When was the last time you stopped someone in the street or tapped their shoulder in the queue in Boots to ask them where their really cool jacket/ unsual bag/ dramatic earrings are from? Can't remember? Same. Nowadays, all my style stalking is done via Instagram. Think about it once you've start following someone with an aesthetic you totally heart, and they post regualr OOTD selfies then you've basically got an AAA pass to their wardrobe. Who needs IRL interaction when you can slide into their DMs and ask them to link any untagged brands?
So when a cherry red peasant blouse with blue and white embroidery detailing popped up in my feed but wasn't tagged I had to do just that. The Instagrammer in question wears a mixture of high-end and high-street and from the look of this blouse I was guessing it was Isabel Marant. So when they replied with 'Next, £40 and the pink manicure emoji' I almost spluttered out my flat white. Yep, it turns out the high-street retailer that I normally associated with city workwear has in fact, created an 'It' summer top that couldn't be further from the boardroom. And it has a flurry of bloggers and influencers, many who I bet haven't set foot in a Next store since they were forced to buy sensible trousers for school from there, literally racing to their closet outlet to bag one.
Online the blouse is already sold out in XS and S sizes while M, L and XL can be pre-ordered for delivery in the next two weeks. It also comes in a baby blue colourway with navy embroidery which is still available in all sizes as I type this. Blogger and Instagrammer, Emma Hill who has the blue version says: 'I love it when the high street completely surprises me and I see an item which looks like it should be high end, that’s the vibe I got with this blouse. Plus blue has always been ‘my colour’ so it was a dead cert. As it happens a lot of my followers already own the blouse in one of the two colours and everyone else wants to jump on board the balloon sleeved bandwagon.'
So what is it about this particular top that makes it such a good buy? Well, firstly it's the overall aesthetic, as I mentioned think Isabel Marant but a fraction of the price. The embroidery detail looks far from mass produced plus the puffed shape sleeves nod to one of this season's biggest trends. Made from 100% cotton, it's totally practical for hot humid days and looks just as good paired with denim cut-offs en route to the beach as it does with smart trousers en route to the bar.
'I’m headed to LA for the Summer so I’ll definitely be taking this with me as part of my LA wardrobe,' says Emma. 'It’s such an easy blouse to pull off but because of the embroidered details it’s not so #basic. It would make a great holiday piece but for me it’s just a perfect everyday blouse to throw on with instant cool factor. I think for Spring I’ll be wearing it with some distressed denim and a pair of espadrilles and when the weather warms up, probably tucked into some white linen shorts again with some espadrilles or sandals.'
Warm weather or not, this is definitely worth putting on the payday hit list. To shop click here before it totally sells-out.