statement tops! but make them vers(atile)
this made me think of you is mixed feelings’ audience-driven column dedicated to curating a digital window-shopping experience. Respond to this email, dm us, or comment below if there’s something you'd like us to shop for. This week, Amalie MacGowan shares their favorite statement tops from vintage Cavalli to Ganni.
I’m really bad at shopping for tops. For whatever reason, a top is the last thing I think about when creating an outfit. Which, if I’m being honest, is probably all wrong. Many of the most uniquely dressed people I know use their tops as a cerise sur le gâteau (the annoying way of saying “cherry on top” for those who studied French too long and have nothing to do with it now).
You wrote in asking about this top specifically. It’s made by Cordera, a sustainable Spanish brand that often imbues more structural or classic pieces with colorful twists. It’s sculptural and bold, yet has the noteworthy quality of being appealing to a wide range of personal styles: maximal, minimal, et al. (I know it’s sold out, but if you’re hooked on this one still I did find it still available here.)
For a high quality garment that you could wear hundreds of times (say, a good wool coat or a pair of loafers), it’s easier to swallow the bitter pill of a hefty price tag. A statement top is more complex: How many times do you envision yourself wearing it? Can you imagine at least three potential outfits styling it with the rest of your closet? It’s most likely not going to feature prominently in your everyday wardrobe, so it’s worth finding one at a more reasonable price, or one that you think you can both dress up and dress down.
I know you asked specifically for a dupe, but I’m broadening the horizons here, a little. Allow me to extoll some of the best bold tops I’ve found on the internet, and the ways I think you could wear them. I’ve organized them by sleeve length for easy perusing. Happy statement-making. — Amalie MacGowan, editorial director @
& Other Stories Smocked Top. Perhaps the most similar to the sculptural essence of the Cordera top, but with a more approachable price tag, I think this asymmetrical top would look chic with a knee-length pleated black skirt, a pair of printed tights, and some loafers.
Fiot x BRZ Striped Bow Shirt. This is me, if you even care!!! I love how literal this top is — literally dripping in bows in a way that almost looks homemade. Wear it buttoned to the hilt over a pair of black pedal pushers (I said it!!!) and kitten heels.
Lisa Says Gah! Rose Bow Mockneck Top. A marriage of the above two tops, almost? Delightfully layerable, I would wear this one with a fun black bra (because I personally must), ballet flats, black trousers, with a mini skirt layered over said trousers.
Femlord Tops. We talk about artist and airbrush expert Femlord in the office a lot. Two of my teammates happen to own button downs from this brand, and I can never stop thinking about them. There is usually only one of each style per drop. Sign up for notifications so you don’t miss out.
J.Kim Green Shiny Longsleeve. Pricier. I know. But I always keep my eyes peeled for sales on J.Kim items because I just love the petal cutout motif. Someday one of these will be mine. Maybe you make this one yours in the interim? Worn with track pants?
Cult Gaia Mala Top. Again, one of the more expensive pieces, but it hits on all the same points as the original top you shared. And the good news is you can usually find this top on The RealReal or Poshmark, where the price is a little nicer. It looks great with a matching pleated pant, or a wide leg jean and rhinestone belt, if you want to make it more Jenna Lyons.
Freya Mckee Multi-Wear Zipper Top. This is maybe the top I’m most excited about on this list. I just love all the elements. And the matching skirt? With knee-high socks? Mary janes? 7,000 necklaces?
Anthropologie Short Sleeve Peter Pan Blouse. Oh, Anthropologie. A veritable mecca of statement blouses. Make this one your own by wearing a colorful bra or a printed tank underneath and a floor-length or midi-length pencil skirt. And sneakers.
Vintage Soccer and Cycling Jerseys. I know this one feels a little rogue. But trust me. While I feel like jerseys are definitely in the zeitgeist right now, I do feel like these can be dressed up, down, and sideways. If you’re looking for a dressed up version, zip or button the collar all the way up and wear with an oversized blazer and a pair of trousers.
Ganni Cotton Poplin Blouse. What would this list be without a Ganni blouse? This one is extremely versatile and comes in a variety of colors and fabrics, so you can pick your poison. Me? I’d go with the leopard, a long silk skirt, and moto boots.
Grandmother Goods Zach Vest. I really love the colors in this piece and think it looks chic on its own, but could also look great layered over a mesh turtleneck (like this one) and once again — you guessed it — track pants.
Selkie Caviar Ponte Ribbon Corset. Selkie dresses have intimidated the teenage boy that lives inside me, but this corset has me intrigued. I love the idea of layering it over a victorian-esque black top like the one pictured here and contrasting printed trousers.
Free People Harmony Lace Tank. I find that silky tanks just don’t work for me me unless they feel a little worn-in, which is why I like this one so much. It would look good with any kind of bra showing through, pajama pants tied at the waist, and sneakers.