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Page 2 in the conversation "How do you choose high summer tops?" by kerry
I just bought new tops at Kohls. They are not super high quality, but they’re fine for my needs. My life is very casual, so I’m mostly wearing shorts and crops when it gets hot. And it does get very hot here (regularly in the 90s, and often over 100). Spring and Fall last a blink of an eye, so we’re either freezing or roasting. However, we don’t have humidity. I also bought a few sleeveless tops, but can’t seem to find pictures of them. These tops last me several seasons. But if something were to happen to them, they’re not so precious that I would be heartbroken.
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I don’t know your price point but Eileen Fisher does excellent summer tops. Flowing, great quality of silk and they would work with everything. I like them a lot and buy when I can get them on sale and in petite. Cotton and linen EF tops I find a bit more casual but good, too.
Another thumbs up for EF silk, cotton, and linen summer tops. I’ve some that have lasted through 3-summers-worth of wearing and washing and still look good enough to wear for a casual evening out with friends. Like Irina, I keep an eye out for sales but, even at full price, my EF tops have been worth every penny.
I understand the struggle. Traditionally, I've opted for lower priced options in summer tops for my casual at-home wardrobe. Except for items I plan to wear for going out, going to the city, etc.
One of the best summer tops I own is one I bought 4 summers ago at The Loft, and yes, it is still going strong. It's made of extremely lightweight cotton voile, almost transparent, but the pattern disguises that and I don't wear a cami with it. It's cotton but rarely needs ironing if I air dry it, since it is so light. (Occasionally I do pass an iron over it.) It goes with everything. It has sleeves so feels covered but is so light it's like wearing sleeveless.
I would not neglect a look at the Loft. Most of their stuff isn't great quality, but occasionally you find a real winner. What they have in stock now doesn't look as if it will meet your needs (wrong fabrics and styles) but in another month you might have luck there as the cottons and linens come to the fore.
This is a big challenge area for me, too. My summers are long, hot, and extremely humid. Even though I hate to bare my arms, the humidity forces me to. I wear only loose sleeveless shells in cotton, silk or linen when the summer is at it's worst. When it's slightly cooler, I wear bell-sleeve peasant tops or similarly loose-sleeved tops, and can get away with some synthetics. Most of my tops are inexpensive. Like Suz, I have had good luck at Loft.
After sweating through high temperatures and humidity in summer, I’m experimenting this year with the requirement that my sleeveless summer tops (and dresses) not be polyester. I’ve noticed that this vastly reduces the number of options, especially patterned shirts. But I’m so much more comfortable in cotton when the weather is sweltering.
I really like cotton voile - that super light, airy fine cotton. I like it with sleeves, because coverage from the sun is really important to me. I mostly go with cotton, but I have a little crumply linen jacket. I don’t do tanks. I will do knit muscle tees, if the material is thin. Tbh, I mostly find this sort of thing at Ross. But there is one boutique where I can find pricey fine-thread cotton items, lol... but those are tunics.
Why am I reading this??? Where I live, it rarely gets hot and is never humid. Temps in the 80s make top of the news! Plus, I run cold like Angie. But I need hot weather clothing if/when I leave town. I just have to remember what I have and not buy more.
SOLUTION: Breezy woven tops that are dressier than a tee. Sleeves can be your friend. Cotton and silk blends are fab. YES - spend more to get a top that makes you feel fab, and make sure you're okay with the laundry maintenance.
TIP: Make sure you can layer over them if arctic a/c is a concern.
My Summers are VERY hot, now that I live in Salt Lake City part time too. 100 degrees plus - but extremely dry. I cover up and never go sleeveless. I wear dresses and skirts 80% of the time, or cropped cotton pants and white jeans.I don't do shorts. My tops are woven, breezy and pretty - and I often still wear a cami. I need to be able to cover up for cold a/c because I am sensitive to it. So I choose tops that can layer (or at least can be draped with a jacket).
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