Wardrobe Basics- Tops That Flatter Your Figure

Hello, Darlings!

Today we will be discussing tops that flatter your figure. Continuing our Wardrobe Basics series, tops are the fun part of our closet. So many to chose from, but do you really need that many. Now is a great time to go through your tops “culling the herd” and keeping only those that are figure-flattering and you will wear.

Wardrobe basics-tops that flatter your figure

Wardrobe Basics- Tops That Flatter Your Figure

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wardrobe basics-tops that flatter you figure

Necklines That Flatter Your Figure

When selecting tops that flatter your figure, consider that neckline. There are so many choices (v neck, crew, scoop, sweetheart, cowl, boatneck, halter, button-up) but not all may work for you.

Crew Necks

crew neck tops

Crew necks are not very flattering in themselves. The crew neck is a basic t-shirt. I try to choose a t-shirt with more of a deeper scoop neck or v-neck. Crew necks are great for a base and then add a necklace or scarf to make them more figure-flattering. Look for crew necks that are “women cut” and not unisex.

V-Necks And Wrap Tops

Dark print tops with v-neck

V-neck tops and wrap style tops are universally flattering to all. They bring attention up to the face and a deeper v can make you look slimmer. If you have a larger bust, choose a deeper v, smaller busted women choose a higher v to make your chest look bigger. These are my personal favorite top. V-neck tops have a great neckline for accessories.

Scoop Neck

Adding animal prints to your wardrobe

Scoop necks are flattering to all body types. The same rules apply, if you are bigger chested go lower with the scoop, smaller chested women chose a higher scoop.


button up tops are hard to fit on larger busted women

Button-up tops are unique in that you can keep them buttoned for more coverage, or unbutton for a deep v-neck look. These tops will create a “fitted look” and are best on pear, curvy, and straight shaped women. The problem with button-up tops is the bust. Best on smaller busted women because the fabric doesn’t stretch.

Cowl Neck

Cowl neck tops are figure flattering to all

Cowl necklines are flattering to all body types and draw attention to your face. With the newer fabrics, we are seeing cowl necks come back in style and are a great addition to your wardrobe. Avoid big cowl necks unless you are large-breasted.


Boatnecks are not my favorite shirt, because of issues with bra showing. They are flattering on pear, curvy, or straight body types, especially larger busted women. When choosing a boatneck top, make sure it is not too tight across the chest.


add jewelry to deeper neckline tops for added interest

Ready to show off your sexy side, then a sweetheart neckline is for you. Flattering to all body types but especially flattering to larger busted women. Sweetheart neckline needs no jewelry because the neckline is the show.

Off The Shoulder/Cold Shoulder Tops

Cold shoulder tops are fun to add to your wardrobe

If you want to draw attention up, these tops are for you. For many women, it is either love or hate. I have a wardrobe full of them and wear them often. I look for cold shoulder tops that have wide enough shoulder straps that I do not have to wear a strapless bra. A couple of my off the shoulder tops have built-in shelf bras.

Off shoulder tops help bring attention up to your face

High or Halter Neck

Halter tops are great for the summer

High and halter neck tops are all about showing off your arms and shoulders and are very slimming. I LOVE halter neck tops for the summer.

Add interesting necklines to your wardrobe

Length of Shirt Matters

When choosing tops that flatter your figure, length of the shirt matters. This is where you are going to have to pull out the tape measure. Your shirt needs to NOT hit at your widest part. For me, that is my hips. Select tops that hit an inch or two above or below your widest part. Measure a top from the shoulder seams to the waistband. Petite tops come in 23/24/25 inches while regular tops are 25/26/27 inches. The new trend in fast fashion is a longer top but this is NOT flattering on most people. You may want to consider altering tops a couple of inches for a more flattering look.

This year I have been slowly hemming most of my tops and it makes a world of difference how well they look on me. Now before I buy a top I ask the question “does it fit correctly or am I willing to alter the top to fit”. If the answer is NO, I don’t buy it.

Wash your tops before hemming. Many tops with cotton will shrink up an inch so hemming might not be necessary.

Are You Short Waisted Or Long Waisted?

If you are short-waisted, leave you top untucked to create a more proportioned look. For long-waisted women, tucking the shirt creates the look of longer legs and a higher waist.

So Many Sleeve Length Options

Sleeve lengths are really a personal choice. Sleeveless tops are flattering to all body shapes, but some women don’t like to show off their arms. Sleeveless tops such as shell/tanks/camisoles make great layering pieces so don’t disregard them. Short sleeves tops are basics in your closet, with many necklines to choose from. I am LOVING the 3/4 trend in sleeves.

Some Colors Are Better Than Others

According to your skin’s undertone, some colors may be better than others. Most people fall into 2 undertones- warm or cool. An easy test to see which one you are

  • If your veins look green, your skin is warm-toned.
  • If your veins look purplish-blue then you are cool-toned.

While it would be great to say that all people are 100% warm or 100% cool, that isn’t the case. Most of us fall somewhere on the spectrum but lean toward one or the other.

Choosing a color in your correct undertone makes you look brighter, For me, white makes me look alive and full of energy while off-white makes me look sick and washed out. If you look better in pure white, you have cool undertones. If you look better in off-white, you have warm undertones.

Add Prints To Your Closet

Snakeskin print is a new trend this year

So many great choices in prints. Vertical prints are more flattering than horizontal. Prints with a darker background and smaller prints too. It is all personal choice. Printed tops are fantastic to add interest up to your face. For the fall/winter, dark florals are everywhere. I am adding printed tanks/camisole tops to my wardrobe for layering with summer/winter sweaters.

Zebra prints are fun to add to your wardrobe

Watch For Fabric And Cut

The newer fabrics with lots of polyester and lycra may not be the best choice for t-shirts. They tend to be very fitted and thinner, showing off the lines of your bra. Look for a t-shirt with cotton or cotton blend for a better look. Also, stay away from boxy, oversized tops they just make you look boxy and oversized. There is such a great selection in tops that are more fitted and will accentuate your shape.

My Favorite Figure Flattering Tops

V-neckt tops are flattering to all figures.  This one is from Talbots
V-neck basics tees from Talbots are figure flattering and come in basic and seasonal colors

Talbots basic tees come in an array of colors, prints, necklines. I really like that many of them are in 100% Pima Cotton that lays well. Mine have held their color for years without fading or shrinking. They are very well made and are figure-flattering. Talbots has basic colors and adds seasonal colors. Fantastic by themselves or layering.

Basic long sleeve v-neck is a workhorse in my wardrobe.  I love adding fun vest for everyday look

You will see me in my black v-neck basic tee all winter long. I love adding statement necklaces and scarves to change up the look. Add a colorful cardigan or vest and you have a comfortable, and stylish look for every day.

Basic v neck tees provide the base layer to many of my outfits

After a quick trip to Nashville to visit my son, I am currently at the lake enjoying this fantastic fall weather. With the weather change to the cooler temperatures, I have all this energy. I am ready to pull out my fall decor and by Harvest scented Yankee Candle.

Need to do a Wardrobe Check? Now is a great time. Make a list of all your needs so you will be ready for the holiday season. It will be here before you know it.

About Nifty 50 Fabulous

Embracing and loving the life of an empty nester, I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger currently living in Birmingham, Al. I enjoy spending my time with friends and family including my sweet miniature schnauzers Gracie and Emma.

2 thoughts on “Wardrobe Basics- Tops That Flatter Your Figure

  1. Hi Regan. Great post. I spent the last couple of days in Atlanta for doctor appointments and I am appalled at the way some women dress. Sometimes I wonder if people actually look in the mirror after they dress. I like leggings/jeggings. They are so comfortable. However, being a larger woman I always make certain my top covers my bottom when wearing them. Over the past 2 days I have seen so many women in leggings with short tops showing off their large, jiggly. lumpy rears and panty lines. Heck, I am not a fan of small women showing off their rears in tight leggings. Also, why do women wear pants that are too small for their body? None of these looks are attractive, sexy or appealing. I just don’t get it. Sure, folks can wear whatever they want but you would think everyone would want to dress tastefully and look their best. I guess we all have a different opinion of what looks good. Ok, I will get off my soapbox now. Have a great day.

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