Help me find nice tops that are not crewneck tees please, online
August 5, 2021 12:19 PM   Subscribe

That’s it. My closet is full of mostly black, some red, peach, rust — but mostly black tee shirts. I have just lost 50 lbs and I would like to buy a few new tops. I have checked out: j jill, chicos, coldwater creek, woman within, jessica london , zuri, nordstrom and except for zuri (which at $120 per top is a bit $$$ for me) —- I am not seeing anything I want to buy. Big, blousy, or… crew neck tee shirts seem to be on offer.

I have short pixie cut silver gray hair, blue eyes, very fair skin. I have a wonderful earring collection, not $$ just jazzy and unusual.

I am 5’3”, 154 lbs, 40DDD 41/36/41 — I have a little belly and always will and don’t care and no butt. And while at age 68 I am not looking to attract attention (never wanted that) I want to feel comfortable not tented. I can tuck shirts in now — joy!! My legs are skinny and I have bought j_jill smooth fit slim leg Wearever petite pants, Raffael slacks, all in black, gray, navy, and comfortable jeans elsewhere so I am good there.

But where do I shop online for stylish tops, preferably with 3/4 sleeves? Thx for your help <3
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A scoop-neck tee from Duluth Trading just arrived in my mail today and it's a thumbs-up from me. Maybe they'd have something up your alley? I have bat wings for upper arms, and I like that the sleeves on this one are elbow-length.

Various offerings, maybe check them out.
posted by mcbeth at 12:33 PM on August 5, 2021

I'm a huge fan of boatneck/slash neck tops with 3/4 or elbow sleeves. Some of my favorites are from Boden and J Crew. (Apparently my very favorite J Crew top is only sold in XXS-S right now, and even with its generous fit I can't recommend a S for your size. I'm a very pear-shaped 38D and M is a good "casual but not tented" fit)
posted by All hands bury the dead at 1:04 PM on August 5, 2021 [8 favorites]

LL Bean usually has a nice selection of tops with necklines that are not crew necks, and they offer some styles with 3/4 sleeves.
posted by Lycaste at 1:15 PM on August 5, 2021

Soft Surroundings

posted by essexjan at 1:20 PM on August 5, 2021

Your bust measurement and bra size don't make sense to me. I think your band size might be way too big for your frame. (Every body is shaped differently, but as a for instance I have a 41" (unbra'd) bust measurement and I wear a 34G.)

If you want to go braless or don't care about your bust shape, listen I am here with you, go for it. But if this is a thing that you're interested in caring about, having a bra that fits you well and gives you good support will open up a whole world of shirt options, and solve a LOT of the "tenting" issue no matter what shirt you wear.

If you live near a brick and mortar Nordstrom I've gone there for bra fittings before and have been made to feel extremely comfortable by their professional staff. Call ahead to make an appointment with a fit specialist.

That said I have no good advice for tops, I'm going to be a scruffy t-shirt kid til I die.
posted by phunniemee at 1:26 PM on August 5, 2021 [6 favorites]

Most of my work shirts (so, not t-shirts) are from J. Crew and Banana Republic, which carry a lot of cute tops of varying sleeve length with interesting prints/fabrics. Both stores have frequent steep sales built into their business model, so never pay full price - wait a few weeks for one of the inevitable 30-40% off sales and see if anything is to your liking.
posted by superfluousm at 1:31 PM on August 5, 2021

I see from your profile that you're in NYC. I agree that you might need a bra fitting, particularly as you've lost weight. I'd recommend either WeFit Lingerie on 3rd Ave/36th St or Town Shop at Broadway/81st St for expert fitting.
posted by essexjan at 1:35 PM on August 5, 2021

Response by poster: For those of you who think my bra size is nuts, you’re probably not wrong. Over time I have been fitted by Linda at her shop on 3rd. But after a triple bypass surgery, which I have likened to being spatchcocked like a chicken, my back/under chest measurements have gone awry. I have been back to Linda and she said this happens. I could use another fitting after the weight loss, for certain.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 2:22 PM on August 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I had forgotten about Banana Republic — that was my go to back in the ‘70s (I know, none of you were born then) when I was bucking office “ladies” suits. I will check that out. Ok, stepping away now.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 2:38 PM on August 5, 2021

MM LaFleur requires a lot of exercise of discretion, but sometimes you can find a more interesting piece there that isn't just goofy.

BR and Ann Taylor have both gone way down in quality since your day, I'm afraid (since they've gone way down just in mine). Just brace yourself.
posted by praemunire at 3:11 PM on August 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Another recommendation for Nordstrom, but for a personal stylist. Ask at the store and see if you can talk to a couple of them. When you make an appointment, tell them everything you can that will help them fit/style you. Also, set a budget, and tell the stylist what it is.
I went when I was still working, and she really helped me understand what worked for me.
Do this after your next bra fitting. Good luck, I’m sure there are styles out there you can rock!
posted by dbmcd at 3:33 PM on August 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh my, mm lafleur has some very interesting items on sale but I have just kicked my budget into 2022 (in fact, I should now hide my ccds, and am glad I already made my contribution to Metafilter) So I have been scrolling all day and bought 3 basic but nice square neck tops. I have to say: what the heck? We need new designers and deserve new fabrics — most of this stuff was for sale when I was a teen. Then I ended up at Dillard’s and scrolled thru 31 pages and found sale items by Ali Miles, I.N. Studio, Ruby Rd, Karen Kane. I tried to avoid B&W but… There is some color in there. Since sizing is an unknown I will hope for the best; and, it’s not as if I am going anywhere soon. But if any of these fit, it will be a nice change from the 2 Wintersilk shirts I have long held on to from my slimmer days. And something to look forward to when NYC is closer to normal as well. Thank you all for your suggestions — credit card on ice for a while!!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 7:15 PM on August 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Once you find the brand, style and size you like, Poshmark is your friend.
posted by Joleta at 8:37 PM on August 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Sounds like you're set, but I've enjoyed shopping through Macy's site -- their search interface is great. You can, for example, specify from nine different neck line options.
posted by amtho at 8:54 PM on August 5, 2021

For bras, if you're interested, check out the subReddit r/ABraThatFits and/or the associated website A Bra That Fits.

Because chances are, both what you're wearing and what you'll get told by bra fitters is both wrong. ;)
posted by stormyteal at 12:09 AM on August 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I appreciate the additional comments! I am still reading, and if I find a good bra before I turn 70 LOL wouldn't that be a hoot!
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 8:59 AM on August 6, 2021

T-shirts: I'm about your size, and I love the scoop necks from Splendid. The scoop is not too deep for me, even though there is not much room between my collarbone and my waist and a lot of other scoops show too much skin. Plus I love the ribbed cotton fabric.

The color selection is not extensive

Bras: There used to be a bra-fitting blog called "Your Band is Too Big and Your Cup is Too Small," and that about sums it up! My very, very back-of-the-envelope calculation is that your bra size is 36E/F UK or maybe a 38DD/E UK. You can buy UK-sized bras anywhere, you don't have to go to England for them, and I've found that they have much more room for my 36F rack than US-sized bras do.)

A couple of bras that people with soft tissue have liked on Reddit and on Bratabase, another online boob-haver gathering spot: Freya Offbeat Side Support Bra (5451) and the Fantasie Twilight Side Support Bra (FL 2542).

If you try on the Offbeat, mail order or in person, go up a couple cup sizes; people say the cups run small. So: 36FF/G; 38F/FF

That said: There are a zillion bras out there, and these are only two of them. What's more, I am totally guessing at your size! So if you click the above links and you think, "No way, never, not for me," that is totally cool. Take what you need and leave the rest, as they say.
posted by virago at 12:14 PM on August 6, 2021

I don't see my beloved Splendid 1x1 Scoop Neck Rib Tee anywhere online, but there's a scoop neck Splendid 2x1 Rib Solid Tee that looks pretty similar! Here's a link to the same tee in a long-sleeved version; the color choices are more saturated and I think they'd pop better on you. Btw: I still wear an M in Splendid even though I don't wear that size in any other brand. Go figure.

For discounts on Splendid T-shirts, check places like Nordstrom Rack and 6pm. Good luck!
posted by virago at 12:27 PM on August 6, 2021

Third (and last, I promise!) comment: If you'd like to be fitted and try on a bunch of bras in different styles and sizes, Laura Stephens, owner of the Rack Shack in Bushwick, Brooklyn, stocks sizes 28A-44K UK (44O US) and has a reputation for being kind, body-positive, nonjudgmental and willing to listen to the customer.

I can't vouch for her personally, but if you do a search online using words like "Rack Shack Brooklyn reviews," you'll see that a lot of people have had good experiences there. (Be sure to include "Laura" or "Brooklyn" in your search, because there's a barbecue restaurant in Minnesota with the same name whose customers are equally enthusiastic!)
posted by virago at 12:53 PM on August 6, 2021

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