square-ruffled-black-blouse-1

Over-the-Top Top

 
I received an urgent email from Ursula in Cadiz two weeks ago, directing me to an interesting top at COS.
 
So unhip am I, I was unfamiliar with COS . . . which I know now is H&M’s high-end line. Is this a reverse-diffusion line? A concentration line?

 
 
Setting aside these questions of market expansion, sub-branding differentiation, and price-point diversification, let’s look at the top.
Divinely bonkers, right?

Divinely bonkers, right?


Sans belt

Looking very serious sans belt

 
 
I’ve seen a few tops (MSGM?) in this style over the course of AW2016.
 
On the one hand, it looks like the offspring of a maternity blouse and a bed skirt. On the other hand, it is a delightful confection spun of the lightest, crispest wool gabardine. Certainly I could not resist.
 
I did, however, imagine that it might look best on me if it were cinched at the waist.

 
 
 
I pawed through my belt drawer (where all the belts are coiled like snakes, cozy in a basket and waiting to be charmed) and found this very old Pilgrim-buckled belt. Just the thing!
 
Did someone say Pilgrim?

Did someone say PiLGriM?

The right belt for this particular job: plain, but present

The right belt for this particular job: plain, but present


A top this voluminous (even cinched) needs to be balanced by slim pants. Here, I am wearing it with high-waisted, slim black corduroys. I’ve also worn it to work with slim, grey wool capris. (NB: By slim, I mean skinny through the hip and thigh but only slightly tapered through the calf and then straight to the ankle. Not skinny skinny.)
 
Perhaps the best way to appreciate this top is by viewing it in profile?
 
I am Marzipan!

I am Marzipan

I am Meringue!

I am Meringue


 
 
Perhaps you need to come a little closer?
WhO tHe WhAT?  Not that close!

Not that close! PoLIce!


That's better

That’s better

We must maintain a little personal space

We must maintain a little personal space


 
 
I do want to make sure you see both sides.
 
I am pleased to report that the top can be laundered at home. At least, I have inferred from the label that I may hand- or machine-wash this top with a gentle detergent. The care label does not expressly authorize “hand-washing” or “machine-washing,” but it does refer to chlorine-free detergent and line-drying, and aren’t those implicit parts of washing?
Headless ruffle

Headless ruffle


Many pleasing things on the COS website — misshapen dresses, apron skirts, shirts with enormous cuffs and pockets. Plus, COS included with my purchase an Agnes Martin monograph-slash-catalog — combining photos of her work, the Guggenheim Museum, and misshapen apron skirts — which was very interesting to me. The site does seem a little buggy; it’s hard to navigate and I found myself stuck in Leisurewear and had to use trickery-pokery to infiltrate other categories. Tip: Try using the filters instead of the menu on the site or exit the site completely and use Google to search for things like “COS dress” or “COS apron skirt.”
 
 
 
So thank you, Ursula, for your excellent tip!
 
Note Santa Army behind me

Note the tiny Santa Army on the shelf behind me


The tree is up, the Santas are out, and most of the presents are wrapped. My best friend and I were corresponding about favorite holiday movies this weekend and, for me, I think it has to be: (1) Meet Me in St. Louis; (2) A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version), and; (3) The Ref.
 
Top: A-line Top with Asymmetrical Frill from COS; Corduroys: Talbots: Shoes: Coach; Watch: Michele; Belt: JCrew

15 thoughts on “Over-the-Top Top

  1. Georgetown will soon be getting a COS in the former Benetton location, if inspecting in person is faster than waiting for the website to improve.

  2. I love that top on you. It appears to be brown; is it? I noticed that for A/W16 COS, one of my very favorite stores, was offering a fair number of items in brown. This pleased me no end because I like to mix brown with black, navy, and other neutrals. Now I am off to investigate this charming item.

    • So glad to hear it, Karen! (Clarification: Glad to know that you are enjoying the blog. News about dry cleaning is a little disappointing — but thank you for passing it along.)

  3. Interesting top, indeed. I enjoy browsing in my local COS – although I haven’t yet brought anything home – but didn’t realise the relationship with H&M. This will make me look at H&M with new eyes.

  4. I think the top is spectacular and interesting along with infinitely wearable. From all views it looks really pretty, Audrey Hepburn-ish. Your fine build permits the “frill” since it was close to the body. Laundry would seem a question but hand wash, hang should do it. Lovely! Kate Baker

  5. I love the top, the post, and the comments. (Trojan helmet and cupcake liner!) They were all just what I needed on Electoral College Day.

But what do you think?