Summer Outfits: Printed Blouses and Necklaces

When I posted my summer outfit blogpost last week someone commented that she mostly wore print blouses or tops and found them harder to accessorize.   I went to Pinterest this weekend and pulled up print tops.  I have two or three in my wardrobe and I'll show how I've chosen to accessorize those in the next wardrobe post,  but I wanted to give you all a better idea of how you might wear jewelry with a print blouse in a way that makes it look as though you'd taken it up a notch without adding a load of layers to accomplish the same thing.

Print blouses are really lovely to wear.  I don't know just why I seem to have leaned so very hard on solid colors because really, a print blouse is almost an accessory in itself.   I've relied upon kimonos which can be light and lovely at times but as Sarah pointed out, layers get very hot for those of us who live in warmer climates, even if it's light and fluttery.  

All the photos came from Pinterest but some of them are actually from online shops but I'll explain what drew my eye in each one and why the item works with the blouse.  I also want to direct you to Bridgette Rae's post on the subject.

In choosing jewelry for print blouses you really have several choices.


Notice how in these examples the colors of the necklaces chosen are really tone on tone, the same color as the most dominant color in the blouse.   The tiger eye necklace is exactly the tone of the foxes.  I am totally discounting the white back ground in this blouse because your eye really only reads the foxes.   However, the white background in the first picture is the tonal color of the necklace used to accessorize that blouse.

Note in the third example the layering of necklaces...While most of them are tonal there's a contrasting one with turquoise mixed in.  It isn't necessary but it does take the look up a notch.  Mind you, that many bracelets and necklaces are not only heavy but hot, but layering is a great way to bring added sophisticated polish to any look.

Highlighting color:

Note how each of these necklaces brings out a color  in the blouses and pulls it forward to your vision.  In each example it really is a matter of which color you wish to bring out.  Note in the top photos how the necklaces make a color in the print 'pop', the aqua in the first one and the deep green in the second.  In the third blouse the ring on the necklace is bringing the subtle pastel pink in the print forward and in the bottom photo the mint green plays into the mixture of greens in the floral patterns sprayed across the stripes.


Again in these examples we see more layering but the real thing I want you to take note here is that the colors of the necklaces are not necessarily the colors in the top but they contrast well.  I cannot suggest highly enough the use of a color wheel in pairing contrasting and like colors.  I need to print out a new one to use but it's a very handy little tool in matching wardrobe items as well as decorating.

In the first photo there's actually a mix going on here of tonal and contrasting colors.  The black and white paired with the calf brown and turquoise is what makes this combination so effective.  Notice too that the necklaces have an almost handmade Native American quality that goes really well with the organic print used on the shirt.

Just to prove how the eye can be fooled, if you look closely in that second photo, there's actually a red stripe running along the border of the neckline and sleeves but I've only just noticed it...All my eye could see was the red necklaces on that bold black and white print.  In the fourth photo we have another contrast color used on a black and white print. Pink, yellow, and aqua are very effective pops of color against that print.

The third photo is actually of a scarf with a chain fringe but when I saw it I thought that a layering of scarf and necklace had been used.  This caught my eye because the scarf is a contrast in color to the top.  It fills in the neckline of the blouse nicely.  I have no neck and couldn't wear this effectively but if you are blessed with a long neck by all means, consider this as an option.

In the fourth photo the turquoise beads on the necklaces are contrasting in color with the pinks and corals of the blouse and stand out without being too bold and heavy looking.  

Signature pieces:

Barbara Billingsley may be the butt of jokes by those who want to put down a housewife but she chose to wear a simple pearl necklace with all of her outfits.  Her reason for choosing the pearls was because of a hollow at the base of her throat that filmed as a dark shadow.  She put on the necklace to cover the hollow, preventing the shadow,  and the pearl necklace  became her constant accessory until her death.

Pearls are always classic and always will be.  As are lockets, a Victorian women's watch on a long chain.  Wearing a piece of jewelry consistently makes it a signature piece.  Anything can become a signature piece.  Here's a good reason to pull out those sentimental pieces and wear them.

I think the main thing with signature pieces is that the piece fit well in the neckline of the blouse as you'll see in the third and fourth photos or that it be a slightly bolder, longer,  but subtle piece as in the second photo.

Something I'm seeing more and more of late is the use of thin delicate necklaces of varying lengths layered for wear.   I think it looks very chic.  There's actually an item you can buy to keep the necklaces from twisting and knotting about the neck.  I've linked it here

I hope you all find this helpful and find it easier to accessorize your print blouses with necklaces.


Kathy said...

Thanks for the tips! I think I prefer the highlighting and signature pieces. Lovely examples. Thanks!

Lana said...

I wear mostly print tops but I just cannot wear necklaces anymore. After about an hour they give me a headache. I would happily wear my gorgeous pearls everyday but they are a tad too long. My husband gave them to me for my 50th birthday. The pearls are large so it is heavy but I love to wear them for a little while. Real pearls are cool against your skin and they feel wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you !! I wear necklaces but seldom layer them. I just saw a necklace I should have bought. :( Hope it is there next week. If not...well something else will come along. It was pretty much like the see through necklace in the bottom picture. It opens up like a locket so you could put whatever you wanted inside. Neat. I have some short chain necklaces that look silly alone on me but several...a new idea !! It was so kind of you to take the time to research all of this. I really appreciate it. I wear bracelet and earrings all the time but not necklaces often ...but I do have some and now will look for more. :-))) Sarah

terricheney said...

Lana, perhaps a jeweler could shorten the strand for you? It's a thought...

Sarah, I hope you are able to find the necklace again and purchase it. I like the layered necklaces, too. I've updated that part of the post to include a product that is meant to help them not tangle up on your neck.

Lana said...

I have thought about getting the pearls restrung but our oldest daughter bought them at the pearl market in Beijing, China when they were missionaries there. My husband sent along the money for them. She told me about the little Chinese lady who carefully selected each pearl so that they matched and then strung them. The knots and workmanship is truly beautiful and I cannot bring myself to have that redone by an American jeweler. The string is just gorgeous and I really want to keep it like it is. I did wear them for most of our children's weddings. Every time I wear them someone comments on them and how wonderful they are.

Anonymous said...

Great Post! I've been looking at fashion blogs and pinterest for outfit ideas, but so many of them are just not practical. I love your ideas because they are practical and fashionable, but not over the top. I'm trying to use what I have already and accessorize with my costume jewely and collection of scarves. I would welcome ideas on scarves. It's so easy to make one look good in fall and winter, but I'm having problems figuring out how to wear my beautiful bright colored vintage silk scarves during spring and summer without looking too dressy. Fashion where I live consists of black yoga pants and a North Face jacket. That's not my style, so I usually look out of place and dressed up because I wear skirts, shorts, capris, heels, etc.
Susanmarie in Pacific Northwest

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri! I love the idea of signature jewelry (which has been my go to for years...using an antique cameo (that had belonged to my mom) and a single silver bracelet Mike bought me several years ago as an anniversary gift. The story of Barbara Billingsly (Mrs. Cleaver) and her signature pearls was so interesting...I have never heard that before! I love wearing dresses as they are so comfortable and an all-in-one outfit haha! In other words I need not hunt down tops to go with skirts or pants etc. I really enjoy a comfortable shirtdress with boots in cold weather and nicer sandals or cute simple sneakers (keds, converse etc.) in warmer weather. They are surprisingly comfortable for running around and are sort of classic and sort of trendy i.e., kind of ageless! The addition of yoga shorts underneath keeps them modest (I add these under all my dresses). In summer I like to wear tunic length dresses with longer bike shorts underneath also. I love the way you put all the outfits together to show cute and such a lot of work. Thank you! I'm off now to finish my laundry!

Tammy said...

Well that blog was a deep hole I got lost in this morning. LOL
I enjoyed this post and went straight to Amazon to look at those twist/tangle preventer things. I don't wear necklaces much, and pretty much never in the summer (sweat - ugh), but I have collected a few pretty ones that I'd like to use more often.

terricheney said...

Lana, if the pearls are that meticulously done I'd leave them alone too! I like that you use them as a special occasion jewelry. That makes them even more significant.

Susanmarie, in my town (the little one I live in) women are prone to show up in tight stained t-shirts and yoga pants or daisy duke type shorts whether or not their body is made for it. I have tried to hold myself to a higher standard and as a result find I often look as others do in larger towns where there's less 'at home' wear and a more polished look.
I'll be sure and show you more ideas with scarves, as they were my signature accessory for many many years and I still do use them during cooler weather.

Tracey, I had decided that bike shorts was as good an idea as a clingy hot slip under a dress. More coverage and more breathable. So glad to know that you find it comfortable. I've got to get me a pair to go under my maxi skirts. I agree that the keds or converse is a nice way to be on trend when wearing a dress and yet be comfortable and age appropriate.

Tammy, the nicest compliment is to be told that a blog post was a deep hole to fall into...I'm so happy to have provided respite from your busy day, lol!

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