Most Unflattering

For the last year or so, I’ve noticed that trendy tops are becoming more “drapey,” “flowy,” and “breezy.” Scrape away the floofy designer talk, and you’ll see what this really means: shapeless. I’m tired of it. REALLY tired of it. Those styles work on certain body types, but on others (including mine) it adds frump, obscures the curves that give your body definition, and creates the illusion that you’re hiding a good 10-20 lbs. underneath.

Fluttery peasant blouses? Fine. Not for me, but fine for others. Flowing tunics? Fine. Not for me, of course, but knock yourself out. Billowing sleeves? You go girl. Just don’t expect me to go with you. Breezy yoked tops with gathered fabric that spills over the bust and hangs straight down to the waist or hipline? Sure, but you won’t catch me wearing those tit curtains.

But this is ridiculous.

From left to right: Liz Claiborne V-Neck Print Poncho, JCPenney; Allen B Border Print Top, JCPenney; Sanctuary Clothing Women’s Nina Poncho Zig Zag Shirt, Amazon.

This trend needs to die. This isn’t even a style. It’s a tragedy. What’s really sad is that the top in the center has absolutely amazing fabric. I’d love to see it in a skirt or dress. Instead, it’s wasted on that pathetic lifeless rag. I credited the images above, but just because I’m obsessive about citation, you can see (or buy, God forbid) the tops here, here, and here (at least until those tops are no longer available and the links evaporate the internet ether).

To be fair, I’ve see this style done well before: making normal sleeves that are separate from the bodice, angling the sleeve edges toward or away from the body, and maybe even adding definition to the waist with a belt. It still doesn’t work for me, but I’ve seen it work for others.

This, however, doesn’t work for anyone.

Earlier this week, I was at the grocery store and a woman walked by wearing this style of top made from gray heather jersey. Barring some of the outlandish garbage that crops up on etsy, it was one of the ugliest shirts I have ever seen. I couldn’t stop myself from staring at her as she fluttered around displays of fresh-baked bread like a frumpy gray butterfly. I couldn’t tell if she bought that top or made it herself.

That brings me to my next point: this top screams “I CAN’T SEW!” It’s not couture. It’s crap. What’s worse than the fact that these tops are for sale in stores everywhere is the fact that you can now buy sewing patterns to make them.

Yes, you read that correctly. People are selling sewing patterns for this.

After discovering one pattern for sale at one of my favorite fabric sites, I looked around for some pattern reviews. They were all glowing, of course, and all from frilly sewing bloggers who had received the pattern for free for review purposes. “It’s easy to make.” Of course it’s easy! It has minimal cutting and sewing and no pattern pieces! “It’s flattering to all body types.” So says a sewing blogger with a slim physique. No, it’s not flattering to all body types, and in my opinion it’s flattering to no one.

If you are so hell-bent on making one of these atrocious tops, let me save you the $9 or more with this free tutorial.

  1. Fold fabric in half.
  2. Cut a hole for your head on the fold.
  3. Figure out where your sides will be, and sew two lines up from the edge opposite the fold.
  4. Wear.

And finally, if it’s too late for you and you have this top in your closet, please do your body a favor: take it out, get your handy seam ripper, and go to town on it. Take it apart and put the fabric in your stash. I’m sure you could refashion it into a lovely scarf, skirt, or child’s dress. Or, if you want to keep wearing it, grab some scissors, fire up the sewing machine, and transform the top into a real shirt by cutting in sleeves and shaping the bodice. Trust me. You’ll look like a real person instead of a walking fabric bolt.

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