Casual Tops

"The Backbone of Your Closet"


So what do casual tops like cotton camisoles, womens tank tops and t-shirts have in common? They're some of your wardrobe's building blocks! They might sound boring but they are what make your style more functional compared to complicated trendy fashion tops.

Basic casual v-neck tee
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

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One of the most wonderful things about plain t-shirts is that they're trendproof. Casual tops offer flexibility, so you can create multiple outfits with accessories like jewelry, scarves, fashion headbands, handbags. All with the same basic top!

Not to mention that they're perfect for layering with cardigan sweaters (as seen on Nicole Richie, Vanessa Hudgens and many other fashionable celebs) vests (ooh, my fave!) and other fashion tops. Casual tops simply give you the super-chic yet simple look for less!

You just can't be without them :-)

How to Buy Basic Casual Tops

Choose the right fabric

Basic casual v-neck tee
Nicole Richie in American Apparel
If you're going to wear a basic tee close to your body, underneath a sweater or top, make sure the fabric is light and comfortable. It gives you the maximum feeling of freedom. So look for tops in stretch fabrics such as cotton-Lycra (also called Spandex or Elastane), microfiber and nylon.

If you're planning on wearing the top alone with a bottom - then consider the plushness of your tummy. If you have a full tummy, you can avoid the buddha belly with a sturdier fabric. Jerseys cling and are best on flatter mid-sections.

Do you love wearing see-through chiffon tops?

A fitted and a bit clingy cotton camisole will look good underneath it. So invest a lot in these if you like wearing chiffon tops and dresses.

If you want to cover up your underwear in a see-through dress, look for fitted basic tank dresses - or simply buy a camisole and shapewear (for bottom) separately.

Select the right neckline

Make sure to choose necklines you feel good in. Even if it means all your casual tops are cut exactly the same. The right neckline for your upper body and chest can do wonders for your look.

V-neck is universally flattering - it "opens" up your face (not to mention that it slims a wide face), slims your chest and makes your neck look lean and elegant. Slim scoop-necks can also do the trick but look best on women with a small bust and/or average to small shoulder-line.

If you're petite, then wider necklines can make you a bit shorter on top, however there are several tricks to counter the widening effect. Click here for fashion advice on how to look taller

Secure the basics

You can't go wrong with basic neutrals such as black, greys and whites. They'll go great with all color combinations and are perfect for layering your too low-neckline tops and sweaters.

Here's an idea of what plain t-shirt and tops you need in your wardrobe:

Wardrobe basics casual tops in black and white


If you're planning on wearing basic tops alone - then make sure to buy them in your best neutrals which is explained in details in the How to Find Your Best Colors-guide.
    Don't be afraid to buy several pieces of each color White easily stains and black will fade when it's frequently washed, so stock up on three or more of each color.

Experiment with various styles

After securing the solid-colored basic cut casual tops and tees, expand your closet with tops with various details such as lace trimming, length (crop or long/tunic), flutter sleeves, cap sleeves, pleatings, ruchings, textures (like for example ribbed), loose or fitted cut, tie waist, racerback, braided straps and necklines (V-neck, square, boat, etc.).

Just make sure they are either a solid neutral or color.

Swap out the jeans

I know it's common to wear your tees with jeans, but you'll miss out on the closet fun if you don't consider pairing them with other bottom garments. Swap them up with khaki pants, womens slacks, black dress pants, high waist skirt, long gypsy skirts and even mini skirts!



More fashion advice on Tops:

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Now that we've covered the basics, let's take a look at my picks from around the web:

Shop Casual Tops Online

You can find casual tops and tees everywhere, but I think you should look into brands such as American Apparel and Alternative Apparel.

Shop American & Alternative Apparel through Amazon

Note: If you're purchasing American Apparel's Unisex T-shirts I advice you to purchase go a size down! I usually wear a Small but had to buy size XS - fits great. Or if you like a looser, relaxed fit, stick to your size on the chart.

They offer basic and comfy tees at affordable prices, and I just love the cut and fit of their t-shirts. Especially their low v-neckline and tunic styles. I have their Unisex Deep V-neck t-shirt in white, black and brown and I'm happy that they fit me right. The neck is pretty low but it looks very flattering (plus I don't have big boobs to begin with so there's nothing tacky about it).

Mini globe Shopping tip for international readers: Expensive worldwide shipping? US store doesn't ship to your country? Save up to 50% off retail price in your home country and gain access to the goodies. Try a mail forwarding service!



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Store Directory

Urban Outfitters | $$ | They have a wide assortment in their Urban Outfitters "Basic Tees" section, selling both basic trendy t-shirt cuts.

Old Navy | $ | If you live in the US you'll save big on Old Navy's Women's Bargains t-shirts and camisole tops, from 10$ and up.

FreshPair | $$ | If you're looking for underwear seamless camisoles then I think Freshpair.com has something to offer for you. They sell both padded and body shaping high-quality camisoles at reasonable prices.



More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish
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Shop the latest Graphic T-shirts for Women - Fashion and styling tips on how to wear a graphic tee the chic way Shop the latest Tunic Shirts - How to wear a tunic shirt Shop the latest V-neck Tops and Sweaters - Why a V-neckline is universally flattering How to Buy and Wear Fashion Skirts
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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

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