Multicolored clothes on wooden hangers

What’s on Top?!

Multicolored clothes on wooden hangers

We’re all bored with our clothes. It’s the mid-Summer doldrums. Some of us are haunting consolidation sales, some living in the same four items. Time to buy a new piece or two to spice up those plain skirts or pants- a little color, emphasis on shape, perhaps a braver component than usual, a bit out of character. Here are some interesting separates whose home web sites will offer further selection.

African Patchwork Tunic- Quietly ethnic in classic coloration. Nicely shaped to show off those video-toned arms. Use the sash, cinch it, or wear unbelted over a bathing suit. Good transition look for those September days before Fall actually kicks in. 100% cotton. Machine washable. $16.00?! www.warehouse.co.uk

Ralph Lauren Ilena Silk Halter Top- Elegance personified. A blouse that will make you look as if you live in the world of private planes and red carpets. Wear it to a business dinner and win. Your posture will improve. You’ll order a martini and smile back. The richest silk charmeuse (Black Label). Twisted halter neckline, three mother of pearl buttons at the back. On sale $199.00 www.ralphlauren.com

Pleated Shoulders- Gives you a nice long line over short skirts or cropped pants. Pretty detail. Add a necklace to dress it up. City or country. Feminine and tailored. Soft yellow (no screaming) 100% polyester = packable! $29.99 on sale www.zara.com

Seymour Fox Vest – If you’re lucky enough to be small, this good looking piece might be a welcome addition your wardrobe. Wear it as is now and with a flowy, big-sleeved blouse underneath next season. Lacey, delicate, dangling earrings anyone? Size 6 vintage 36” bust, 21” length – pink with gold embroidery; rhinestone zipper pull. Sale $150.00 www.archivevintage.com (great site).

125th Street Blouse- Rather Secession looking, this handsome tunic will make an ensemble. Silver, not gold jewelry, please- or black. Perfect for gallery hopping or a drink somewhere chic in an emptied weekend city. Deco piping above diagonally tucked silk crepe. Silk. 25” L. $148.00 www.anthropologie.com

Elie Tahari Eva Blouse- Bold color, easy cut. Fresh looking. Lovely against your skin. Crystal earrings? Keep the bottom narrow and simple. Jeans too. 91% silk, 9% elastane. Gathered neckline, cutaway shoulders. On sale $137.00 www.zappos.com

Kelly Ewing Nellie Red & Brown Corset Top- This flattering Scottish top is likely to turn heads worn with white cotton or silk pants now and velvet in the fall. The oversized bow is muted by dusky colors. Unique. Fully boned to make you seriously svelte, v-waist, traditional ribbon and eyelet fastening. $122.00 www.coggles.com

Butterfly Top- Moves beautifully as you do. Covers a multitude of midriff sins. Ladylike, stylish, but not dull. Long, open sleeves make this a useful transition piece. Lots of colors from which one can choose to coordinate bottoms. 100% Silk. $39.99 www.zara.com

Diane Von Furstenberg- This one will never go out of style. Architecturally detailed layers, longer shape, terrific cheerful color (not blaring.) Fine, confident, and low key enough to show off good jewelry, an a la mode haircut, or your new eyelashes. 100% silk. $360.00 www.matchesfashion.com

Elizabeth and James “Delphine” Knit Top- And now for something completely casual- Throw this over anything and define yourself as innately stylish. Unfussy, clean lines, basic fabrication and color- oh, this old thing? A bit hippie 70s- the good bit (remember culottes-ouch?!) Extra wide bell sleeves, crewneck, side ruching. Made in USA $165.00 www.bloomingdales.com

Clancy Silk Watercolor Shirt-Ralph Lauren Blue Label- Bright tropical palette of fluid color. Stunning with white or black. Chic, upbeat, easy against the body. Casual and dressy at the same time. 100% silk, barrel cuffs, shirttail hem, split pleated back yolk. on sale $199.00 www.ralphlauren.com

Geren Ford Top- Insouciance. Like the Elizabeth and James piece, quietly hip, young, flattering, goes with everything; a bit flirty. Lightweight army grey stretch satin/silk…fully lined sweetheart bustier; ruffled tiers. Invisible back zip closure. Dress it up or down. Do you club? $155.00 on sale at www.bluefly.com

Judith Roberts Vintage Jacket – Ok, so it’s an investment, nobody else will be wearing one! Speaks of personal pizzaz. Great over a strapless dress, sleek pants or jeans, anything providing the blank canvas. Add ethnic looking jewelry or simple diamonds. Patchwork and beading. 36” bust, 23” sleeve, 19” length, Size Medium. $375.00 www.archivevintage.com

One Shoulder Ruffle- Show off that tan! Hot, of the moment color. Nice fall from the frills. This one needs lots and lots of bangles but little except fit from the bottom piece. $40.00. polyester crepe. Machine wash. Decorative pleated frill hides silicone trim to prevent Janet Jackson accidents of slippage. 24 ½” www.hm.com

High Tea Cardigan- All of a sudden our grandmother’s clothes look right. This seemingly prim, classy cardigan will be rather sexy with jeans or shorts. Try just a bra or light camisole underneath. Layer it over a sundress for cooler evenings. Add a little black skirt and towering heels at night. Sheer, cream lace, black knit trim, bows & buttons. 85% cotton, 15% polyester. $70.00 www.modcloth.com

Turquoise Asymmetric Vest- This lean, graceful chiffon piece will look smashing over pants or a long skirt. Add an extra long necklace or draped scarf with a single brooch. Elegant, eloquent, affordable. You’d never know it was Top Shop. 70% cotton, 30% silk. Machine washable. $66.00 www.topshop.com

Phillip Lim Top- Beautifully understated with geometric detailing. Racer back. Just a tad bit edgy. Walk taller. Carry a really interesting bag. Wear strappy shoes. 93% cotton, 7% elastane, light-weight knit $150.00 www.thecorner.com

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel- A signature piece. Looks ridiculously right with shorts or pants in St.Tropez or Rye. Don’t ask me why. Bold whimsy. Self indulgent. Black and white striped 100% cotton, round neck, ¾ sleeves; slips on. $540.00 www.netaporter.com

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