Wednesday 8th February 2023
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19 tops with really good prints

rails lip shirt

Tops with really good prints are a nice shortcut to having a “look,” and I am all about style shortcuts this time of year. I think this  lip print is both chic and cheeky.

marant blouse

I ordered this Etoile Isabel Marant top over the weekend, and it came yesterday and is so good that I put it on immediately (with a cami; it’s pretty sheer). The print is unstoppably cool, and is also blue and black, which is maybe my favorite color combination.

& other stories red blouse

I like the idea of dots on a red background. It’s so nice and bold.

j crew liberty top

Just a very cheery Liberty of London option.

mango purple top

Something about the fact that the dots on this tie-neck top are outlined in black makes the whole enterprise more sophisticated.

vince smoke top

This popover looks so comfortable and slouchy, and the print is nicely moody, if that’s a thing.

& other stories pink top

I enjoy the pops of pink here.

rixo top

A very feminine choice, and a very good red, which I’m always partial to.

mango starburst top

Click through and magnify the image, and you’ll see that this button-down has the cutest starburst pattern.

iro top

I’d wear this blouse under a blazer, or on its own once it gets warmer. I think it’s just gorgeous.

mango green top

Green and black is a rare—and pretty compelling—color combo, and I think the floral here is really sweet.

kule top

The stripes on stripes on this crisp cotton shirt intrigue me.

petersyn top

And the rainbow stripes here are just a delight.

mango knot top

The knot front here is excellent camouflage for a poochy stomach, and the print is appealingly retro.

giada forte top

I just think the print on this somewhat splurgy Giada Forte top is so delicate and pretty.

velvet top

I always like an oddly-shaped dot, and the flourish at the arms here is unexpected and appealing.

mango bow printed top

This blouse has a somewhat trippy print, but I really like it.

& other stories heart top

Maybe the chicest heart pattern I’ve ever seen.

j crew elephant top

This elephant print is just good fun.

Here is a post I did recently on cute tops that cost under $100.

Posted on February 15th, 2018 12 Comments

12 Responses

  1. Kristie says:

    The cloudy-looking popover made me swoon. I clicked through THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE DOLLARS. For a BLOUSE?! Okay, it’s silk, that’s nice. It’s made in China. That… honestly it just kind of made me sad for the world.

  2. KimFrance says:

    I try to always include pieces with a wide range of prices here, Kristie. I’m sorry you fell in love with one of the pricier ones. But when people pay this much for a blouse, they’re doing it because—as you mentioned—it’s swoon-worthy. Every once in a while Mango or Topshop will have an item so good it stops me in my tracks. And sometimes I pay more, because a piece is really special. I do think that top (from Vince, who as a rule charge more than I think they should, just fyi) is special.

    • Kristie says:

      I understand that, and did not intend to imply criticism of your work; I apologize for being unclear about that. I am a yearslong daily reader; I see the different ways you strive to be responsible in your work, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. It’s kind of you to take a moment to respond!

      To clarify: if Vince were using better labor practices than most, I’d be all for their high prices. I worked for a lot of years with an artist/designer friend who made handbags that I sold in her store when I was young; I understand labor costs intimately. The burn for me is in the gap between the cost of this garment and the near-certain quality of compensation for those who make it. That Vince’s prices are so high if there isn’t an unusually good labor situation going on; ugh. That’s about Vince, not your blog! I’d be delighted to learn I was incorrect about this and that they have fine labor practices I am unaware of, but I think you’d know and have said so if this were the case.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful reply!

  3. Viajera says:

    I agree with both of you! I *try* to give money to people who behave well … but sometimes it’s too hard to know who they are, or I am just desperate and I have to get something. One *must* cover one’s bits!

    I tried not too long ago to see if I could find a group that monitors this, but I didn’t have enough time to get to the bottom of it. I think there are this and that consortia out there … but I didn’t get to a place of clarity about it.

    And I’ve read in the news that a lot of retailers/brands move their operations around so often, it is hard to monitor.

    Which is a long way of saying, I would be grateful to anyone here who has tips about this. It is nice if people say warm fuzzy things on their website. It is not sufficient though. (Plus, why do I get the feeling that the added cost wouldn’t be that much? Or, am I kidding myself?)

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      A very good question, Viajera. It SHOULD be easier to find out the sources of manufacturers of our clothing. We seem to know that about cars and a whole lot of other stuff. Why not clothing? I know Everlane has attempted to do this, but my understanding is that it’s not a seamless process and the much-hyped “transparency” leaves something to be desired.

      • Viajera says:

        Yes, I can imagine it could be pretty complicated if the clothes are made far away, what with time difference, language, yadda yadda. And I wouldn’t want to be too gotcha about it anyway. I am really just looking for consistent, good faith efforts. In an ideal world, people wouldn’t be afraid about what might be revealed, if they trusted that observers and consumers would be fair. I guess we aren’t there yet.

  4. c.w. says:

    I typed into Google “where can I purchase responsibly made clothing” and a bunch of sites popped up. Here are two. Don’t know if this helps. For me, if I spend more on an article of clothing I tend to wear it more often because I don’t want to “waste” my money. I am working on only purchasing “swoon worthy” clothing (I love that phrase!) because I want to enjoy everything single thing I put on my body. I also think the Vince blouse is swoon worthy and the Isabel Marant. Both are so, so good.

  5. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Thanks, cw! I’m a big fan of the Vince blouse, too. As well as a whole lot of the rest! Gorgeous choices, Kim!

    I’ve been telling myself that it’s time to put my sewing skills back to work. I need to source some great fabric and get a few patterns for pieces I know I could make more cheaply to achieve a similar look. It used to be fun!

    • Timefortea says:

      I recently invested in a sewing machine for that exact reason! I was stunned at how inexpensive they have become and equally stunned at how inexpensive good quality fabric is on line. Plus, all Kim’s suggestions are a never ending source of inspiration. Thankfully, now I will be sewing for fun and not because I need clothes…. there are some benefits to being older.