Wardrobe Update – Girly Tops Edition

It’s been two years since I halved my wardrobe. Of the items I’ve kept or bought since then, everything is functional and fits well. I have all the basics I need: all the work clothes, layering items, cold weather gear, outerwear, footwear. I was happy to coast for a while and not think about clothes much. I re-checked my clothes count and I am still at 150 items (not including underwear, socks, nightwear and accessories).

This is the first time in 5 years that Rom and I haven’t travelled in April or May. Without my usual excuse for a spring/summer wardrobe refresh, I didn’t buy anything. May was unusually cool, so no one else at work revamped their style for the season, either.

Of course, now that I have a timeless wardrobe composed of good quality, built-to-last clothing, I am rather bored with it! I don’t want to completely change my style or start over. The obvious solution would be to accessorize, but the basics I own don’t lend themselves to accessorizing (long and short sleeve t-shirts, especially, don’t go better with jewellery and scarves):

These pix encapsulate my ideas about accessorizing! (PS I would wear a watch!)

Since I do like a crisp, streamlined look, I own button-up shirts, t-shirts, and cardigans. Last summer I bought a few “tops” for variety. Each was a single colour, but they introduced different profiles. This year, I’ve been cautiously seeking patterned tops, only to find my tastes in patterns haven’t changed. I don’t like boho or floral. I am not interested in off-shoulder, cold-shoulder or unsymmetrical. I don’t like anything flow-y or drape-y. I was, however, looking for an animal-print top so I ended up ordering one online that broke all my rules. Otherwise, the patterns I do like are stripes, geometrics and colour-block.

Here are the ones I bought last year. Forgive the cheesy smiles because I haven’t perfected a selfie pout 🙂

Navy crepe with Peter Pan collar and netting at shoulders (Alfred Sung from Mark’s)

Purple tiers of ruffles (Denver Hayes from Mark’s)

Another Alfred Sung from Mark’s (didn’t go far for my shopping last year!)

Thrifted (Vanilla Sugar from Value Village)

Those are still in rotation but I have bought 3 more. Last year’s and this year’s girly tops are all for work and outings – I still have my extensive T-shirt wardrobe for home-and-neighbourhood!

For those days when I need to be a leopard butterfly…(Meaneor from Amazon)


Zipper shoulders (International Inc. from Fairweather)

Diagonal stripe (Ricki’s)

And finally, I uncovered this vintage 70s top my aunt had handed down to me back then!

1970s India cotton

So that is my summer wardrobe update – I am just looking for another watch or two!

Have you done any updates lately and do you like this year’s trends and colours?


  1. William Estacio

    I love it!
    Visit and like my new blog post. Thank you!

  2. I would totally become interested in my clothing and accessories using colors if I wasn’t colorblind. I am not allowed to pick my own colors, and evidently I commit the most horrible crimes against society when I mix and match without checking with the husband.

    Sadly I know its true 🙂

  3. Lisa

    A few different styles of tops are good to have. I think yours all look good, but the teal-colored zipper shoulders and the vintage 70s top were my favorites. I have retired, so my wardrobe right now mainly consists of work-out clothes, shorts, and t-shirts. I try to make an effort to dress a little nicer from a few times a week. 😊

  4. I probably could trade wardrobe with you and I love your pattern choices. And your arms!! Swimming truly treats you well! Sadly I don’t need much girly stuff but you are inspiring for future wants.

  5. jbistheinitial

    I especially love the vintage 70s top, what a great hand-me-down! I really don’t like most of this season’s high street trends – cold shoulders, ruffled arms, etc just aren’t my thing.

  6. I think M&S will be hiring you to model their catalogue – you have good taste I like them all but I quite like the orange and petrol colours on you. The 70’s top is a great find – they dont make them like they used to.

    • Thanks, V! Actually I do think they make them like they used to – trendy “Coachella” look at the moment 🙂

      • I was actually referring to the fit! I worked in fashion for years and I don’t think todays clothes fit as well as they used to unless you pay a lot for them. I think your 70’s top fits you very well!
        And yes the style and pattern is bang on Trend!

  7. I love your ruffle shirt.

    I have to say, I couldn’t tell you which colours and styles are in this season, so can’t say what I think of them! 🙂

    I’ve been contemplating buying a pair of black jeans to add to my rotation. And perhaps one more knit jumper to get me through the week. I prefer to shop in the men’s section for those. I find the women’s ones so flimsy and thin.

    • For me, black jeans are a must-have! I have 2 but they are both quite faded so I will probably add another in dark-wash. I dislike fabric that is so thin, it needs another layer.

  8. I love the gauzy Indian top.!!! Also the Vanilla Sugar one suits you very well.
    My favorite prints for blouses are paisley, Balinese batik, blue and white shibori, and vintage Hawai’in. Somehow stripey things or geometrics give me vertigo.
    Thrift stores are great as all eras,seasons, styles, colors, and sizes are represented.
    Accessory suggestion: earrings. You have a spritely, short hair cut and a long neck.
    Also: bejeweled bobby pins would be glamourous against you lovely silver hair.
    Neither would add any actual or visual weight.

    • Thanks! I like paisley, too. Had to look up shibori – learned something new! No worries, I adore earrings and have 100s of pairs in all shapes, sizes and colours – and never go out without them! Decorated bobby pins are an awesome idea – thank you – I would never have thought of that.

  9. todadwithlove

    I like your taste, Dar. You look great in them all. But the Peter Pan collar and the ruffle shirt are my favourite. I like stripes but cold-shoulders only have my cold shoulder.

  10. I bought those three items for Iceland, (sold one since), but otherwise no. I said to Mum recently I need a thrift store adventure for some new tops, just to revive my work rotation. Cause work tops I OFTEN wear outside of…!

  11. love that leopard top, what a great shape it has.My wardrobe is currently rammed with a variety of size and shapes, I think I need to streamline !

  12. Your fashion show has me thinking I should check out Mark’s. I bought a few pairs of pants from there a few years back. Time to see what’s new.

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