This ensemble is for Team Sleeveless. Of course, you can substitute the sleeveless layering top for a sleeved option, but the point of the ensemble is to bare your arms. There is something extra fabulous about layering a sleeveless topper over a sleeveless top. It’s a little unexpected, thoroughly modern, and very breezy. A grown-on sleeve is just as effective as a cut-away sleeve. 

There are many ways to interpret this formula. I’ve pulled together three versions as a starting point. A denim-friendly version on the left, a dressier skirt version in the middle, and a funkier rendition on the right. Choose any colour palette and feel free to incorporate both dressy and casual pieces into the outfit. 

Here are the components: 

Sleeveless Top: Think sleeveless T-shirt, knitted top or blouse in tailored or fluid fits. Patterns and panel prints work just as well as solids. Colours work just as well as neutrals. Leave the top untucked or partially tucked. 

Vest: You’ll need a sleeveless jacket that’s either dressy or casual. Think masculine waistcoats, utility vests, avant-garde drapey styles, sleeveless motos and denim vests. Both long and short vests will work. Create a low or high contrast between the two layers. Keep the vest unfastened to create loose modern layers, and to showcase more of the top underneath. 

Bottoms: Pair the layered top and topper with a bottom that works with the pieces. Think jeans, dressy trousers, track pants, casual pants, shorts, pencil skirts, flared skirts, short shorts, harem pants and culottes. Create a high or low contrast between the top and bottom parts of the outfit — both will work. 

Footwear: Choose a pair of shoes that work with the rest of the outfit. Ankle strap pumps, peep-toe booties, gladiators and loafers get my top vote. But any shoe that tickles your fancy is fab. 

Accessories: Finish off the outfit with a bag of your choice, either dressy or casual. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. 

Sleeveless toppers are an excellent way to add ventilating structure to a Summer outfit. They provide the magic of that third piece without the insulation. If you normally prefer covering your arms, then combining a sleeveless top with a sleeveless topper might make you feel more comfortable about baring them.

Ensemble: Sleeveless Top with Vest