It's time to retire those three-quarter-sleeve tees and cropped knits you've been living in -- or at least relegate them to your weekend wardrobe. This fall, grown-up, ladylike blouses are no longer just for stewardesses and old-school socialites. They don't come cheap; Gucci's ultracovetable ruffled versions cost upward of $1,000 each. But pick from our selection and you'll have cash left for a pair of sleek, tapered pants to wear underneath.
Prints are the trendiest way to go -- and they're a steal in synthetic fabrics. Try H&M's sophisticated polka-dot top, for instance ($19 at H&M), or a geometric-print style from Free People ($40 at Urban Outfitters stores). Insist on real silk? We love Kenneth Cole's groovy purple-and-pink blouse ($118 at Bloomingdale's) and would happily splurge for Sally Penn's disco-chic black-and-gold number -- it's pricier than the rest, but dressy enough to work as formal wear ($176 at Henri Bendel and Steven Alan). For a sexy evening look, pick a sleeveless blouse like A.B.S by Allen Schwartz's wacky leopard-spotted top ($140 at Macy's) or a pretty turquoise shell from Trina Turk ($160 at Trufaux).
Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue, at 56th St. (212-247-1100); Steven Alan, 60 Wooster St. (212-334-6354); H&M, 640 Fifth Ave., at 51st St. (212-489-8777); Trufaux, 301 W. Broadway (212-334-4545).
Picks of the Week
Cassina USA is taking up to 70 percent off floor samples of sleek modern and contemporary furniture -- reproductions of iconic styles (like Corbusier's chaise, pictured) and new designs. Prices are from $80 for a Philippe Starck chair to $2,300 for a Frank Lloyd Wright table. 155 E. 56th St. (212-245-2121); A.E., M.C., V.; Thurs.10-8, Fri. till 6, Sat. till 5; 9/7-9/9.
Showroom Seven's sale offers hip, youthful women's samples from designers like Alice Roi, Ghost, Kitty Boots, Petro Zillia, and Whistles -- all for about 60 percent off. Prices are $10-$500. 498 Seventh Ave., twenty-fourth floor (212-643-4810); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 10-7; 9/5-9/15.
Crown Crafts and Goodwin Weavers are putting a showroom full of traditional, homey cotton throws (boucle and pictorial styles) and needlepoint pillows on sale for $40 or less (were up to $200). 1185 Sixth Ave., at 47th St., seventh floor (212-824-2680); cash only; Wed.-Fri. 10-7; 9/6-9/8.
OM Yoga Center is throwing in a free $130 ten-class card for a friend if you buy one for yourself -- meaning that each of you can get in on the studio's Vinyasa-style lessons for only $6.50 a pop. 135 W. 14th St., second floor (212-229-0267); A.E., M.C., V.; 9/5-9/30.
Additional reporting by Brooke Showell.