Winter Work Tops: Tridux

Yes, it's that time of year again.  The time of year to try to imagine separates for work that have sleeves.  I don't know why sleeved tops are so different from sleeveless ones.  I don't have too much trouble envisioning, creating, and wearing cute summer tops.  And yet, stick a sleeve in the picture and my mind goes blank and grumpy.

So I did some snoop shopping.

It appears that I am not alone.  The offerings are SAD.  After going through literally THOUSANDS of long and 3/4 sleeve tops on Saks, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale's I found a handful of interesting pieces.  There's nothing I want to copy outright, I don't think, but I identified some elements that I like.

The best of the bunch is this one (Velvet by Graham & Spencer, $174).  Sequins are having a moment and I do like them, but I think for day I'd go for something a little more matte, lol.

But I love the way this drapes from the shoulders and LOVE the shaped hem (I would tack it in place to mitigate the fear of belly show-through, horrors).  I haven't seen any patterns like this, so if you have suggestions I am all ears.

Something about this piece (BCBGMAXAZRIA Marlene Studded Sleeve Top, $278) speaks to me as well, but it's definitely more about mood and elements than the whole top.  Of course it's a given that I love the color(!!!), but what I'm really into is the shape of that sleeve hem.  I just picked up Burda 7519 at the Joann sale (LOVE that they are now putting Burdas on sale occasionally) and am going to see if I can work something out like this sleeve hem.

I also like the banded hem, but in reality that does not work for my pear-shaped body.  I need waist definition, and it needs to be relatively high.

Although I still like the classic tie top, with a lower neckline as in this one, I really dig the scarf top on this Philip Lim ($375).  It still has flair but is not too girly.

I would make the scarf a little smaller and shorter, but love the pull-through loop.

In case you were wondering, ruffles are still a thing.  I cannot believe how much longevity this trend has had.  They have been in style for at least 4 years now; I can't remember far enough back to know if it's been longer.

I still saw plenty of your usual ruffles around the neck, but there were some creative twists.  My fave is this RED Valentino sweater ($395) with the asymmetric shoulder ruffle.

I also appreciated the feminine but not-too-sweet take of this Boss Black; the "ruffles" are straight strips of fabric sewn diagonally across the blouse.  Takes it up a notch in terms of being taken seriously as a professional versus girly girl ruffles.

I'm always drawn to pieces like this (Chelsea Flower Wrap Front Silk Blouse, $275) with the billowy dolman sleeve, or this fabulous kimono sleeve top, but in reality they end up horrible on me, as in this project.  But it doesn't stop me from looking.

You can see all my picks here.

And that's really kind of it!  There is a whole lot that is shapeless out there.  Cutout shoulders are another trend I'll pass on.

Would it be terrible if I made an entire wardrobe of winter tops that are all variations on the cowl and the wrap?  Because that's all that's appealing to me right now.  This is why I wear dresses!!!


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