Women’s Tops Buying Guide

A great top is an integral part of any chic outfit, be it for work, play or otherwise. This women's tops buying guide outlines the various types and features you’ll want in your wardrobe.

Women’s Tops 101

Wearing the right top can show your personality, keep you on trend and turn a so-so ensemble into a runway-worthy outfit. A great shirt that suits your body type will also help you stay comfortable and feel terrific all day. Your choices in women's tops range from casual t-shirts, pullovers and hoodies to more formal polo shirts, blouses and cardigans. With so many different options, it's easy to match any bottom you already have in your closet. When shopping, get to know the features, functions and types of women’s tops, so you can build a versatile wardrobe to suit every occasion. 

Types of Women’s Tops

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Women’s T-Shirts

Women’s t-shirts are a popular fashion item because they’re comfortable, versatile and go with every bottom. Pair a basic women’s tee with a blazer, dress pants or pencil skirt for an easy professional look. Women’s t-shirts with bright colours, patterns and graphic prints can be worn with jeans and casual pants for a laid-back outfit that’s easily put together. Look for tees made from cotton or blended fabric, so they’re durable, breathable and easy to clean. Women’s t-shirts are available in a range of neck styles (including v-necks, crew necks and scoop necks) and sleeve styles (including long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless). With that much variety it should be a cinch to find a design that makes you look great.
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Women’s Blouses

Blouses dress up your wardrobe and can take you seamlessly from the office to a night out. There are many styles to choose from, including tunics, button downs, backless shirts and off-the-shoulder tops. Blouses are made from light fabrics so a smaller size can stretch for a body hugging look, while a larger size make for a draped fit — whichever suits the look you’re trying to achieve. With feminine details and embellishments, blouses can make your outfit look chic and sophisticated. Blouses pair well with dress pants, skirts and dark denim jeans. 
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Women’s Cardigans

Versatile and functional, women’s cardigans can be worn over blouses, women’s tees and camisoles. Pair them with jeans, dress pants or skirts for a look ranging from casual to well-dressed. When shopping, choose a cardigan design that matches your body type. A long cardigan can help make tall frames look lean, while cropped shrugs can show off your waist and curves. Cardigans can come in casual styles for everyday or feature sequins and beading to wear with formal wear.
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Women’s Hoodies

Women’s hoodies can be worn with jeans or yoga pants as a comfortable and casual weekend jacket. Made from cotton and sometimes fleece lined, hoodies have a full front zipper, front pockets and a hood to keep you warm during cold days and nights. 
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Women’s Polo Shirts

Originally designed as athletic wear, women’s polo shirts feature breathable fabric and a button front, so you stay cool and put together on casual work days or at outdoor summer events. Polo shirts also have a collar, giving them a dressier appearance than women’s tees, along with princess seams and a curved hem for a fitted, slimming silhouette. Women’s polo shirts pair perfectly with jeans, casual pants, shorts and casual skirts. 
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Women’s Pullovers

Women’s pullovers are a versatile option because they come in a variety of styles that can be casual or dressed up depending on your needs. Worn with jeans or casual pants, a pullover will keep you relaxed and comfortable on days off. For a preppy and professional work outfit, consider a knit women’s pullover worn over a button-down blouse, with dress pants or a skirt. Women’s pullovers can sit at the natural waistline or be tunic length to dress every woman’s shape. 
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Women’s Shirts

Women’s shirts are just as comfortable as women’s tees, but come in several different styles to add variety to your top wardrobe. They are made with soft fabric in an array of designs for you to create an easy, stylish and comfortable outfit that can be worn all day whether at work, at home or at play. 
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Tank Tops and Camisoles

Tank tops and camisoles are a wardrobe must-have because their function and style allows them to be worn in many different ways. Basic tank tops and camisoles can be worn as extra coverage under blouses and t-shirts. Tank tops with lace and embellishments can be worn under blazers, pullovers and cardigans for a bit of extra flare. You can also wear them on their own for a night on the town. Camisoles with a form-fit and thin straps are best suited to slender frames and narrow shoulders since they accentuate the upper body. Tank tops with wider straps, built-in bra support and draped hemlines offer style and coverage to women with more curves. 

Women’s Tops Buying Tips:

• Use size charts to ensure a proper fit
• Choose styles that suit your body type
• Buy basics before trendy pieces
• Pick versatile tops suited to different occasions so you always have something to wear
• Choose tops that complement the bottoms you already have
• Shop off-season for great deals
• Review washing and care tips to get the most longevity out of your tops
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning

Women’s Tops Features

Straight Collar +

Also known as an Oxford collar, the straight collar is most often found on button-down blouses to give the shirt a classy and professional look. When paired with pullovers or sweaters, this collar can pop out for a preppy, pulled-together appearance.

Peter Pan Collar +

This girly collar is shorter than a straight collar and has rounded edges. Popularized in the 1960s, the Peter Pan collar gives your outfit feminine vintage style.

Mandarin Collar +

This short unfolded collar is most often used on blouses. A Mandarin collar is less fussy and more fashion-forward than basic straight collars. This trim neckline helps create a professional look when paired with dress pants and blazers, but can also be used more casually when worn with jeans and other pants.

Crew Neck +

This high neckline is most commonly found in women’s tees, women’s shirts and women’s pullovers. The crew neck is popular and common in different women’s tops styles because it’s flattering for every body type.

V-Neck +

A v-neckline is so called because it looks like the letter V. The neckline dips low and gives the illusion of a long, slim neck. This style can also be worn by women with short necks and broad shoulders as it draws the eye down to create a slimming look.

Scoop Neck +

Like a v-neckline, a scoop neckline is low cut but looks like half a circle rather than a V. This neckline also helps create a slimming illusion for the neck and face because it draws the eyes downwards.

Sweetheart Neck +

A sweetheart neckline resembles the top curves of a heart. Most often found on tank tops, camisoles and blouses, this feminine neckline accentuates curves, and is perfect for elegant dinners and parties.

Boat Neck +

This high neckline runs wide across the shoulders and resembles a rectangle. Because of the wide opening that crosses your shoulders, boat necklines give the illusion of broader shoulders for women with narrow upper frames.

Off the Shoulder Neck +

Off-the-shoulder tops have a neckline that reveals both shoulders for a romantic look that can be worn during the day, but is best suited to evening events. Off-the-shoulder tops highlight your feminine form because they draw attention to your shoulders and make them look longer for the illusion of a smaller waist.

Halter Neck +

Featured in tank tops and camisoles, a halter neck has a sweetheart or V neckline with straps that tie around the neck. This feature also bares both shoulders and, like off-the-shoulder tops, elongates your shoulders for a womanly look.

Turtleneck +

The high neckline of a turtleneck will completely cover your neck. Turtlenecks are popular in the winter because they’re made from heavy or knitted fabric to keep you warm. Wear them casually, professionally or on evenings out with an appropriate skirt or pants.

Cowl Neck +

A cowl neck offers coverage like a turtleneck, but it's shorter and rolled down. This style of collar is most often used in cowl-neck sweaters. Like turtlenecks sweaters, cowl-neck sweaters provide warmth on cold weather, and can be used for casual daytime outfits, at the office or when going out on the town.

Bandeau +

Often used in tank tops and camisoles, bandeaus are a portion of a woman’s top that fits like a tight band across the chest. With either a flowing or fitted lower portion, this feature can offer extra support for women with larger busts. A bandeau can also be used as a supportive layering piece when worn with women’s tops that bare shoulders to avoid unsightly bra straps.

Cropped Tops +

Crop tops are T-shirts or blouses with a short hemline above the hips. Featuring flowing or fitted cuts, these women’s tops are best suited to casual settings because they bare the tummy. Crop tops can also be worn with a camisole underneath for a layered look if you’re uncomfortable with showing too much.

Corset Tops +

Corset tops feature a fitted bodice and underwire for support and tummy control. This women's top style resemble lingerie and its influences can be found in tank tops and camisoles to add feminine details.

Tunic +

Flowing blouses with hemlines that sit below the hip or mid-thigh are called tunics. Since they hang longer and provide more coverage, tunics can be worn with leggings or tight bottoms for a casual outfit that’s comfortable and feels dressed up. Tunics have a fitted upper body or empire waist with a loose hem that’s perfect for almost all body types, especially pear and hourglass figures since tunics can cover your hips without clinging. Petite women should choose tunics with short hems to avoid cutting off height.

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Care and Cleaning:

• Dry clean tops with delicate fabrics and embellishments
• Separate lights and darks when washing
• Wash 100% cotton in cold water
• Hang up blouses to retain shape
• Hand wash wool and delicates
• Always follow the manufacturer's directions for care and cleaning

Best Tops for Your Body Type

Women’s tops are designed for certain body types and shapes. Choosing tops that flatter your body will keep you feeling confident and comfortable. Women with a slim upper body and shapely hips should layer with women’s cardigans to balance their upper and lower body. Round body types look great in draped pieces like cowl neck sweaters and blouses. Hourglass shapes can wear body hugging and low-cut women’s tops to highlight their waist and curves. If you have a straight body, pick feminine camisoles, off the shoulder tops and women’s polo shirts that have rounded hems to add curves.
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