Choosing the types of tops to include in your wardrobe isn’t an easy task because of the many options available. Tops are the easiest to wear, so we tend to buy these in trendy options instead of a perfect balance between comfort and fashion. Always look for tops that will bring out your personality and match your body type.
Types of Tops - A Quick List
Look stunning even if you’re wearing plain clothes by matching your bottoms with the right tops. Wear tops that will flatter your figure and are designed for a certain occasion so that you feel great. Below is a selection of the types of tops, who should wear them, and what usual bottoms match them.
Types of Tops - Fit Variations
Aptly named, the torso area of these types of tops has a box-like shape with a loose fit and cropped hemline. It’s usually made of thick fabric, such as cotton or denim, and fits most body shapes and sizes, but best for rectangular-shaped bodies and petite women. It’s a casual type of top that will keep you comfortable even during hot days.
This loose-fitting top has a cinched waistline or hem with a drawstring or elastic to give your waist a voluminous effect. It can also help hide any bulges or bulks in your waist area, making it ideal for plus-sized and apple-shaped bodies. Being a casual style of clothing, you can pair it with fitted pants, shorts, and skirts, as well as sandals and sneakers.
Made of stretchy material, this one-piece clothing will cover your body from the torso to the crotch. It will fit your body perfectly and help hide bulges and bulk. Wear it with your skirts, jeans, and other types of pants and finalize your look with sneakers, flats, heels, or boots.
Types of Tops - Sleeve Variations
The sleeve length and types of sleeves definitely vary enormously. We have long, short, and sleeveless versions, but there are even more options in each category. Here are the most common types of tops with different sleeves:
Batwing or Dolman or Magyar
Known by many names, this three-fourth or long-sleeved top has deep armholes and tapered wrists. It has a loose top and tight bottom, so it’s usually made of drapery fabric and fits your hips and waist snugly. It’s the perfect match for jeans and shorts.
Sweater or Cardigan
Sweaters are knitted, woven, or crocheted long-sleeved types of tops with no enclosures and they are meant for the cold or winter season. A cardigan has a front opening with or without buttons or zippers. Robe-type cardigans, on the other hand, need to be tied around the waist.
Sweatshirt or Pullover
Sweatshirts are like sweaters but usually made of cotton fabric, so they’re breathable. They have a ribbed or close-fitting neckline, sleeve, and bodice hems. You can pair these slim or loose-fitting tops with multiple bottoms and footwear.
Corsets are sleeveless and strapless garments with a tight fit to help contour your body shape or make your waist look smaller than usual. They have a hook-and-eye or lace-up closure to help you find the perfect fit and fasten the corset. Although usually an undergarment, some women wear it as a standard top or under a cardigan, blazer, or jacket.
Types of Tops - Length Variations
Tops are usually available in lengths reaching your hips or a little higher. Below are four variations in lengths that you can add to your closet.
This looks like a bra but with bust cups, thin straps, and the absence of hook-and-eye closures. Having a slim fit, you can pair it with any type of bottoms: skirts, pants, or shorts. Summer is the perfect season to wear this bra-like top, but you can also add a jacket, blazer, or cardigan for a layered style and during the spring season. Petite women and those with apple-shaped bodies will look best with these types of tops.
Also called half, belly, midriff, cutoff, and tummy shirt, cropped tops barely cover your stomachs, so youngsters mostly wear them. They can have long, short, or no sleeves, as well as different fits and necklines. You can pair this top with different types of pants, shorts, and skirts, as well as several types of footwear.
Regular length tops end at the hips. Examples of this include work shirts. This is a common length that lets you either wear the top out or tucked into a skirt or pants.
Tunic tops are a cross between a top and a short dress and end at just below the bottom. They are designed to be worn with leggings or an ultra short dress with bare legs. They are usually loose and not fitted.
Types of Tops - Bottom Hem Variations
When it comes to the bottom edges of women's tops, here are some of the most popular and stylish ones:
This type of top is available in sleeveless, short sleeves, long sleeves, and plain or printed fabric. As the name implies, its bottom hem has uneven sides and great for casual, semi-casual, smart casual, and formal wear, depending on the fabric type and design. It’s perfect for skinny jeans and trousers and heeled and flat footwear. People with rectangular, hourglass and pear-shaped silhouettes will look good on this top.
The high low name refers to the top’s overall length, meaning one side, either front or back, is longer than the other. It comes in different sleeves and necklines and is usually loose-fitting. These types of tops are perfect for tight-fitting bottoms and best worn by people who want to cover their lower body parts.
Peplums are tight-fitting tops with an attached short, flared skirt from its waistline that can help hide your stomach. These tops also accentuate your bosom as they are usually tight on top. They’re best worn with tight-fitting bottoms, whether as casual, semi-casual, or formal attire.
Ponchos have triangular shapes, with completely open sides and an open neck opening. Thus, they’re used as a second layer to keep you warm.
These loose tops have cut-out sleeves and are available in various types of necklines, with the bottom’s left and right edges extending to the thighs. They allow you to move freely and keep you comfortable during hot or summer days, while you can use them as a second layer during the cold or winter season. Although suitable for most body types, this top is perfect for apple-shaped and plus-sized bodies.
Empire-waist types of tops look like mini-skirts or mini-dresses because of the gathered lower area. The length usually ends at the waist, but some are longer and tunic length designed to be worn with leggings.
Types of Tops - Neck or Shoulder Variations
Definitely, most of you are familiar with different types of necklines, such as round, V-shaped, and square, but here are some less common options. These are stylish tops that will up your fashion sense.
Off-Shoulder or Bardot
A term coined from a Hollywood star’s name, Bardot tops will show off your shoulders and neck while keeping your cleavage and bust in check. That is all thanks to the elastic band or gathering placed on the top area. It’s perfect for those who want to show a little skin. These tops can be either loose, regular fit, or slim fit, worn with jeggings, skinny jeans, sneakers, pumps, and stilettos. They’re ideal for women with hourglass and pear-shaped bodies.
Halter types of tops have narrow ties or bands to hold the whole clothing piece. They’re sleeveless, making them perfect in exposing your nice shoulders, especially if you're an athletic build. These tops are available in several lengths and body fit.
If you don’t want to show off your entire shoulders, the flashdance top is a perfect choice! It has an unfinished neckline edge, so one of the sides is inclined, exposing one shoulder. It can have different fitting and short or long sleeves.
Also called split or open shouldered top, the sleeves' side part is cut out, exposing a little skin and adding a little glam. It can have short, three-fourth, or long sleeves and is available in various fittings and necklines, including collared or non-collared. These types of tops are perfect for several occasions, matching almost all types of bottoms and footwear.
These tops have asymmetrical necklines, with one shoulder completely exposed due to it extending diagonally under your arm. The other side can be either sleeveless or short or long sleeves. With such a design, you might not need neck accessories or jewels.
Ideal for most body types, this top adds volume to your shoulders and covers your chest, thanks to the attached cape. The cape has a length extending up to the elbows or pelvic region. It can be casual or party wear that you can wear with your choice of pants, skirts, and shorts, as well as any shoes.
These tops have a band above the neckline that looks like a choker, making them suitable for casual and party wear. You can pair them with multiple types of bottoms and footwear, but best for short skirts and half-palazzos.
You can match tops with collars with all types of bottoms and footwear. You can wear them on multiple occasions, even as sportswear. They’re available in multiple lengths and sleeve types. Additionally, there are also different types of collars, including cutaway, tab, winged, band, and spread.
Drape or Cowl
These types of tops have draping necklines that can flatter almost all body types but are best for pear-shaped, petite women since the rounded folds or drapes will shift the focus to your upper body. Some cowl tops have drapes on the hems instead of the neckline.
A henley top is a collarless pullover shirt with short, three-fourth, or long sleeves that’s easy to put on. It has a placket in the middle of the neckline with buttons ranging from two to five buttons.
Types of Tops - The Conclusion
Undoubtedly, there are more types of tops available in the market aside from the ones listed above. Many of these are variations and combinations of the types of tops in this article. Let the information provided above guide you in choosing which ones to include in your closet and when to wear them.