Sunday, January 22, 2012
The elements of style: tops
I was going to give this post a more specific title, but now that I've done some research, I've realized that specifics will have to wait for the next post. There's so much to cover! It's all quite fascinating, as you will learn if you keep reading. And now I realize, too, that "tops" can sound misleading... "toppings" are different than "tops," even if you are talking about just clothing. To settle this dispute, this is a blog post about tops. Not toppings, such as hats. Tops, like blouses, sweaters, etc. Things to wear on your top half.
While I would love to make this an exhaustive list of what to wear and how to wear it, we'll save that for the post on accessories. Today's fun entails the art of blouses, and elements such as wraps, cardigans, and jackets.
The set was very often a sleeveless top and bracelet- or full-length sleeved sweater, and usually high-necked, as shown. The collars could be simple or ornate - peter pan collars were common in the blouses, as were monograms and embroidery for the sweaters (although I doubt they were worn at the same time).
I've posted one of my outfits with a fitted jacket (and pencil skirt) to show how this can go - but mind you, this jacket is modern and rather a shoddy replica of the awesome things women wore sixty years ago. To help you find your own, I've included a few types and descriptions below.
I think these photographs give a good idea of how that works. Coco Chanel designed jackets like these that weren't fitted and were thus more practical for movement and popular with American women who couldn't quite get away with the haute couture look of the time.
In the next post I'll discuss collars and necklines on blouses and gowns of all kinds. There's such a wide range, I couldn't include them in this post. Check back soon for the next installment of "The elements of style"!
Also, many thanks to Jessica of myvintagevogue.com for providing the bulk of the pictures for this post!