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Beauty & Fashion

Fashion: The Best Summer Tops for YOUR Body Type

A big part of shopping is not only looking for a good deal and something you like, but also finding what looks good on you. We’ve all suffered the fate of finding something that looks perfect on the hanger, trying it on and not being impressed with the final result. That’s because even if something looks awesome on the rack, it doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily love it on you.

With shopping experience, we start to learn what looks good on our varying body types; that usually goes on to inform what we shop for and purchase. But no matter how difficult you think you are to shop for, there are great options for YOU and your body type out there!

This week, we’re rounding up some of our favorite summer tops, broken down by body type. (We did this last week for summer dresses; check out that roundup here!) While there are always exceptions and you should wear something you love, we think these are some great starting points!

If you’re curvy and busty…

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While we want to point out that you’ll want to wear a black or nude cami under this top because of its sheerness, it’s otherwise the perfect top for girls who need extra breathing room up top. Lightweight blouses are comfortable, super modest and loose fitting throughout. This chic blouse comes in a sheer chiffon fabric with a chevron stripe print and partial button placket. Fits with a breast pocket, roll-cuff sleeves and a hi-low hem. Also available in black and white. (Charlotte Russe, $23)

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We promise we didn’t set out to find two back-to-back chevron tops! This striped tank does something at the very top that you don’t often see with tanks–it has wide straps and a loose fitting design. No feeling suffocated! It comes in a lightweight woven fabric with a chevron stripe print and sheer mesh inset at the shoulders and top back. Fits with a scoop neckline. (Charlotte Russe, $22). Prefer an even more blouse-y look, like the top above? Charlotte Russe also has this adorable top.

If you’re petite and busty…

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This tank is perfect if you’re small but have a larger chest. You’ll be covered up and the billowy middle will allow the top to naturally fall into place. This fun tank comes in lightweight woven fabric with a tiered ruffle bust and smocked banded hem. Fits with adjustable spaghetti straps. (Charlotte Russe, $18). Like the top but not as into busy prints? Charlotte Russe also has an adorable pink top that’s more ruffle-y but less “loud.” You’ll just need a cami on underneath!

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An important thing for bustier girls to remember is that the larger you are in your chest, the shorter the top will become as the fabric falls over you. Since many tops are made to run short (and hit right at the waist where your pants start) and many jeans are now low-rise, you’ll have to be careful in picking out tops that are long enough. We love this charming tank, which comes in lightweight chiffon fabric with stylish pleating and scalloped detailing. Fits with a scoop neckline and keyhole cutout at back. (Charlotte Russe, $20)

If you’re curvy and not busty…

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Free flowing “trapeze” tops are really in right now, and the whimsical and loose fitting designs are great for girls who want a little more room on their top half. While this top might be a little restricting for the bustier gals, it’s perfect for anyone who wants something slightly fitted on top that then cascades down with extra fabric. This trendy and summery cami features a neon bird printed chiffon body, scoop neck, skinny adjustable spaghetti straps and a relaxed, trapeze construction with a high-low hemline. (Wet Seal, $17)

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Another top that is more fitted on top but with a loose middle, this classic cut and color combo is fresh and summery! The darling tee comes in a lightweight crepe fabric with button placket on the back. Cuffed short sleeves fit with button tabs. Also available in olive. (Charlotte Russe, $23)

If you’re petite and not busty…

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If you’re smaller on top and don’t mind more form fitting tops, fun tanks are a great option for you. You can always pair a summery cardigan (short sleeves, light fabric) over it for a more covered-up look, too. A closet staple perfect for layering or wearing solo, this tank features a tribal patterned dot knit body, scoop neckline and racerback. For this particular tank, you’ll want to wear a cami underneath since it’s slightly mesh/see-through. You can sport almost any color underneath! (Wet Seal, $17)

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Peplum is all the rage right now, and it’s perfect for petite ladies! Fitted on top, it’s also a great option for girls who are less busty, since it will keep the proportions of the top in order. This gorgeous top comes in ponte knit fabric with a contrast lace overlay at the front and a scalloped crochet hem. Fits with a scoop neckline and ruffled peplum at the waist. It’s one of the best selling tops on the site right now! (Charlotte Russe, $20)

If you’re plus-size…

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Showing off your true waist with a belt or sash is always smart and chic! This chevron tunic (also available in coral) features flattering flutter sleeves and is available in 1-3X. Not into patterns? Look for a similar design in your favorite color! (Deb Shops, $18)

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This fun top is coral in the front with a pop of cheetah print in the back! The coral perfectly contrasts the print for summer. The racerback tank features a button back and draped high-low silhouette (back too sheer for you? Just rock a nude cami underneath!). (Deb Shops, $21)

Which of these tops is your favorite? Is there another body type that we should be covering? What are your style tips for specific body types? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Image: Thinkstock.com


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  1. Rain47

    Posted by Rain47 on July 14, 2013 at 11:17

    Would a peplum top like 8 be considered a tank top? My school’s dress code doesn’t allow tank tops but I think that top is modest, so do you girls think it would be allowed?

  2. joyrosesjesus

    Posted by joyrosesjesus on July 12, 2013 at 19:22

    petite and not busty!! Omg loved it!!! I love lace too

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Elisa_GFB on July 11, 2013 at 19:46

    I love 8&6

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by QuarterQueen on June 22, 2013 at 17:16

    I’m so happy to see a plus-sized option on here! I’m even happier to see a plus-sized model! Thanks for making this post. I love the last shirt that was featured.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by RuthOneSixteen on June 20, 2013 at 20:50

    also: what sort of pants can you wear with the loose tops without looking frumpy? I think most skinny jeans, while sometimes nice, are sometimes immodest because of their tightness but looser jeans can clash with loose tops. I also like peasant skirts. so what can wear?

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by RuthOneSixteen on June 20, 2013 at 20:46

    I LOVE that your body shapes are actually correct! Have you ever noticed in secular zines like Seventeen, Glamour, etc. they have the weirdest body shapes? Tall (not a shape!) curvy (when they mean overweight, not small-waisted!), pete (they mean short and skinny- not all short people are skinny and vice versa!), and athletic (how is this a shape like tall). Uggggh! that’s why it’s so hard for me to find out what looks good on me- I am slightly curvy and small chested. stuff either looks frumpy on me or is too immodest. I hate that people think small chested girls can somehow not be curvy. Curvy means you’ve got a narrow waist. How is that related to bust size or weight (like how heavy women are always called curvy)?

    The peplum lace one is GORGEOUS! CR has great stuff. I just wish I had extra dough to spend. I really, really want to dress modestly AND cool this year.

    also, for the trapeze one, aren’t spaghetti straps considered immodest usually? I would be fine wearing one if it wasn’t.

  7. lilyworshipsongs

    Posted by lilyworshipsongs on June 15, 2013 at 21:28

    …is it bad I recognized all of the deb shop stuff XD Anyways, really great ideas here!

  8. beautiful_ending

    Posted by beautiful_ending on June 14, 2013 at 18:39

    Thing is, I’m not sure which figure I have 😛

  9. ChristianGirlForever

    Posted by ChristianGirlForever on June 14, 2013 at 11:14

    Im kinda curvy and busty and those are tops that I probably would have never worn. I feel that the first top would make me look bigger and same to the second one, also the patterns would make me feel bigger too.

  10. misstake

    Posted by misstake on June 14, 2013 at 08:19

    Tons of options! Cool! My favs are the mint green chevron, the peach and white color block, and the lace peplum. Super duper cute! Some of my fav stores which you guys havent yet showed clothes from, are http://www.papayaclothing.com/shop/ and http://www.yesstyle.com/en/home.html and http://www.hm.com/us/ and http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TopCategoriesDisplay?storeId=13052&catalogId=33060&geoip=home .

    Also Im obsessed with urban chic so its be soo cool if you guys could add some in! 🙂

  11. madisynn_7x

    Posted by madisynn_7x on June 14, 2013 at 07:47

    I wouldn’t be allowed to wear most of those shirts. I’m not allowed to show my shoulders and all my shirts have to be 4 fingers down from the collarbone. They’re cute but I wouldn’t be permitted to wear that.

    • misstake

      Posted by misstake on June 14, 2013 at 08:21

      In our fam we do the 4 fingers down from the collar bone too! 🙂

  12. onethingremains

    Posted by onethingremains on June 13, 2013 at 19:12

    I’m wearing the mint green top right now! It’s so comfy and cute!

  13. SlinkyKitty88

    Posted by SlinkyKitty88 on June 13, 2013 at 12:37

    Goodness, just because one is curvy does not mean one must wear tops that look like tents. O.o
    It’s okay to show the world that you have a shape.

    Now, since I am small and not busty….I thought the peplum top was pretty cute. Wouldn’t buy it, but it’s pretty cute.
    Like the shape of the tribal knit thing. But my goodness I HATE THE COLOR AUGH PEACHY SALMON AUGH.
    I know it’s a really trendy color right now, so a lot of people must love it (Along with mint green, the other trendy color). Gah, I hate all the “trendy” stuff right now. Except the neon. Neon is always good.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by RuthOneSixteen on June 20, 2013 at 20:47

      really? I hate the neon trend. I am SO glad pastels are back (although they seem to be leaving quickly thanks to summer… sigh).

      • Ashli Payj

        Posted by Ashli Payj on June 21, 2013 at 19:24

        RuthOneSixteen I totally agree! Pastels are very classy and cute! Neons are okay because I like them too, but personally I prefer the softer hues and Boho look. 🙂

    • his98child

      Posted by his98child on June 14, 2013 at 07:39

      I think that they’ve explained to us in another fashion post that the reason they choose looser clothing for curvier people is because a huge myth is that people think wearing tight clothing that hug your curves will make you appear skinnier.

      I think some people would be confident enough to wear whatever they want, no matter their size or shape, but PI is just trying to help out the girls that want advice on how to look to their best.

      God bless! <3

    • LoVeYoUrSeLf98

      Posted by LoVeYoUrSeLf98 on June 13, 2013 at 17:17

      I love neon colors–my nails are painted neon orange, yellow, blue,pink and green..all covered in sparkles! Haha~like I said, I LOVE neon colors!

  14. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on June 13, 2013 at 11:32

    I love the chevron tops really much, though I would love to see some tops here with bright neon colors!!

  15. vanilla

    Posted by vanilla on June 13, 2013 at 10:24

    A body type that you didn’t really mention is tall/long torso.

    • Ashli Payj

      Posted by Ashli Payj on June 21, 2013 at 19:19

      Yes. I noticed that too. Mainly because I am quite tall and not only have a long torso, but I am also “busty”. I have a very difficult time finding tops that fit my body :/

    • Blythe

      Posted by Blythe on June 15, 2013 at 07:37

      I noticed that too! I was kind of bummed….

    • KPriorify

      Posted by KPriorify on June 14, 2013 at 12:31

      Yuhp, thats me.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by tNOgreaterlove on June 14, 2013 at 12:02

      My thoughts exactly! Especially being busty and long torso-ed – few styles seem to be long enough.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Karyn14 on June 14, 2013 at 11:26

      Yeah, that is my body type. I’m fairly petite but I have trouble finding things that are long enough:)

  16. leahgrace99

    Posted by leahgrace99 on June 13, 2013 at 10:09

    I like all the choices, but as a girl who is quite busty for the “petite and busty” would not work on anyone with a big chest. It appears to dip low and not give a lot of coverage.

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by BabiiGurl97 on June 13, 2013 at 09:46

    I love the peachy colored tribal knit top! I would totally wear it! The plus size chevron top is super cute too!