How to Style Relaxed Tops

relaxed tops

If you have been out shopping for clothes lately, you have probably noticed that there are a lot of relaxed tops out there to choose from.  There is can be good and bad.  On the one hand, they’re not clingy, they can cover up lumps and bumps, and they can be really comfortable.  However, on the other hand, they can look a little too relaxed, sometimes come across like maternity tops, and appear dumpy.  So the question is, is it possible to wear all these relaxed tops out there in figure flattering and stylish ways?  I have some ideas.

How to Style Relaxed Tops

Outfit #1

relaxed tops

The first tip when wearing relaxed tops is to think slim with rest of your look which will help create better body balance because the proportion works better than everything being too easy and fluid.  A pair of skinny pants, like this pair from J. Crew that I styled with this top from Vince Camuto creates this relaxed over slim look.  The outfit is finished with a pair of flat sandals in taupe from Marc Fisher, a statement necklace from Fairchild Baldwin and ZAC Zac Posen bag.

Outfit #2

relaxed tops

The next way to think about wearing relaxed tops is to pair them with shorter bottoms like shorts and shorter skirts.  A balance of long over short is created.  Take the relaxed top from Theory above that I paired with these shorts from Boden.  You can choose longer shorts, if shorts this small aren’t your thing, but make sure they are on the slimmer side to achieve the balance like in the first outfit.  With the shorts look above, I used these metallic wedges from Clark’s to increase the leg length, which can be helpful if you are short and find that relaxed tops cut your height, a blue crossbody bag from MARC Marc Jacobs and these blue decorative chandeliers from Modcloth.

Outfit #3

relaxed tops

This last look is a little different.  What I have been noticing is when clients buy these relaxed tops, quite often they can be tucked in.  Of course, not all will work this way.  For example, I am wearing a Two by Vince Camuto top, similar to this one, that would look absurd if I tried to tuck it.  However, if you take a relaxed top like the one above by Banana Republic, that is easy but not an A or trapeze shape, you can try tucking it for professional looks.  Even better, if you want to wear them untucked you can, but don’t try wearing relaxed tops untucked with pencil skirts unless you belt them.  the proportion rarely works.  Another tip is to layer shape over these relaxed tops, like I did with this blazer from Theory.  The shape of the jacket can slim the excess fabric.

For the rest of the outfit, I used this navy pencil skirt from Hugo Boss and finished the outfit with green pumps from SJP, blue earings from Carolee and white bucket bag from Ann Taylor.

Shop for relaxed tops

Ready to shop for more relaxed tops?  Check out these styles.

  • Pat

    Whew! I did a quick walk thru Nordstroms yesterday and you are right on! Your tips are suggestions are always so timely, how do you do it?

    Thanks, Bridgette, your the best!
    A faithful fan,
    Par

    • Ha, I don’t know how I do it. Probably lots of experiences in the stores with clients. 😉