are three solid and patterned blouse vibes that work well with a tailored pair of bootcut trousers. Some of the styles are the exact pieces that my clients have used to inject a little fashion into their classic office outfits. They finish off their bootcut trouser outfits with low, mid or high heels. A pointy toe is fab if the shoe is closed, because it effectively peeks out from under the flared hems. Statement necklaces and belts are secondary accessories. Note that black bootcut trousers are not your only option. 

1. Flirty Blouse

For lack of a better word, I’m using “flirty” to describe this style of blouse because it’s soft, romantic, fluid and NOT a basic shape. Take the glam looks of the ‘70s as your inspiration. Think of design details like pussy bows, flounces, ruffles, tiers, lace, ladder lace, banded bottoms, blousoned waists, high-low hemlines, bell sleeves, kimono sleeves and flutter sleeves. Wear the blouse tucked, untucked or semi-tucked, depending on the style of the blouse and the structure required to pull the outfit together. The belt is optional.

2. Drape Front Blouse 

The drape front blouse is also referred to as a “wrap blouse”, and last year’s ensemble might refresh your memory. The silhouette is fluid, thereby surrendering the waist, although belted versions that define the waist are gaining momentum. Most styles “wrap” in two sections down the front of the blouse, but some styles drape asymmetrically. Wear the blouse untucked and make sure that there is sufficient structure on the hem for the fluid versions. The opening of these types of blouses can be secured with a snap or fashion tape if they fall open too easily. 

3. Tunic 

This option is the most architectural and is less conventionally flattering than the other two. The snug thigh fit of the trousers provides ample structure for the tunic. Think tunics across all sorts of styles, and by all means wear short dresses as tunics too. Petites should wear their tunics a little shorter. 

Tunic styles can be fluid or fitted at the waist. The length of a tunic shortens the length of the leg line because it lengthens the torso. Although not essential, creating a low contrast between the tunic and the trousers does a great job of lengthening the look from neck to hem because it softens the horizontally cutting line of the hem of the tunic. An asymmetrical tunic, or one with a high-low hemline, adds further structure to the outfit because the shape creates magical diagonal lines

These combinations look elegant, chic and dressy to my eye, and are quite the refreshing change from skinnies paired with oversized tops. I’m looking to replace my dressy black bootcut trousers this year so I’m excited to try some of these combinations. I’ll also be covering how to wear bootcuts with fashionable knitwear as we head into Autumn.