Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snoop Shopping for Fall/Winter Tops

Every single Fall/Winter I find myself (1) not having any long sleeve tops and (2) hating the ones that I technically don't even have because I have no long sleeve tops. Two years ago I embarked on "Two Weeks of Winter Work Tops" and I STILL have no long sleeve tops. Ugh!!!! While I wear dresses almost exclusively in summer, for some reason I turn more to separates in winter.

So, I decided it was time to look for some inspiration at Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom. It turns out that nobody has any good ideas for winter work tops, so at least I'm in good company. There were a lot of basic t-shirts and basic blouses, but we all know that I don't do basic.

I found a handful of inspiration pieces (and if you haven't seen SewBeDo's FABULOUS bow t-shirt variation of the BurdaStyle Lydia, check it out and encourage her to do that tutorial!).

The twist top is still popular, as shown by the 3.1 Phillip Lim Twist Front Cashmere Pullover - Nordstrom $495 and Nic + Zoe Twist Front Top - Nordstrom $63.90 on sale variations.

3.1 Phillip Lim Twist Front Cashmere Pullover - Nordstrom $495 Nic + Zoe Twist Front Top  - Nordstrom $63.90 on sale
The Nic + Zoe I could easily pull off, as it just appears to be a twist overlay and at this point the cat is out of the bag on how to do twists. I can fantasize about somehow modifying Butterick 5079 (one of my unreviewed projects) for the 3.1 Phillip Lim, but I know there's no way I'd figure that puzzle out.

I love this Kate Spade blouse ($275, Bloomingdale's) from the front *and* the back.

kate spade new york _Bisous_ Ruffled Silk Blouse - $275 Kate Spade Bisous Ruffle Silk Blouse - Back
The website doesn't mention a closure, so it appears that it just pulls over the head. This makes me wonder if it is clipped in the photos, because that cut looks too slim to comfortably wriggle over the shoulders, but of course if I made it I could always put an invisible zip in the side. Love the ruffles, the non-exaggerated sleeve, and the tame looking collar in front that ties in a bow in back. This is the kind of mood I am in for blouses this Fall--soft and feminine, not a traditional shirt-tailored kind of piece.

The peasant blouse still lives--here are some from Michael Kors ($64.90, Nordstrom) and a t-shirt version by Cameo Appearance ($48, Nordstrom)

MICHAEL Michael Kors Kimono Sleeve Silk Blouse - Nordstrom $64.90 on sale Cameo Appearance Sequin Top - Nordstrom $48

I like the sleeve shape on the Kors version--that rounded opening appeals to me, and is a little different than the normal balloon with more fullness on the lower half of the sleeve than the upper--does anyone know what this style of sleeve is called? That style sleeve first came to my attention in relation to a DVF copycat controversy. I like the open sleeve on the tee, it's more laid back. The jury is still out on whether I can wear this style that balloons over an elasticated hip, though. I like my Simplicity 4020 top, so maybe.

Tadashi Shoji Twist Front Stretch Taffeta Blouse - Nordstrom $238

LOVE this Tadashi Shoji blouse (Nordstrom, $238). The faux wrap and the peplum with the coordinating pleats is so cute, and the collar is excellent, so much more fun than a traditional shirt collar but not over the top.

I could live without the beading. I could also live without the zip all the way down the back (???--I don't get it), but I'd move it to under the arm.

I have Vogue 7998, a wrap top pattern that might be adaptable. (That I have all these ideas that could be done does not, by any stretch, mean that any of them will get done, of course.)

It also turned out I am ahead of the trend with some stuff I made for *last* Fall/Winter: the Knip Mode twist top I was so obsessed with and a BWOF dress.


The BWOF 10-2008-115 dress isn't identical because the Bloomingdale's dress has a surplice/faux wrap neckline and no gathering in the skirt. I like the BWOF version better, actually. This dress isn't really for work, though, and I already have a million ideas for dresses anyway. DolmanDressCompare
The Knip Mode 04-2008-13 twist top, as far as I can tell, is an exact match for the TWO different variations at Nordstrom. I need to make one or two more of those!

I found a few more ideas for ruffles and bows and more ruffles (though I would make that last one a blouse, not a cardi) but honestly it was slim pickings. You can check out the whole set here. Please pass on all your good ideas and inspiration!


cheryl said...

I happen to like the sleeve on that Kors shirt as well! And I know I had seen something similar:
Its a jacket, but maybe it could be made a little bigger and some elastic around the arm?

Melissa said...

I totally need some new long sleeve shirts in my closet! Great snoop shopping picks.

Little Hunting Creek said...

That twisty top looks a lot like teh HotPatterns 3 Graces top
I love the blouse that ties in back. But how do you tie such a pretty bow behind you?

Myra said...

Good inspirational photos, I am sure you can pull a few out of the hat.

Carol said...

I wish I liked twist front tops. I've made two and chucked them both out. They look so good on other people and on me they just look stupid. I've also made the BWOF dress you've shown and while it looks great on you, it looks really stupid on me. As a result, all my winter tops and plain old long sleeved t-shirts. I use the same old pattern and occasionally change the neckline - very boring. I'll be watching to see what you come up with.

Rose said...

Thank you for summarizing what is currently in the stores. It's fun to see how Burda and Knip anticipate well ahead of time what will be in retail and how thes magazines can place savvy sewists ahead of the curve.

I know that you mean about long sleeved shirts--I need to make some 3/4 length sleeved shirts for the upcoming fall/winter.

Rose in SV

Linda said...

I have been top snoop shopping also and found some of the same ones. It is great we sew so we can knock off the look; but only if I had more time of late.

Marie-Christine said...

One could get a bit tired of twist tops, but the Lim is very similar to an old Miyake Vogue that I'm still making because it still looks so good... not so much decollete, but interesting and different every time you rearrange it.

I see what you mean about boring t-shirts, but I think you of all people can handle that, because you're not afraid of a nice wild print. I've found it more effective for myself to use solids for interesting shapes, so the construction shows well. But a plain fitted long-sleeve shows off the wild prints best, and nobody notices you're wearing 6 of the same even if you point it out..

I second the suggestion of 3-graces for this year's hot new draping. There's a fine very cowley t-shirt in a Fall Burda too which would be much easier. Also I notice you totally overlook Jalie, which makes very nice well-fitting tops suitable for cold climates, DC isn't Montreal but still.

PS: looking back on your 2-weeks last year, if I were you I'd fish back out of the closet the grey blouse from 6/07 ('too distinctive') and the blue top from 10/07 ('too ugly') which are neither of those snap judgments but both very current.. and wear them :-).

Sue said...

I love that last cardi pic you showed. I would use that still here in Summer as our weather can still tend to be mild. I also love that BWOF dress and wish I had made one but will add it to the to-make list. It is amazing the trims, ruffles, etc that are on clothes at the moment. I like the idea but I am not generally a ruffles/trims person so will take it as it comes...

Lindsay T said...

I like that Kate Spade top the best.

NGLaLALa said...

Ooo... i love all these tops! Thanks for sharing!

Lisette M said...

If you have Patrones Extra No 272, number 11 is a dress with the same type of sleeves as the Kors top ( I don't know what they are called either)

Sherril said...

Trina, thank you so much for sharing your snoop shopping. I fell in love with the Tadashi Shoji blouse as well. I think I could even manage the beading. However, on me, I think the colors should be reversed. I can't wait to see your version of this one.

Anonymous said...

I love that Burda dress on you and that's so cool that you were ahead of the trends.


Anonymous said...

The Kate Spade looks like it has buttons on the neck and the ties to the back to cover the vee inset. It would easily be reproduced with a good 70's pattern with a jabot (I haven't seen this style on modern patterns). The ruffles wouldn't be hard to recreate.

As far as ideas go...none here. I don't like the new stuff and don't even bother with making any of it.

amber said...

You have some great inspiration tops there. I'm really trying to force myself to wear more skirts and dresses this fall/winter as I'm usually a pants girl when it gets cold. Good luck making some l/s tops!