I have twelve:
- 2 white Madewell t-shirts (Update: a child scribbled permanent marker on one, leaving me with a single white t-shirt and lots of new "handkerchiefs")
- 1 white American Apparel tank top
- 1 black Petit Bateau t-shirt
- 1 black H&M tank top
- 2 black crop tops, one H&M lace-up, one American Apparel square neck, except I'm extremely short torsoed (I know that's not a word) so on me they are like actual shirts
- 2 black bodysuits, one American Apparel v-neck, one Reformation turtleneck
- 1 black Reformation top
- 1 undyed rib merino wool sweater, from the 80s or early 90s
- 1 Etoile Isabel Marant plaid button up
All secondhand, mostly natural fabrics, mainly cotton, with some linen, some tencel, and a small percentage of elastane in the American Apparel crop top and bodysuit (don't compost natural fibers for use in your garden unless they are undyed or Oeko Tex certified). So far I've consigned or sold all the tops in previous posts, except for one Madewell t-shirt I cut into handkerchiefs. I'm surprised anyone even married me, when I can barely commit to a white t-shirt. I'm always bad about picking out tops that look good, because I'm a sucker for a beautiful cut or a lovely fabric, frequently ignoring whether the neckline actually suits me. Another problem I have is with knit pure cotton or linen fabrics- they stretch and bag horribly as you wear them, and don't bounce back into shape until the next wash. Since I dread shopping for another t-shirt again (although I objectively admire the deadstock ones at Rawson), I've resorted to tying them at the waist to get the desired fit.
How did I live with one sweater in Cleveland, one of the worst places to winter in America? (Before anyone starts arguing with me, I went to Boston, Vermont, and Montreal with only this sweater right after that giant winter storm and asked why all the cars had wooden brushes. The rental car guy said, "Because plastic ones break. You must not be from a place that gets a lot of snow." I said I was from Cleveland. He immediately apologized) Even thin merino wool is super warm and temperature regulating, especially layered under camel. The material dries fast, so I could handwash it in the morning and air dry (or hang outside to freeze dry, a tip I learned in Greenland). Wool is odor absorbing, so I don't need to wash it often.
I'm really pleased with Reformation's eco rib, which is the warmest non-wool, non-silk material I've ever worn. 88% tencel, 12% spandex, it washes nicely, I just have to stop the drain and water an indoor plant with the wash water. Ribbed tops are very forgiving, and the fabric sucks me in so I don't look like a sausage. I gave up on silk (too clammy), crepe (I always caught my fingernails on them), and collared shirts a long time ago, and for the most part, avoid buttondowns. I don't know how the Kardashians wear them- I read they buy to fit the bust and tailor the rest of the shirt, but this never worked for me. All the tailors I've been to couldn't adjust the shoulders or waist enough.
Every summer, I always want one of those white French country style tops, with the pintucking and the lace, either in the Jane Birkin or Brigitte Bardot style. I have yet to find the right one (Update: I found it at a thrift store for $0.99. Looks almost exactly like this, only fully lined, wider straps, buttons up front with a placket behind the buttons for modesty and snaps to keep my bra in place). They're always too sheer, or not bra friendly. Also, to reiterate, I hate shopping, so I guess I'm not really looking carefully enough. Things I look for:
- Square neck, v-neck, or turtleneck
- Close fitting
- Cropped right at the waist- I drown in longer tops
- Pocket t-shirts- I actually use the pockets! I stick food in them
For reference I wear XS or S at Reformation and their size charts are always accurate. XS at American Apparel and Etoile Isabel Marant (although Isabel Marant runs huge- that shirt needed to be taken in and shrunk), the twelve year old's size at Petit Bateau, XXS at Madewell, and I have no waist. I am sounding more and more unlikeable and entitled with each post but, there it is.