I feel a rant coming on … be warned! And it’s about fabric. Nasty, cheap, see-through fabric that historically was only to be found in Primark but seems to have gradually made its way into the mainstream high street stores such as Next, Zara, Massimo Dutti and even French Connection. This isn’t a rant because I have psoriasis, although clearly it is part of the annoyance. I’m just irritated that stores expect us to pay thirty, forty (or often fifty and upwards) euro for a top or shirt that frankly would be alight at the mere sniff of a match. This polyester nightmare is adorning rails everywhere. I am at the age where I don’t want the world to see through my top, thank you very much. Nor do I want to have to wear a vest top underneath all the time, just because the flimsiness of the fabric dictates that I must. Time was when finding a decent quality fabric at a reasonable price, wasn't such a difficult task. What’s even more annoying is that by refusing to wear this fabric, it limits what is available when it comes to long sleeved blouses.
(Blouse! Why is it when I hear this word, it has immediate connotations of either a school uniform or my mother’s Sunday best? I’m simply using the word ‘blouse’ to differentiate the top I mean from the more casual tops that I discussed a few weeks ago here.)
I thought my criteria were fairly simple. I didn’t want to spend too much. I merely wanted a white long sleeved top that was a little bit dressier than a tee-shirt. A top that I could wear under a jacket but, if the occasion demanded, I could remove the jacket without fear of exposing unsightly arms. Nothing too fussy; how difficult could it be? Pah! I may as well have been searching for the Holy Grail.
After much pounding of the pavements and browsing online ‘til I was almost cross-eyed, I finally hit the bullseye. Hurray! First up was a store that I haven’t darkened the door of for many, many years; Vero Moda. I didn’t actually buy this top as when I tried it on, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. However I snapped a picture just for you, as it struck me as being the perfect shirt to wear to work. (Just as well, as I can't find it on their website) Nice broderie anglaise detail, double layered fabric on the torso (At last! No need for layering with vest tops!) and although the sleeves appear see-through they still gave sufficient coverage. At only €29.95, it is good value for money and chances are I will go back again and purchase (although I’d definitely replace the naff gold button!) The Vero Moda website has a good range of long sleeved blouses and is worth checking out if this is something you are looking for.
Ultimately, I purchased in Zara. Tucked in at the back of the store, hidden from view was this little gem, a crossover style blouse. It feels like silk (clearly for €40 it’s not!) but it drapes beautifully, it hangs perfectly, it can be dressed up with trousers, jacket and heels or would look equally good dressed down with a pair of jeans and a statement necklace. I can’t bear to look at the grumpy face of the Zara model, so here is a side view.
So finally I found something that works. But this is the result of three weeks searching. Is it just me? Am I the only person who has noticed this cheap fabric trend? Or am I the only person who is bothered by it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.