fancy top update

You remember how I’ve been looking for a “fancy” top, something with a little more detail, something in more of an “evening” fabric, or with some kind of tailoring or decoration that sets it apart from the tshirts and tanks I currently have?

You might recall that I placed an order from a cheap fast-fashion retailer, hoping to avoid having to go into their store. I thought I might be able to find something that would work… but deep down I was a bit skeptical… of both the possibility that I would be able to get something that would fit and flatter, and that I would be OK with the quality and fabrication…

I was right to be skeptical. I ordered 4 different tops and a flowy cardigan. I tried them all on. Then I refolded them and sent them all back.

my overflowing to-do piles

If I was a fashion blogger I would have figured out my remote shutter thing and taken some pictures to show you why these tops didn’t work on me. I had the package set aside to do something like that. I set it right on top of my pile of “crap to do” which has been cluttering up my sideboard for months. And then I remembered that I’m much more of a simplicity blogger, if I’m going to be labelled. I was going near the post office on Friday, and this retailer has a short 30-day window for returns, and things were already chaotic enough around here with the cone-headed pug situation anyway, so I packed that bag up and got it out of the house!

So, no pictures. But I’ll tell you how it went. The first black top was so long, it hit just above my knee like a dress. Shapeless and see-through. I guess it was supposed to be a tunic…? But it was cut for someone closer to 6 feet tall than 5 feet tall. Another top was actually pretty good. If I hadn’t looked at the back, I would have kept it. It was a sleeveless grey tank, polyester of course, with a small open collar and buttons down the front – something a bit different for me. But the high-low hem thing that everyone is loving right now meant that the hem at the back hit a few inches below the bottom of my bottom. People with big backsides sometimes think that’s flattering, but it’s not. I need something to cut my rear in half. Not a butt-tent! Pass. Another top was ugly and wide and boxy even though I ordered one size down from what the size charts told me to choose. Actually all of the size 12s fit loosely, even though the charts said I should order a 14. That’s one of the reasons why I hate online shopping.

I ordered 2 different sizes of a hot pink rayon top, since it was the only non-polyester top that I was ordering, and it was a good color. Yes, I had hopes for this one. Until I touched it. Rayon is usually soft and flowing, but this was the coarse, sticky, and even more fake-feeling than the polyester. That was a big disappointment. And the color was a coral toned pink, not the clear hot pink I had been promised. By the time I tried it on I was pleased that it hung strangely because I really didn’t want it anyway. That top reminded me of why I really hate online shopping – the first thing I’m drawn to in real life shopping is color, and I run my hand over every fabric before I even really consider the cut or design. If the color or the texture are off, I don’t usually even bother trying a garment on.

The finely knit cardigan was a blended natural/poly fiber that felt really nice. The light blue color was quite pretty. It even fit well, and I was thinking it might work… until I got to the drapey panels in the front. I tried as many different ways of casually tossing the panels over my bust as I could – windswept, hanging, closer together, off to the sides – but they all looked horrible. Or at least, not particularly flattering. And the thought of doing anything while these extra panels of cardigan flopped around was not particularly appealing. Where would they sit while I was sitting eating dinner? I guess I’m not a frou-frou, drapey, kind of girl. Or maybe this just wasn’t the right kind of drape for me.


So I’m back to the drawing board. Or more accurately, I will continue to keep my eye out for a nice top. I haven’t even thought about going shopping in the last couple of weeks. I will eventually find myself in a thrift shop and I will see what I find. One of my thrift shop buddies is on summer break now, so we might hit some good shops. Or I will make an effort to go into the city and see what Nordstrom has.

I don’t really care that much. I  know that I will notice this gap in my wardrobe again, but I’m sure I will deal with it, probably by wearing a dress. That makes me wonder why I’m wasting all this energy. But I think it’s also a sign of my under-shopping tendency, where I avoid buying things I genuinely need because it’s difficult. I’ve been “looking for” winter boots for 4 or 5 years, and have only tried on a couple of pairs. Every year I just give up because the decision is too difficult.

I still have a pink tank top to dye. I had put that off for a while because I couldn’t find a dye pot. But now I’ve decided to use a bucket. Or maybe I have a friend with a top-loading washer that I could borrow. I still have a vague plan to add some embellishment to an existing tank. I could try to figure out something with a scarf to fancy up a plain top. (There are reasons I don’t care much for scarves – they bother my neck muscles, they feel like bibs if you wear them while eating, they look silly with summer clothes – “what, your arms are hot but your neck is cold?!” But maybe I can get past that.) It’s been suggested that I should design and make something myself, but since I still don’t know exactly what I am looking for or what would suit me, I don’t think that’s going to work. But who knows?! Maybe I will have a brainwave.

These blog posts might make it seem like I’m up nights trying to solve this problem. But trust me, I’m not. I don’t even think that “problem” is the right word. It’s just a niggly little thing. But it’s something I can write about. Do you know how hard it is to write posts about not going shopping, not looking at advertising, not getting new things every week, about wearing the same few things every day?! lol. Especially if you want to include pictures!

The good news is that June is half-way done and in a couple of weeks I get to choose a new P333 wardrobe for summer, if I want to. Any day now I’m going to pull down my “emergency” clothing box and see what’s inside – just a couple of dresses, I think. And then I’m going to drag my big tote out from the basement and do the full seasonal switch-over. I have several wintery things that I kept out for the spring transition that I can put away until October (yay!) and I have a few things that might need to get donated.

I think I might do a full inventory of my tote, something to add to my “what I wear” spreadsheet, so that I know what I have in storage. I think I might keep most of my wardrobe the same as it is now. I can’t really think of much that I want to pull out. Just a couple of summery dresses. I’ll let you know how it goes, of course.

Some other random good news:

-I put my name in for the class action suit refund on the Vibram 5-toe shoes. I was just about to donate them anyway, and now I can get a little bit of money back on them. (The company made claims about the shoes that they couldn’t back up – I don’t care, but I will take the cash anyway! $20-$90!)


Mimi this morning – before and after her appointment

-Mimi was declared perfectly healed when she got her stitches out this morning. The pathology report showed the inflammation and scarring that we expected, but no sign of cancer. Mimi’s vet technician is celebrating never having to express her tricky glands ever again.

-Mimi is happily sleeping her stress and troubles away, free from harness and cone.

Well, as always, thanks for stopping by!

And if we don’t talk before the weekend, Happy Solstice, whether it be summer or winter where you are.


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5 Responses to fancy top update

  1. Dale says:

    Happy Solstice to you too. Garden Club had a Solstice lunch today to celebrate so I don’t have to wonder what to have for dinner tonight. Glad to hear Mimi OK. Dale

  2. Emily says:

    I used to be a drapey cardigan kind of person, back before kids. In fact, a lot of my style has been somewhat forcibly changed since I had kids, and it’s not even just the breastfeeding. I think it’s the fact that I don’t go to work anymore.. At work I spent almost all of my time sitting, standing or walking, with a bit of squatting or kneeling here and there. Lots of skirts, dresses, drapey cardigans or flowing scarves, how pretty! Now with kids, the drapes on my cardigans just get in the way, and they’re not nearly as flattering when they’re tied up in front. So I find myself going almost exclusively for button-up cardigans now. Scarves are just a pain, between breastfeeding and just plain grabby babies and toddlers, even though I find them to be one of the easiest and most attractive ways to add interest to an outfit. They also tend to draw attention away from problem areas, which I like.. but they bother my neck muscles too sometimes. I have a lot of problems with that–necklaces can give me headaches, along with scarves, turtlenecks, collared shirts, anything with even light pressure on the wrong place on my neck can be a problem. It’s a bummer! Collared shirts would be the easy answer to getting something more loose-fitting but still flattering, but if you can’t wear anything on your neck, your options get a lot slimmer… it’s sad. I’m stuck between wanting something loose and flowy, and looking at myself in the dressing room mirror and being horrified at how giant I look in them. So I end up with a lot of plain stretchy tanks or tees, with no scarves or necklaces to dress them up. Kind of boring, but what can you do? Now that I spend most of my time, I definitely choose comfort over style!

  3. sanjoparolas says:

    “butt tent” and “what, your arms are hot but your neck is cold?!” had me laughing! :)

  4. loupammac says:

    I’m a big online shopper but I do also return a fair bit. I tend to stick to retailers I’ve used before and have an idea of how their garments fit. Some places now have videos of their models walking in the clothes so you can see length and fit. This is great especially if I’m buying a dress as most dresses now end just under the butt which is not okay with me. I hope you find a fancy top :)

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