Tie-front tops are shirts, blouses and knitted tops with self-fabric belts or contrast belts that tie at the natural waist. Some retailers refer to them as tie tops, belted tops or wrap tops. Before the addition of a belt, fits are tailored, fluid or oversized. Regardless of the fit, once the belt is tied around the smallest part of the waist, a fabulous amount of structure is created. 

Tie-front tops are made of woven or knitted fabrics across all sorts of weights. Some tie-front tops are as sheer and delicate as a silk scarf, whereas others feel as substantial as a lightweight jacket. Lengths vary from hip length to tunics. Some are a little shorter than hip length, making them ideal to wear with skirts. The collection below showcases both dressy and casual tie-front tops for visual reference. 

Ann Taylor
Side Tie Top
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7
Zara
Striped Blouse Details
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2

Tie-front tops are a nice way to update a business casual or business formal wardrobe. They’re also fab with jeans for a smart casual vibe. The self-colour belt does a marvelous job of elongating AND defining the waist by accentuating vertical integrity. It also does wonders to shorten a long waist. 

The tie-front top is naturally suited to a taller, curvier figure with a defined and regular or long waist. I’ve also seen it work on short waists and petites with a smaller bust when the proportions and drape are dead right. If you’re apple shaped or carry a little extra on the midsection, you’ll find that some of the fluid styles with wider belts effectively conceal muffin top providing a relaxed tailored look. The silhouette can also add curvature to a rectangular figure or inverted triangle body type with a straight waist and hip. A short waist with a large bust on the other hand, is trickier to fit with a tie-front top because it creates “a block” or “a shelf” on the torso despite the cinching in at the waist. In this case a wide or V-neckline can break up the block and create a more streamlined silhouette. 

I’m welcoming the tie-front top with open arms because we desperately need a break from the slouch — or at least some alternatives to it. You know that retail has gone overboard with sloppy oversized fits when tailored items look fresh and new. I vote bring back the tailoring and amp up the polish. I want to give these tops a whirl, but prefer them sans topper so they’ll be high Summer items for me. How about you?

ESTNATION Belted Wrap Blouse

PROTAGONIST Cotton-poplin Tunic

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