From the LBD to the Basic White Blouse


We meet again, my friends, and it feels as if since last we met it’s been go-go-go. Or maybe I’m just getting old. I’ll accept that premise as well!

This past weekend was Mr. T and my get away to New Hope for our 20th Anniversary. That was wonderful! We stayed at this absolutely charming B & B, The Porches on the Towpath. John, checked us in and saw to our every need it seemed. He was such a gracious gentleman and so helpful no matter the need. It’s a fabulous old home,


Fireplace mantel in our room. It’s very hard to take pictures in old houses like this. The rooms are very small and everything is at an angle.

with the rooms decorated to period. It was located conveniently in the heart, yet out of the bustle, of the shopping district, so once you were settled in, you could easily walk to all the shops and restaurants. Of course, I did my fair share of shopping! Tim found a bakery that made homemade Pop-tarts that he was pretty fond of! We both enjoyed our ride on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. But, I think my favorite part of our stay was our dinner at this little Italian restaurant on Saturday night. John had recommended them to us. Just a little, casual Mom & Pop place around the corner from the B & B that had been in business for over 30 years. When we went in we were the only people in the restaurant. These were the sweetest people you would ever want to meet! She joked with us and was so patient helping me find something to eat with all of my special dietary needs. We sat and had such a nice leisurely dinner and had about the best service ever. And probably the best Italian food ever! The tomato and mozzarella Caprese…to die for! We finished our meal and she put mine in a to-go container (I can never finish.) and asked if we’d like dessert. Of course, after those huge Italian portions we were both stuffed and declined. But, next thing you know she’s coming back with these little tiny paper cups filled with Ambrosia saying we just had to have something! Wasn’t that sweet?! And of course it was delicious! Next time we’re in New Hope you know we’re going back!

Now you may recall a couple of posts ago when we talked about how valuable the Little Black Dress is in a woman’s wardrobe. Today we’re going to talk about another staple for our closets – the Basic White Button down. Just for fun, let’s use the same scenario, the same hard-working wife & mother that we used for the LBD and see what she does with the Basic White Button down.

Here we have our wife/mother off for a day of work. For work, the basic white button down is almost a no-brainer for most of us, isn’t it? Here I’ve styled it with a pair of printed pants, a military style jacket, and black shooties on my feet. I’ve brought in color with tasteful  with a long, double-chained tassel necklace in teal and teal and gold earrings.


The white blouse I’m using for this post is fitted through the sides. It’s from Old Navy, and is thrifted ($3.5). The military jacket I’m wearing, which has an adorable pleated peplum in the back, is White House Black Market, and is also thrifted ($7). The pants are Dress Barn and were clearance ($15). The shoes are Payless from the Dex-flex line, also clearance ($14). The jacket is 3/4 sleeved, so I did roll the sleeve of the blouse.

It’s finally Friday, and after a long day of work, our tired “heroine” heads home. Once again, the hubs has dropped a dinner with a client in her lap, but this time he had the courtesy to let her know ahead of time. However, the boss kept her late and now there’s a 4 car pile up on the freeway and she’s still left with only 15 minutes to throw a decent look together for a “nice” dinner out. But, thanks to her White Button Down, we know that this will not be a problem! She freshens her makeup during the traffic stand-still (c’mon, you know you’d do it, too!) and plans her outfit to a tee!

The ornate pearl necklace, which was a gift from my daughter, which I believe she purchased from Amazon, has come in handy more times than you would believe. It goes with everything from tulle skirts to jeans. Always, always, always have at least one kind of pearl necklace in your jewelry box. Clothing wise – both the tulle skirt and the pumps are thrifted.

For her dinner out with the spouse’s client, she’s removed the simple jewelry and added an ornate pearl necklace, pearl drop earrings and pearl and gold bracelets – because pearls are always a good idea! The work pants are replaced with a champagne colored tulle skirt, and the black shooties with classic nude pumps. Wah La! We’re out the door!

Saturday has arrived, and our mom heads out to drag the kiddos off to their respective practices – soccer, gymnastics… And, of course, pick up a few groceries for the upcoming week along the way. The week has been crazy, so naturally half her wardrobe is still in the laundry. She grabs her handy-dandy White Button Down, once again.

For this look, everything you see has been thrifted. Not unusual for me, as you know. Here, of course, we’re using the shirt as a top-coat, so to speak. In the cooler months, it will make a wonderful undergarment for layering beneath sweaters! STYLIST TIP: When wearing a pant that comes around the mid-calf area, consider wearing a shoe with a heel vs. a flat. Flats with this type of pant leg have a tendency to make your legs look stumpy and heavier. Just a little FYI. If you have very thin legs, that may work to your advantage.

For this look we’ve used the White Blouse as an outer garment, almost like a coat, and layered it over a plum-colored t-shirt. I’ve tied it, just for the “Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island” cuteness-factor. Then added a pair of dark wash jeans that I then rolled to calf-length, after all it is Spring, and a pair of brown wedge slides. Since this is just a “running day” with the kids, I kept the bling very low-key with just a large pair of beaded hoop earrings and some layered bead stretch bracelets.

Well, the day is almost done, and just when you’re about ready to throw on some sweats and start thinking about what to make for dinner, you get a call from your bestie. The grandparents took the kids overnight at the last-minute. They’re headed out for dinner and movie. Would we like to join them? But, the movie starts in half an hour so they have to leave in 15. Can you make it? A chance to get out of the house kid free?! Of course you can! You yell up at your hubby to call the sitter – QUICK – and get dressed – QUICK – and you run to the closet. Thank goodness your White Blouse has still been out airing!

Again, this look is completely thrifted. The tied vest that I’m wearing is actually a kimono that is excessively long on me. I’ve tied and twisted it in multiple ways. This is one of my favorites because, since I have a rectangle body shape (no curves) it creates a bit of a waistline.

For this look we replaced the jeans with a pair of dressy capris. (The fabric is similar to a very nice dress pant.) I’ve taken a very colorful (the colors are actually very vibrant, but unfortunately the didn’t come through in the photos), very long kimono, gathered it up and tied it in the front creating an almost vest-like effect. Because the vest print is so busy, I decided to forego a necklace and chose just statement earrings and a bracelet. Finally, I choose a pair of strappy, wedge sandals.

So, once again, our wardrobe staple, the Basic White Button Down, has saved the day! Hopefully, you could easily imagine how simple it would be for you to switch out your own, work pants and blazer, dressy skirt and pearls, jeans and t-shirt or heels and going out capris or skirt or skinny jeans or whatever you like for date nights! The possibilities with this simple wardrobe basic are endless!


Until We Meet Again!


Just a few notes:

1.Want a few more great ideas on using a white button top? Jodie at Jtouchofstyle did a great series! Find them here:

2. Yes, it’s true, I have started another blog! And, yes, this probably makes me insane. It is strictly for my creative writing impulses. It will be filled with fiction writing, devotional writing, and non-fiction w/some literary liberties taken. Enter at your own risk! I claim no great literary abilities, only a love of writing. The link to the latest two posts is on the right side bar of this blog. But, I will also post the link here for you, if you are interested. As, well, I do post when new ones come out on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

7 Replies to “From the LBD to the Basic White Blouse”

  1. You are some busy lady! But it all sounds like you have a lot of fun! And that is so important right! I almost never wear white blouses, I do like them but somehow I don’t think of wearing it. Great outfits especially that skirt.


    1. Thanks Nancy! It’s funny how we each have different things we lean towards in our wardrobes. I love white shirts…I have so many of them because of their versatility – t-shirts, poets blouses, you name it. And Spring and Summer are the best time to bring them out because they look so light and fresh, especially with some bright colored jewelry up against them.


  2. Great job Ronnie in showing the versatility of owning one good white shirt. Between this post and your LBD it almost sounds you are on you way to doing the “essentials” for every well dressed woman’s closet. I have been talked into presenting to our June Retired Teachers unit and I was going to hit on this topic and, of course, these two were top on my list.

    I know this is something you and I think about a lot but I have a feeling that the average lady out there really doesn’t Maybe I’m wrong about this and the feed back I get in June will be interesting.

    Terri xox


    1. Thanks, Terri! I actually WAS thinking I’d do the “essentials”. Maybe every other post. I think a stylists mind just automatically thinks that way. But, I agree I think a lot of women don’t think that way. However, I do believe it would really benefit them and cut down on frustration and wasted money in shopping if they did.
      How exciting for you! Wish I could be there to hear you speak! I would love that! I’d be so interested to hear how that goes and the feedback you get from your audience.


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