Effortless, comfortable and stylish, ladies' summer tops are some of the most essential elements of a well-rounded wardrobe. As soon as temperatures rise, women break out their cutest skirts, shorts and capri pants. All that's left to complete the look to perfection is a great top.
Styles of Ladies' Summer Tops
Since the ultimate goal during cold periods of the year is to remain warm and snug in harsh conditions, styling possibilities are generally somewhat limited - even for the most chic women in the world. Let's face it: there's not much glamour to be found in the middle of a terrible snowstorm.
Summer, though, is when anything is possible. Layers of clothes are shed, replaced instead by an alluring peek of skin here and there, a low-cut neckline, a shorter skirt and more vibrant colors. Suffice it to say that summer's styles are available in a wide variety of hues, prints, cuts and fabrics, all designed to keep you looking and feeling cool in even the warmest temperatures.
Tops worn during summer play an important role in your overall outfit. Ideally, they complement your bottom of choice perfectly while keeping you comfortable and looking your best. They're constructed with lightweight, breathable materials, like cotton and linen. Tops designed for summer wear include:
- Camisoles: Though camisoles are typically worn in the bedroom or as layering pieces beneath suit jackets and cardigans, they do make for great summertime options, too. Skip the lingerie-inspired styles and opt for a vibrant color embellished with just a hint of lace or beading; worn with jeans, shorts or a denim skirt, the look is evocative of summer casual glamour.
- Halters: Halter tops are a sexier option for a summer day. They show off toned shoulders and typically tie at the back of the neck. The halter top is a dressy alternative to a basic tank top.
- Peasant: Peasant tops are dressy enough to make quite a statement on their own. For this reason, they're great to wear with simpler bottoms. Many can be worn on or off the shoulder, and the majority feature drop waist silhouettes, which lend them a blousy, sophisticated appearance.
- Tanks: Easy and timeless, tank tops look right at home with everything from cutoff shorts to floor-grazing skirts. Since they vary from style to style, some tanks may reveal more of the chest or shoulders than others. Look for thicker straps if you prefer slightly more coverage.
- Tubes: Tube tops may not be as common as, say, tanks or tunics, but they certainly have their time and place during the summer months. Wear these sleek, fitted tops with a pair of slim pants on an evening out, or throw a small bolero or cropped cardigan on top for a little extra coverage during the day.
- Tunics: The tunic has enjoyed a strong resurgence in recent years. It is now a ubiquitous part of a fashion-forward woman's closet, and is available in many variations. During summertime, draped sleeveless styles are ideal, but even a sheer long-sleeved version is suitable for women who prefer a bit more coverage.
During the summer, daytime and nighttime looks differ vastly. Thus, there are plenty of different ways to wear ladies' summer tops. You'll find that some are simply better suited to daywear, while others are perfect for a night out on the town. These ideas will help you get the most mileage from your tops:
Camisoles are versatile enough to make the transition from day to evening. During the workday, they add a touch of femininity and elegance to a straight-laced business suit. At night, peel off your jacket and show off the camisole to its best advantage, either with a sleek pencil skirt or comfortable pants. Add a layered necklace for some visual intrigue.
Halter tops may not be office-appropriate, but they certainly do the job on casual weekends and evenings. Try an elaborately detailed halter top during the day with a pair of simple shorts; at night, pair it with a skirt or leggings and your favorite heels for a fabulous, irresistible look that is sure to turn heads.
Peasant tops are, by nature, quite casual. They tend to make their first appearance during spring, when they look lovely with jeans and sandals. They wear much the same way during summer. They can be worn with shorts, but tend to look best when worn with jeans (try white for a summery interpretation of the look).
Tank tops are just as versatile and effortless as basic T-shirts. If your skirt is dressy or intricately embellished, you might opt to balance the look with a simple tank top. A tank also layers nicely beneath light cardigans on nippy days and adds a sufficient layer beneath a sheer tunic, too.
Tube tops are playful and tend to be favored by the younger set. Since they're fairly revealing, they look great when worn with a fuller bottom - pairing one with a long, Grecian-inspired skirt and flat sandals is a great way to balance the outfit.
Tunic tops are so versatile that they can be worn with just about anything. On the beach, they serve as perfect swimsuit cover ups and transition nicely to a late afternoon lunch at a boardwalk café. Dressy styles, embellished with beads, sequins and embroidery, are beautiful to wear during the evening, especially with leggings and heels. A simple, airy cotton tunic dresses up a daytime look and serves as a great alternative to a T-shirt.
Where to Purchase
During February, summer tops begin arriving in stores. Within weeks, they're everywhere. Great places to shop for reasonably-priced selections include Target, H&M, LOFT and Old Navy. You might also check out Loehmann's and Marshalls for designer brands at low prices.