I (petite, mid-20's woman) want to get rid of all my long-sleeved button-front shirts and replace them with things that are still work-appropriate but more flattering and maybe okay for non-work wear as well. What styles would work for me? Where should I shop? Special snowflake style preferences ahead.
I have a whole mess of button-front shirts that I brought soon after graduating college, in a massive "holy shit, I own nothing professional at all, button fronts are what women in non-profits wear, right?" binge. Four and a half years later I'm much pickier about clothing and choosing pieces to flatter my body, and I hate every last one of them. I suspect that button fronts are not doing my figure any favors. How and where should I go about picking better styles for me?
-Narrow-chested, 28-30D bra size depending on brand. (Figured this out following the fitting guidelines on /r/abrathatfits
, pretty sure of the measurements.)
-Slightly long-waisted but not dramatically so.
-Skinny-armed; tops with flowy sleeves make me look like I'm drowning in fabric.
Things I like in tops:
-Full-length sleeves, not 3/4.
-Natural fibers. I am a knitter, and I know just enough about fiber types and fits from that to be extremely picky and a pretty good judge of quality fabric.
-Bright solid or semi-solid colors, prints that are bright but not overly attention-grabbing.
-Silhouettes that are as fitted as I can get away with at work.
-Things that I can pair with brightly patterned scarves.
I do not like:
-100 percent polyester or acrylic anything.
-Anything that hits considerably below the waist.
-Anything sheer or gauzy.
-Excessive ruffles or flowery details.
-Overly twee prints and patterns.
Other things that might be relevant:
-My current work environment is on the more conservative side fashion-wise, but not so corporate that I need to wear a suit every day. For the winter I'm alternating between dresses with boots and nice tops and slacks. Any job I move to from here will likely be more business casual.
-Given infinite time, money, and skill, I would probably knit more of my own tops. Patterns like this
are the sort of thing I look for in a shirt or sweater; close-fitting, in a semi-solid color, basic shape but with some lace or cable details for added interest. Unfortunately I am a very slow knitter and good yarn in sweater/shirt quantities is a big investment.
-Most of my current clothes come from thrift and consignment stores, with a few things from fast fashion places sprinkled in. I have no clue what a reasonable budget for decent-quality new anything would even look like.
-I'd prefer things that don't need dry cleaning or delicate cycles in the washing machine, but that's not an absolute deal breaker.
I've looked through a lot of past fashion AskMes and looked over some of the store names that crop up a lot. There are some things on ModCloth that look like the general aesthetic I'm after, but there's an awful lot of polyester there. Ditto eShakti. Boden and Loft strike me as awfully boring. I have easy access to Macy's but none of the other giant department store chains. I love the idea of picking out individual vintage or custom-made tops on etsy, but I'm not sure where to began wading in there. I'd rather avoid the most egregiously low-quality fast-fashion places.
Am I too much of a picky snowflake here? Or is there hope for me yet?