One thing I've realized in the past few months of shopping is that tops give me a hard time. I buy bottoms, I buy jackets, I buy boots, but I struggle with tops. I know in some ways I'm expecting a lot out of my tops (to flatter, to fit under jackets and coats as needed, to provide me with enough warmth, to layer over long undies or other tops as needed, to wash well and frequently, to provide color, variety, and interest in my wardrobe) but I find them a pain in my butt.

They are my hardest thing to shop for. There is so much variety and even after so much trial and error I don't know what works just right. I think I have a hard body type to fit, because I have thin arms and a thin waist but broad shoulders, long arms, and a large chest. Plus, I'm borderline tall . . . in the hinterlands between tall and regular sizes. I don't love most patterns and don't do anything overtly feminine, but I want a top with some interest but not so much going on that it looks super busy under a jacket.

It has to be warmer than a thin rayon sweatshirt knit, but not so heavy that I sweat to death if I have to climb stairs. And the sleeves have to be long.

I want to be able to cross my arms, but still at least hint that I have a figure.

AND I want to be able to at least hand wash the top as needed without it turning into a huge pill. I've returned several of my favorite tops this season because they didn't hold up AT all.

Where am I going wrong?