Tip-Tops: A Pair

I was taking stock of my fall/winter clothes this weekend, and feeling a little sad that so many of them may not see any wear in 2021. Although I’ve fallen out of the habit of commuting to work and wearing real shoes all day, and am a little apprehensive about doing these things again — I do miss them!

But perhaps a few more months of splendid isolation will be a benefit.
I managed to maintain my weight for the first 16 months of the pandemic and then BOOM in August I gained five pounds in two weeks. I am not sure why or how because I was not binging on brownies and lemon bars (which happened frequently when I was baking in the spring of 2020) or gobbling Mallomars and Haagen Daaz chocolate and peanut butter ice cream (things that happened in the winter of 2020-21 and spring 2021). So, I’ll take these next few weeks for reflection, reduce the amount of sugar, pasta, and bread in my diet, and see what happens.
Anything could happen

Outfit is hanging off the shoulders of this top, figuratively speaking
Today’s post is devoted to tops of substance: tops that can carry an outfit.
This first top is actually two tops — an old short-sleeved silk blouse (machine washable) under a pleated camisole-tank. The pleats and banding on this top give the piece architectural significance. With this much presence packed into the camisole, a plain blouse and pants are just fine.

Are the bows at my shoulder too youthful? I had to do something with the ties, which are a little too long
Not going to worry about the bows

The small (very small) lesson here is that layering two garments of the same color can be Very Effective.
Note: This top is a little big through the bust. You can see that it gaps out from my chest. (If you don’t see that in the photo to the left, scroll back up for the profile view.) The structure of the pleats holds and almost looks like . . . a breast plate.
I am armored

Heads will roll
This top zips up the back, with a very short zipper that ends above my natural waist. So flirty.
Despite frequent admonitions that they only have one job to do, our unpaid interns failed to notice that the hem was not straight.
Sorry about that. There are no do-overs at DGI Global.
Interns just stood there

Inconveniently, this top arrived with an inventory control tag affixed.
I haven’t felt like driving to the nearest Nordstrom just to have it removed, so I’ve been wearing the top avec security tag.
As yet, I have not passed through any securities gates.
Conveniently, tag is the same ivory color as the camisole and blouse

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of videos on YouTube explaining how to remove security tags at home. I think this one would require a very strong magnet. Do I really want a super-strong magnet in the house? Sourcing one seems vaguely sinister.
I don’t want to drive to Tyson’s; Could I get an MRI? Get inside a super-collider?

Switching gears, here is the other top I’ve worn a lot this summer. I bought this one last year on The RealReal.
It was a little big — requiring some minor alterations by Fatima.
While it was not intended to be worn with a belt, I think a belt is needed to manage the volume created by the ruffles.
Ruffle management

The ruffles make this top somewhat girlish and old-fashioned. But I also think the lines of the top — the interesting neckline (higher in back than in front) and armscyes (which are not perfectly curved) — and the fact the ruffles are limited to a rectangular bib make it very modern.
Is it old-fashioned or contemporary? You decide

Fatima added the pleats to tighten the fit
She also tightened the fit along the shoulders, which may be why the neck is higher in the back

Look who’s come to visit! It’s Charlotte, my next-door neighbor’s dog.
When they first moved in, Charlotte barked at me. But when she seems me now, she trots right over and wriggles with delight because she knows that lavish pats and compliments are about to wash over her.
Here, Charlotte sort of looks like a wombat

She looks like a Poodle-Schnauzer mix, doesn’t she?
She feels like velvet.
Here, Charlotte is about to be ruffled by The Directrice

Ivory camisole-tank: Ulla Johnson; Ivory blouse: JCrew; White top: Simone Rocha; Pants: Ann Taylor (these pants may be 20 years old)
Big Foot sighting

10 thoughts on “Tip-Tops: A Pair”

  1. I think the shoulder bows on the top top are a bit too two much. Is there a tailoring way to maintain the optionality of the shoulder strap length without the bows? Something like a decorative sliding mechanism? Also in ivory, of course.

  2. Ah, brings back fond memories of wearing thrift-store lingerie over t-shirts, but greatly elevated! I can see it working with or without the bows, depending on how fancy you feel on a given day. Somehow for me the bows create the sense that you’re wearing earrings. (Maybe I need to work on my spatial logic.) I have no idea where you’re hiding those alleged five pounds, btw.

  3. The pleating on the first top is amazing! I don’t find the bows too youthful, but I do find them too busy. The detail and beauty of the pleats is enough detail to carry the outfit.

    • p.s. I also once received an item with the security tag attached. I felt like a criminal even googling the problem of how to remove it, so wound up making a rather inconvenient roadtrip detour to have the store take care of it months later.


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