I figured the end of summer was a good time to go through my sleeveless tops and see what isn’t working for me.
This summer was odd — I spent a fair amount of time traveling, and I tend to take knit/tee tops rather than these fussier silk or polyester woven tops. So a few of these languished this summer.

My tee/knit tops all got worn this summer, and are in good shape for next year, except for one that needs alteration (the sleeves are too deep and show too much armpit/bra) or maybe just should be donated. That’s in my holding zone box to see if I want to take up the shoulder or let it go after I mull on it for a few days.

Many of my sleeveless silk/woven tops are really most wearable as pieces to layer a jacket over in the fall. I still like them but need to rethink their role in my wardrobe. I need to try wearing them this way in the next couple of weeks, with the more temperate weather coming, and whatever isn’t working at that point needs to go.

Two of those tops need little loops with snaps sewn into the shoulders because they slip off and show my bra strap. They’re in the sewing pile.

Then there are these tops that are difficult for various reasons:

1-5 I love this Karen Millen top I got years ago. It got too tight when I gained weight back, BUT I carefully laundered and stretched it (the back is jersey knit and the front is silk) and it now fits again. It’s quite fitted but passable, maybe just a touch more fitted than I prefer for this style. I like it best under jackets (pics 2-5). Again, I’m adding this to the portion of my closet for “under-jacket” wear to see if I can get use out of it that way.

6-8 I love the print of this Haute Hippie top, but it’s a bit long on me, and the dramatic back is hard to work with (I’m wearing a cami under it in this photo). It probably looks amazing on a cute young thing with a toned back, but that’s not me. And the back also makes it really awkward under a jacket. So I think it’s time to let go.

9 I got a lot of wear out of this Mara Hoffman silk top a few years ago, but this year it went unworn. It’s so lightweight and comfortable I’m inclined to keep it and maybe take it to Africa with me (it will work with the olive casual shorts I’m taking with me?). But then I think I only want to take easy-launder, sure-thing items on a month-long trip, so perhaps this top is not the best choice. The colors are a little outside of my usual, but I still like the pattern. It probably looks better with shorts than these jeans because it’s a bit cropped in length. I’m thinking holding zone.

10 All my sleeveless woven tops
11 All my sleeveless knit tops
Yes, I know that’s a lot, considering this is only the *sleeveless* part of my closet! I’m on a sleeveless moratorium now. in fairness, I have very few short-sleeves wovens — they’re hard to find, even though my preference is to cover a little bit of arm these days. I do have a collection of short-sleeve tees I’ve already gone through, but I’m going to take another pass at them.

I’ve learned: no more sleeveless woven tops that skew dressy or are not easy care for summer. I get more wear out of knit/tee shirts because they’re more casual and easy to style for me.

I’ve learned: I rarely go wrong with solid color tops, but especially black ones. I reach for those black tops over and over, even in summer.

I’ve learned: pay closer attention to under arm fit and top length. Many tops are long on me and the armholes are too deep. That’s not a hard fix for most sleeveless tops, but the alteration is something I need to factor into the price of a top and the hassle factor.

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