Tuesday, 7 June 2011

TOPping up my wardrobe

As I explained the other day, I do not wear interesting tops. They are pretty much all stretchy vests or t-shirts, with tight coloured cardigans over them. Since I had a bit of a cull recently, I have been more aware that the top selection is a little boring.  Of course the problem with jazzing it up is that my top drawer is like that for several reasons, and if I am going to be able to make it more exciting I am either going to have to abandon these reasons (unlikely – they are quite sensible), or learn to twist the outcome a little. In an attempt to go with option 2, here are the rules that must be obeyed, and the habits that do not. In a subsequent (probably far more interesting) post, I am going to look at some of the sort of things I ought to be making and plan some projects.

  1. Slim fitting – I don’t wear baggy tops. Ever. I have large boobs, and broad shoulders, and big hips, and a small waist. If I don’t show my waist (and quite a lot of it), the tops hang straight from the shoulder to the hip and I just look about 3 stone heavier than I am, and utterly shapeless.
  2. No excess fabric - As described on some style blog I have forgotten the name of and can’t find again-I am an 8 shaped hourglass rather than an X shaped one, so my hips jut out pretty high up. Therefore the “baggy things with belts” look doesn’t really work either as the additional fabric poofs out all over the place and I feel like I’m wearing a poorly assembled tent. My underbust area is the thinnest bit and I don’t like padding it out with masses of extra material either.
  3. I like a tighter top with a belt but I must be able to wear it without. I tend to eat too much pizza/chocolate/beer and have to take the belt off.
  4. I need to be able to wear a normal bra. No strapless, no halters (and definitely no braless!). It’s just too painful otherwise. I don’t care if you can see the bra straps, but ideally there are other straps involved in the top nearby.
  5. I don’t wear high necks. Ever. Other people with boobs seem to manage it, but I always feel like I look terrible. Deep Vs and scoops only.
  6. If there is an underbust seam, it must sit UNDER THE BUST. I absolutely loathe it when people wear them with the seam halfway over their boobs-the top doesn’t fit, so don’t wear it.
  7. Even though my figure means they ought to work-I look like a fool in peasant tops. I look like I’m in a costume, frequently laughably so.
  8. I don’t wear ruffles around the bust area. I start to look like some kind of parade float.

  1. I tend to wear stretchy. This isn’t really a choice for stretchy (comfy and flattering though they are), but RTW tops that aren’t stretchy don’t fit . Now that I am making them however, there is no reason at all why they have to be stretchy (plus I can’t sew with knits!)
  2. Almost all my tops are plain colours with no embellishment. This partly due to the type of RTW tops that have patterns and embellishment (the non-stretchy ones that aren’t flattering and don’t fit) and partly due to me just being a bit boring. But I like patterns, so I should have some.
  3. I just keep buying the same top. In different colours. I am going to have to be more original.
  4. My tops are all very tight, partly for the reasons outlined above but mainly because they are stretchy, and semi baggy stretchy is just a bit weird looking. But again, if they aren’t stretchy, problem solved. 


  1. i have similar top rules...but i'm also a bit chesty and hourglass shaped. i've made a few knit tops (without a serger, don't have one) and they're super easy.... don't fear the knit!!

  2. I found your blog and can really relate to this post - I'm sure it could be describing me! I have similar rules (especially no 6 - can't stand RTW clothes like that since the underbust line never even reaches the middle of mine!)

    I only ever sew stretchy tops, as I am still not sure of the correct fit for woven, fitted tops. Maybe that is because I've never worn a great RTW fitted top to show me what style would work.

  3. It is a bit of a change going from stretchy to woven. I tend to feel like the boobs are just insanely huge looking until you get used to it! A lot of non stretch tops are also not soi fitted, and I just dont like the way that looks on my body. I am still working on it!