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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!