Tie-Front Tops: Fab with Summer Skirts

This top is for skirt wearers who don’t want to wear fitted tops or tucked tops with skirts, culottes or wide crops. The tie-front top is a good solution, because you wear it over bottoms thereby covering some of the waist and midsection bits. The fluid fit is breezy on hot days, and will fit an assortment of body types. The tie provides structure by shortening the length of the top, and tapering the fit to showcase the contour of the body.

Nordstrom
HEARTLOOM Tori Top
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Shopbop
RAILS Thea Top
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Of course, you can wear tie-front tops with jeans, pants and shorts as the stock photos show. But since skirts languish in closets when they don’t have tops to wear with them, I’m emphasizing how well the tie-front top can work with straight, A-line and flared skirts.

The tie-front top comes in all sorts of colours, patterns, fabrics, and with assorted necklines and sleeve styles. Some versions are dressier than others. The style of the tie and length of the top can vary too. Some are longer, thereby covering more of the midsection. Some finish on the waist, while others expose the midsection. Some ties tie to the side. Take your pick.

The V-necklines are particularly flattering on petites, shorter necks, and larger busts. The knits are usually easier to launder than woven versions, but the wovens look more crisp. The button-through style is not problematic for curvy figures with larger busts because of the fluid fit and structure created with the tie.

Try the tie-front top if you have orphaned Summer skirts. Make sure the length is right so that you’re confident with the fit on the midsection. You might need to size down if the fit is too blouson-y.

Eloquii Tie Front Top

Marella Tris Printed Tie Front Silk Blouse

Outfit Formula: Long Shorts and Sandals

Shorts in all sorts of lengths, fabrics, colours, patterns and silhouettes are more on-trend than ever. In my experience with my clientele and what I see on the street, most enjoy wearing shorts that are mid-thigh length or shorter, especially in the US. Personally, I prefer the look of shorts when they’re a little longer, with lengths ranging from right above the kneecap to just below the kneecap like in the outfits shown here. Some call these longer shorts bermudas.

There is no right or wrong length, but simply your preferences and comfort levels. Shorter shorts might be your thing, or you may enjoy showcasing your legs. For those who like to wear longer shorts, there are plenty to choose from this season.

Yoox
Reiss Denim shorts
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Zara
Pocket Shorts
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Zara
Sequin Pants
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Shopbop
Vince Pull On Shorts
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R13 Crossover Shorts
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Shopbop
WALLIS Epique Shorts
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WALLIS Epique Shorts
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Here are some casual and dressy looks with longer shorts and Summer sandals. The leg silhouette can taper or flare out. Feel free to use any colour palette.

1. White Shorts & Denim Jacket

White denim looks great with pastels and blue denim. Combine a pastel top with white shorts in cotton or denim and top things off with a blue denim jacket. Finish off the look with white, metallic, tan, or pearl grey sandals.

Lane Bryant Chino Bermuda Short

2. Bermudas & Blazer

Crisp and dressy blazers can create a fun juxtaposition with denim shorts, which can be mildly or hectically distressed. Add a layering top and sandals, and you’re done. Here the white sandals pick up the white of the tops, but you can sport any colour.

Frame Le Vintage Bermuda

3. Elegant Fluidity

I adore the combination of fluid top with dressier shorts. The dainty flat sandals are the crisp cherry on top, thereby adding to the relaxed and breezy elegance of the outfit. They also pick up the white of the top.

Adam Lippes Stretch Canvas Bermuda Shorts

4. Dressy Charm

Combine a pair of dressy long black shorts with a dramatic and dressy top, and see what happens. The shorts are dressy because of their fabric, length and silhouette. The sheerness of the black top breaks up the expanse of the black, as does the embroidery. Finish off the look with a dressier sandal, slide, or mule.

SIMONE ROCHA Belted Feather-trimmed Wool-blend Shorts

I don’t wear shorts because I prefer to wear midi skirts, dresses and cropped pants when it’s hot. That said, if I were to venture back into wearing shorts, I’d wear the longer lengths that cover the kneecap. How about you? Do you like to wear long shorts, or do you prefer then mid-thigh and shorter?

The Good & Bad of Jumpsuits and Rompers

Jumpsuits and rompers are all-in-one garments. Somewhat like a dress where the bottom part resembles pants instead of a skirt. Rompers have shorts on the bottom, whereas jumpsuits are cropped pants or full-length pants on the bottom. Rompers are sometimes also called playsuits. 

Jumpsuits and rompers come in all sorts of colours, patterns, fabrics, and silhouettes. They can also be dressy or casual. Here are some examples.

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Flower Branch Jumpsuit
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Jumpsuits and rompers are an acquired taste because, like most wardrobe items, they have their fab and not so fab attributes.

The Good

  • They are an easy one piece pull-on-and-go that requires little thought and styling
  • No need to tuck, semi-tuck, or worry about a too short or too long untucked top
  • They have a playful and fun Modern and Modern Retro integrity
  • Thanks to the pants, they’re not as breezy, revealing and impractical as a dress can be
  • They make a unique and interesting statement because there are fewer people wearing them

The Bad

  • They can sometimes look too child-like and juvenile
  • They can be hard to fit, because the length and width of the waist has to be in exactly the right place
  • They are EXTREMELY impractical when you need the loo

I have a jumpsuit, which you might remember from this old outfit post. It’s four years old and I’ve worn it twice because it’s THE fussiest, most uncomfortable, and most impractical item in my wardrobe. I thought it would be fun to wear because I love the glam ‘70s, but all it does is drive me bananas. I have to wear it with two and a half inch heels that I no longer own or wear. Going to the loo means I have to strip to my undies leaving the jumpsuit rumpled at my feet, which is a lot of fabric because of the long flared legs. In short, it’s an awful wearing experience. Yet, I keep the jumpsuit because it’s a spectacular and well-made designer piece. I keep on thinking I’ll haul it out for some glam occasion, in which case I’ll need to hem the length to wear with one and a quarter inch heels.

Jumpsuit - 1

Jumpsuit - 2

I LOVE the look of jumpsuits for the fabulous reasons I’ve described up top. They’re such a fun, unique and easy piece if you’re fine with the impractical part when going to the loo. I don’t know if the experience of wearing this jumpsuit has put me off for life, but I guess there’s only one way to find out. I’ll need to try a shorter version that I can wear with flats, and that isn’t as big a rumpled mess on the ground when I need the loo. Maybe a boiler suit of sorts, which I happily wore in the ’80s.

Over to you. What’s your take on jumpsuits and rompers, and do you wear them?

Roundups

Assorted Items

Lots of blue, some green, and a good amount of dressy in this week’s top picks.

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Neutral Spring

An assortment of top picks in versatile neutrals for transitional weather.

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Hints of Spring

Some raincoats, blouses, shoes, jackets and a necklace that are top picks right now.

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Winter & Spring Refresh

An assortment of top picks across colours, silhouettes and price points.

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Assorted Items

Some to wear now and into Spring to wipe away those Winter blues.

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Assorted Items

Some top picks in lilac, red and neutrals across all wardrobe items.

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Weekly Roundup: Assorted Items

Spring and Summer collections are in full swing, and I’m happy to see longer length dresses, skirts with movement, and tops that don’t drown the wearer. Here are this week’s picks across an assortment of items, lifestyles and price points. 

  • 1901 Pleated Polo Midi Skirt: The most streamlined pleated skirt I've seen so far. It wowed me when a client combined it with an assortment of navy and white striped tops and white sneaks. SUPER cute and comfy.
  • 1901 Longline Cardigan: This long line cardigan has a uniquely voluminous back, and sharp white piping. Lovely fabric. Read the rave reviews.
  • ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo Pull-On Silk Skirt: This skirt looks better in person, and works best on a curvier figure. It can be dressed up tor down, and looks luxe no matter what. Gorgeous fabric and length. Elegant in motion.
  • Rag & Bone Felix Stripe Silk Wrap Top: A fab blouse for a curvier figure with a larger bust, shorter waist, and shorter neck. Wear it over slim or flared bottoms. Runs big and is very lightweight. Comes in solids.
  • Rag & Bone 'Boyfriend' Leather Belt: Teal Belt Fabness.
  • 1901 Tie Front Poplin Shirt: A shirt that works well over flared or straight skirts, or bottoms with higher rises. Fluid yet structured, and forgiving on midsection bits. Suits a range of body types.
  • Zella Ella Satin Bomber Jacket: Sporty Bomber Fabness. Fun back ruched sleeve detailing, and comes in bone.
  • Boden Silk Shirt: I've been off silk blouses until I tried this one because it's a cut above the rest. Gorgeously luxe fabric and fit. The armholes aren't too low, and the shape is fluid but flowing in a way that I don't look like I'm wearing a tent. The curved hemline helps too. I'm wearing this blouse OUT and untucked over tomato red jeans which is atypical. The vertical integrity of the colour blocking is striking, and makes all the difference. Comes in a few patterns, and the length is quite long.
  • Gentle Souls By Kenneth Cole Lavern: Extremely comfortable and on-trend slides for regular volume feet.
  • PIKOLINOS Mykonos W1G-0757CL: The Sporty Sandal trend is alive and well in this less athletic version. Chunky in a refined way on the foot. Very comfortable and works best on regular volume feet.
  • Dansko Susie Platform Sandal: A fab slip-on sandal for wider and higher volume feet. Lots of arch support. Comes in black and tan.
  • Dansko Adrianne Sneaker: Lilac sneakers fabness for those who like cushioning insoles with lots of arch support.
  • Dansko Lou Ankle Strap Sandal: Teal Ankle Strap Fabness. Comfy and lots of arch support. Works best on regular and higher volume feet.
  • Reiss Joanne Check Stretch Cotton Blend Pants: Fun pants to dress up or down for work or play. Gorgeous quality and fabric in an unusual earthy Spring/Summer check. Lightweight. Nice mid-rise. Crease-resistant, and fab with cream, black, navy and mustard. Luxe fabric.
  • Vince Satin Silk Tee: This blouse looks better in person and on a figure that can fill it out. Good on a shorter waist, and works well on a fuller bust. The front slit detailing creates an architectural integrity that does not come through in the photo. Comes in four colours. Lovely fabric. Excellent dressed up with ankle pants and accessories. Drapes like a dream. Luxe fabric.
  • Vince Tossed Poppy Pleated Blouse: This blouse looks better in person and on a figure that can fill it out. Good on a shorter waist, and works well on a fuller bust. Crease-resistant and architectural. Comes in cream.
  • Boss Ivala Stretch Silk Blouse: This looks less tent-y and better in person IF you can fill it out with broader shoulders and a larger bust. Good on a shorter neck too. Comes in ivory. Sleeves can easily be shortened.
  • Reiss Colleen Polo Pocket Sweater: Gorgeous crisp and pretty piece that is badly styled here. It's quite long and has a substantial welt, so it looks GREAT worn over slimmer pants and jeans. It's not supposed to be tucked! More cream in person, and might run a size small.

Go to the collection page if you would like to see the images alongside my descriptions.

Trendy Bike Shorts: Yay or Nay

Bike shorts worn as casual and smart casual wear are a fringe trend. As an extension of the Sporty Luxe and Athleisure trends, it makes sense that the item is having its fashion moment. If leggings can be worn as pants these days, why shouldn’t bike shorts be mainstream. 

Most trendy bike shorts are black, but come in colours and patterns too. They don’t have the padded seat and crotch area like real cycling shorts, but are rather a much shorter version of leggings. Fabric is thick, substantial and opaque.

The idea is not to look like you’re going to the gym or climbing on your road bike when styling them. Wear them with regular casual wear like tees, shirts, blouses, knitwear, hoodies, denim jackets, bombers and casual footwear. Or dress them up with a blazer, top, heels and bling.

The collection below provides examples of the look.

You can go to town styling bike shorts in a fashion forward way, like the outfits here, with a turtleneck, leather blazer, sporty sandals worn with socks, and transparent bag. Or belt a long blazer with a waist-cinching belt and add a pair of booties.

MARC JACOBS Women's Somewhere-Sport-Sandals with Sock

Eloquii Biker Short

I like the bike shorts trend because it looks different and new. I prefer the dressier outfits because of the interesting juxtapositions. If you enjoy showcasing your legs, this is one way to go. Like leggings, bike shorts are easy to fit and you can choose a length. I like them just above the kneecap. I am a yay for this trend on others. That said, I’m a nay for myself because I don’t wear shorts, and I loathe the feeling of body-con spandex clothing on my body.

What do you think of the bike shorts trend? Do you like it, and would you wear it?