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Women's Tops:
10 Features and Trends

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Women's Tops: 10 Features and Trends

The modern woman has a lot of options when it comes to clothes. Now that the athleisure trend is on full display, it’s all about tops – comfy and cute items that take you from the gym to the beach and everywhere in between. Also, from year to year, the theme of wedding dresses is becoming more and more popular. It is believed that bridal fashion is a very conservative lady. White color, floor-length, lush wedding dresses, Empire style or tight-fitting "mermaid" - this is probably all that designers offer brides from year to year. Undoubtedly, all this is fabulously beautiful, but - more or less - traditional. Wedding dresses of 2021 look completely different. This is what our next article will be about.

Today we’re checking in on the latest trends in women’s tops, giving you the scoop on all the features and capabilities in the modern marketplace.

Let this article be your guide to women’s tops in 2021, because there’s a lot to know!

What Is the Difference Between a Blouse and a Top?

When you think about women’s tops, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you imagine a loose-fitting, billowy long sleeve shirt, you’re probably picturing a blouse. Blouses are traditional style clothing that was used for centuries, so if it doesn’t quite ring a bell, then don’t worry, fashion is changing!

Blouses typically have more fabric and are designed with a collar and buttons or snaps in the center. A belt or waistband can keep the blouse or button down centered and gathered in the middle.

The fashion world has shifted into an era now that presents women more comfortable clothing with a diverse range of upper-body garments, which is great news for our wardrobes!

What Are the Different Types of Tops?

We use the umbrella term “top” to cover many different shapes and styles. Let’s talk about the major types we see now.

Crop Top

The ultimate minimal top for women who want to show a bit of skin around the middle.

The crop top can be worn comfortably in spin class, at the yoga studio, out on the trail, or for a casual pit stop at the coffee shop. Plus, it serves as a great foundation for layering—cropped camis are a great option for this. Crop tops come as sleeveless,  short sleeve, and long sleeve top options, so you have a lot of versatility here.

Tank Top

The modern multi-tasking woman loves her tank tops, and for good reason. These garments are perfect for workouts and appropriate for any low-key activities indoors or out. 

Full range of motion and layer-ready - you’ve got to have a few tanks in the dresser. Tanks come with all different necklines—look out for v-necks, boat necks, square necks, and much more. There are also variations like halter tops for those who are looking to bare a little more skin. 

Tunic Tops

When it’s cooling down but not quite “sweater weather” yet, the tunic is the ideal garment for a sleek extra layer of warmth and comfort. They can come in multiple sleeve lengths, from cap sleeves, flutter sleeves or ruffle sleeves, and warmer long sleeves. 

Tunics tend to be a bit longer and extend below the waistline for a maximum cozy effect. Wrap yourself in lovely lightweight fabric and feel like royalty!

T-Shirt

Once a staple of working-class men in the mid-20th century, the classic crew neck t-shirt is essential for women who do it all. A scoop neck or henley neck tee is great for when you want to mix it up a little.

These garments offer some extra coverage on the upper arms and can power you through difficult workouts or just some daily errands out and about.

For a touch of added flair, try a graphic tee with distressed jeans and a cardigan over top, or keep it classy with a fitted v-neck top underneath a blazer. 

Athletic Top

Up for a game of tennis or golf? Maybe you just need something sportier to wear to the dog park or warmup for a group dance class?

There are no two athletic tops that look exactly the same, so find the desired fit to match your unique active pursuits. Jackets, bombers, hoodies, vests – it’s all there, so stock up.

What Should I Look for in a Top?

With so many brands out there, you could spend weeks shopping around before you find the right casual top for your needs!

Let’s examine the key features of a women’s top, so you know exactly what to look for and waste no time.

Sustainability

It’s not just a buzzword – sustainability ensures your garments are manufactured safely, ethically, and for maximum longevity.

Maybe you spend a bit more to fill your wardrobe with sustainable camisoles, short sleeve tops, or pullovers, but you can rest easy knowing those clothes are built to last and much better for the environment. Totally worth it.

Moisture Wicking

When the sun is shining bright or we’re taking on a physical challenge in the gym or studio, you need clothing that can keep up with you. It’s only a matter of time before we start to sweat!

That’s why moisture-wicking technology is so key when selecting your next top.

These materials ensure that sweat is drawn away from the skin, so you stay dry and focused on the task at hand. It’s safe, smart, and sanitary.

Lightweight

What good is a trendy top if the material weighs you down all day long? You want your garments to feel like almost wearing nothing at all, allowing for peak performance and comfort.

Bamboo viscose and organic cotton is an optimal lightweight blend, so find garments with that amazing material profile when shopping around.

UPF Sun Protection

You’re familiar with the SPF rating on sunblock, but your clothes are the first layer of defense in sun protection. Look for UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings of 50+ on your clothing labels to make sure you minimize UV exposure.

This will help minimize burns, photoaging, and may even help prevent skin cancer.

Breathable

There’s nothing quite like a breathable top that offers coverage, ventilation, and all-around airflow. If you’re a devoted gym-goer or spin-class connoisseur, you know this to be true!

Even if you’re wearing a minimal crop top or tank, breathable fabric makes a noticeable difference in comfort and performance.

Stylish

We tend to focus on utility when picking out activewear tops, but there’s no need to compromise on style with all these amazing modern options. Dressing up doesn't always have to mean a bodysuit or an eyelet lace tank—you have other options when it comes to being stylish.

Dressing for performance is important, but why not amplify your style as well? That’s the key to building a well-rounded wardrobe that will last for years to come.

Find your favorite colors, fits, silhouettes, and work them into your everyday outfits. That’s the beauty of today’s tops – almost anything goes.

What Tops Are In Style Now?

The basics never go out of style, but there are certain trends to keep in mind if you want to be on the cutting edge. Here are a few to follow now.

Knit Tops

Sleek, high-performance tops are great for the gym or a jog in the park, but knitted tops offer a more wholesome, old-school look that we can all appreciate.

They’re slightly warmer, but you can also find knit shirts in wrap top and turtleneck styles to give you the best of both worlds. Check them out!

Athleisure

You’ve heard the term a thousand times by now – athleisure is here to stay. Even if you aren’t planning on hitting the gym, you can wear sporty silhouettes and sneakers to full effect, just as they do in the Hollywood Hills.

Not all athleisure looks need to be form-fitting, so feel free to experiment with baggy or oversized tops that contrast with leggings and yoga pants. The rules are still being written, which means you can’t really go wrong.

Bright Colors

Nothing wrong with grey, black, and white activewear, but why not spice things up with brighter, bolder colors in your top collection? It’s not just electric neon green, yellow, and orange, but also jewel tones and pastels these days. 

Don’t shy away from color, especially in the spring and summer. You can upgrade a classic button front shirt and jeans by choosing some bright, seasonal colors. You can also incorporate these colors into a paisley or floral print or a tie dye if you're looking for even more oomph. 

Strong Shoulders

If you’ve been sculpting those shoulders in the gym all winter long, it’s time to show them off with tanks and tees that emphasize the collarbone and upper arms. If you're aiming to emphasize your collarbone, go for something with a scooped round neck or a split neck top to really draw the eyes to that area.

Many athletic tops are also designed to showcase the shoulders with some extra fabric up top, so puff sleeve tops or cold shoulder tops are great picks for casual outings or hangouts.

Y2K

Back to the future we go with eccentric Y2K styles. 

These are out-of-the-box tops that feature shiny silvers and patterns that would be right at home in Bladerunner! Just one or two statement tops can be your own personal time machine and turn some heads.

Sources:

Blouse vs Shirt: The Difference Between Blouse and Shirt | Sewing Is Cool

33 Different Types of Tops for Women (Great List) | Thread Curve

45+ Different types of tops | Sew Guide

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