ClothingFilter: lightweight but long tops, plus size edition
June 9, 2018 11:28 PM   Subscribe

I would like more tops for summer that are light-weight and cool, but long-sleeved, and long length-wise.

Most of my summer tops are both short-sleeved and short in height. I am plus size and consistently find these tops too short, length-wise. They mostly have their bottom edge right in the middle of my abdomen, which is not flattering, and the back always feels like it's riding up into my waist and has to be tugged down. For Reasons (TM) I also do not like displaying my arms.

I want summer shirts that are long in height (preferably going down over my tummy and ass) and have long sleeves (preferably down to my wrist or close), but are made of material that is truly light-weight and cool (but not see-through).

Right now I have a grand total of one shirt that fits this bill. :-( There are some that come closer, but somehow they always want to end the sleeves too short (no, I don't have especially long arms). When I search online, I keep seeing tops/shirts/blouses/tunics like this that are advertised as "long-sleeved", but just... aren't.

Is there a special name for the type of shirt or clothing in general that provides coverage AND coolness? Does anyone have any recommendations for brands, types of fabrics, styles, or specific shirts?

I'm so tired of either being uncomfortable temperature-wise or uncomfortable with the amount of exposure I have. Halp!
posted by nirblegee to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I really like, their tops and dresses are well made and comfy and breathe well for hot summers.
posted by The otter lady at 11:51 PM on June 9, 2018

Best answer: If you are ok with rayon, try or Agan Traders, the tops are longer styles and the fabric is soft and loose.
posted by The otter lady at 12:00 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: Cos does this pretty well.
posted by frumiousb at 12:03 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: Not sure what size you're after but:

Some options from Lane Bryant



1, 2

Eshakti will usually allow you to customize sleeve length. They have a bunch of lighter tops right now that you could get with long sleeves like this one. I've had very good luck with the customizing options.
posted by hellomiss at 12:38 AM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You want a kameez or a kurti -- colorful Indian shirts that you can get in lovely lightweight cotton (among other fabrics) They seem to mostly like a 3/4 sleeve in India, but here's a long-sleeve one. This site lets you filter by size -- here are the kurtis available in 4X.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 1:16 AM on June 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Also seconding eShakti -- I'm plus size also, and having clothes made to measure has absolutely changed my life!
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 1:18 AM on June 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It sounds crazy, but I've had a lot of luck finding thin, pretty tunics at that are designated as bathing suit coverups. Some of the sleeves are bracelet or 3/4, others are full sleeve, but they are all usually at least thigh length with side vents so you can walk.

Also seconding the recommendation of looking at kurtis. They can be quite beautiful and come in beautiful fabrics and patterns.
posted by dancinglamb at 2:58 AM on June 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Tall sizes.
posted by brujita at 3:10 AM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Look at J. Jill for tunics. The specific shirt from them that I live in is 3/4 sleeves but maybe there will be something full-sleeved that catches your eye.
posted by Stacey at 5:01 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: For tee shirts and the like, I’ve found Duluth Trading shirts work well.
posted by tilde at 5:31 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: My summer uniform is a long sleeveless tunic worn under a longer open cardi. The material is just the right weight, not see-through and with a nice drape. I bought a few of each in different colors.

If it's not quite so warm out I might wear one of these shirts with a chiffon hem that also meets your criteria.
posted by 6thsense at 6:27 AM on June 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Coolibar makes sun protection clothing, so by definition long sleeved. A lot are casual, but they have some tops that are designed for work and such. Link to tops. Here's an example of a tunic shirt.
posted by gudrun at 7:58 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: Linen tunic JJill
Print Tunic -rayon JJill
Linen shirt LLBean
Linen Top CatalogClassics Don't know the copany, but I like the top
Linen tunic - ColdwaterCreek

Some people iron linen; I used to. It softens as it ages, and will wrinkle less. I throw it in the dryer with a damp washcloth and live with some wrinkles. It breathes well and is great for summer. I didn't prioritize long sleeves in my search.
posted by theora55 at 8:00 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: Seconding Duluth Trading Post - their "longtail" tees are specifically designed for this, and I wear them almost exclusively these days.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:58 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: Thirding kurtis. Just make sure they're cotton (not poly or silk) and a light color.
posted by redlines at 8:58 AM on June 10, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you for all the great ideas and links!

I love some of the kurtis. I feel cultural appropriation-ey when contemplating wearing them, but I'm thinking of getting over that because they are very appealing and exactly what I was looking for.

Also, I am a 2x. And rather boobsy. Because of that, the fronts of shirts tend to ride up on me, and the bottom hemline then ends before my abdomen ends, which is unflattering. Some of the shirts shown in the links look nice on the model, but would be too short on me because I have more boobage.
posted by nirblegee at 9:49 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: I like my shirts to be a bit longer length-wise too, so I started buying shirts marked "tall." There's usually the regular size, then petite and then tall. I am short, but I buy tall, and that has ensured I get t-shirts the length I want. I know, for instance, that Old Navy and the Gap sell "tall" shirts. That might help you.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:53 AM on June 10, 2018

Best answer: > I know, for instance, that Old Navy and the Gap sell "tall" shirts

...but only on-line. If you're considering Tall sizes, you can find them (on-line) at those stores, Eddie Bauer, Lands End, Athleta, Long Tall Sally, ASOS, Loft, and that's about it. Universal Standard might work for you.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:04 PM on June 11, 2018

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