We are back with the tops! Given that our first outfit post, although very popular, couldn’t cover a large number of tops for length reasons, we decided to expand your outfit alternatives around tops with this new article, where we focus on sexy tops for women with designs never before covered here at Vintage Shape.
We focus on vintage tops, but of course, we also aim to portrait how these tops look in combination with modern apparel, so expect some up-to-date suggestions too.
With this guide, you will have endless ideas on how to revitalize your wardrobe according to your own preferences.
Remember to check out our other outfits posts, as we cover outfits around the most worn apparel.
Bustier Top – Highlight your bust
Our first top is the bustier top, which you may be associating with bustier lingerie since both have basically the same design; a single piece, sleeveless top that pushes up your breasts and is tight on your midsection.
The ideal top if you are looking to make your breasts look bigger while also creating the illusion that your waist is thinner.
Bustier lingerie emerged during the early 20th century and a few decades later it made the transition to outerwear, giving place to endless different outfits centered around them and with fashion elements from different decades.
Our vintage outfit suggestion incorporates elements from the 50s and looks like this…
Note: For better terminology understanding, we are linking relevant Vintage Shape’s posts, where more detailed explanations of the apparel can be found
The 50s were characterized by high waisted below-the-knee skirts with wide hems and printed patterns such as polka dots or squared patterns. As long as you contrast the top’s colour, you can go for an A-Line skirt or bell-shaped pleated skirt for a casual look and a pencil skirt for a formal approach.
For skirt terminology, take a look at our skirt outfits posts
As for the feet, a discrete pair of heels that matches the colour with the top is ideal. Low-heeled pumps, kitten heels, and spool heels are good options.
To know more about heels, we give you our guide on heels.
Finally, you can’t have a complete 50s outfit without proper headwear. As you can tell from the picture, a tied headband looks wonderful.
If you are interested in other types of headwear, check out our vintage headwear guide.
But what about bustier tops with a slightly more modern design? How do you combine this?
A modern approach to the bustier top would be…
As you can see, the addition of the shoulder-less sleeves gives it a more fashionable look. Although it may seem like a very formal piece, it can be worn casually and in a very simple way. A simple set of tight jeans does the trick, just make sure to match the denim well.
The heels are also given a modern twist with an increased height compared to that of the vintage suggestion. Stilletoes, platforms, and ankle straps are all great alternatives.
Something to think about: Although not part of the outfit notice how handbags (in both cases) play a role in your look too. If you go out with one, make sure it flows well with colours and the era you are going for.
Halter Top – A unique and flashy design
Halter tops are overlooked in our time yet they are immensely diverse. These tops are characterized by tying around the neck and behind it as well as for being sleeveless.
Halter tops were introduced in the 1930s and became widely popular by mid-century, making it an ideal top if you want to go for a vintage/retro look. Moreover, countless different variations have been designed and marketed ever since, so the potential for a modern look is there.
For our halter top vintage suggestion we have…
Depending on the way it ties around your neck and how low it extends, you can have a casual or formal halter top. This time we are going for the formal alternative, where the top ties discretely at the back of the neck and falls openly on the front. A plain design adds a little bit to the elegance.
The best way to complement it is with a long pencil skirt whose shape and elegance matches perfectly. Remember that the skirt extends below the knee.
For the feet, the pencil heels or platform pump are the natural options if you don’t mind sacrificing comfort for elegance. Matching colours with the skirt works best here.
On the other hand, you can try a low heel and more comfortable alternative such as kitten heels or any flat with pointy toes. If you go for this alternative, contrasting colours work better.
Finally, a contrasting belt that matches your heels, will accentuate the curvy effect that both the top and the pencil skirt already provide. Also, pearls are a nice accessory to have for this one!
If you prefer a modern approach, you can go for…
Halter tops that tie with exotic designs on the lower neck and back, and on the front too, as well as, cropped halters are examples of more recent halter designs.
The latter one combines amazingly with maxi skirts as you can see in our featured outfit. This combination fixes really quickly, so it’s ideal when you are in a rush but still want to look casually feminine and attractive.
It is also a very simple combination as you don’t have to worry about heels or other fancy accessories; the key here is knowing how to the colours/patterns well.
One Shoulder Top – Daring and hot
Next, we have the one shoulder-off top, where one of the shoulders is covered and the other is exposed, while the front generally has an asymmetric design.
These tops gained much popularity at the end of the past century, and our vintage outfit suggestion for it is a throwback to those times.
Thanks to popstar like Britney Spear, a widely popular 90s look was…
Pleated mini skirts with a squared pattern were part of the popular schoolgirl outfit. Although this was originally worn with a tie-up top, a nice variation of it uses a one-shoulder top.
You can choose to go for the full look with some knee-high socks that match the skirt and some loafers, or you can simply go for high shoes. Ankle straps or ankle boots go very nice with the outfit.
On the other hand, a modern outfit would be…
The same top can look very different depending on what you combine it with. This is seen very clearly with the modern outfit just featured, where (almost) the same one-shoulder top presented in the vintage one is combined with a set of high white trousers and some covered stilettos.
Experiment with modern trousers, leggings, jeans, and so on. You will be surprised by how many different outfits the one-shoulder allows.
Tube top – Flattering on the midsection
Any article that focuses on sexy tops for women has to have a tube top on it. The top is known for wrapping around the upper torso, leaving the lower part, arms and shoulders exposed.
It became widely popular from the 70s onwards, thus taking part in the disco trends.
Our vintage outfit is extracted from that 80s trend…
The key point when going for this outfit is colour. Very bright colours (especially metallic colours) and their combinations are ideal both for the tube top and the trousers. For the latter one, you can go for a standard set of metallic trousers, leggings, or if you want to stand out, even more, a set of metallic bell-bottoms.
Another alternative would be metallic mini skirts/shorts with rainbow designs, which are becoming increasingly popular nowadays.
As for the shoes, a set of high heeled platform shoes works for all the pants, high heels for the skirt, or a pair of sneakers if you go for the shorts.
If you prefer a more comfortable and less flashy look, take a look at our modern suggestion…
With the fitness industry exploding in recent years, looking good even when you are working out has become an increasing need.
Tube tops are ideal for exercising as they are comfortable and breathable, plus, they have an inherent sexy yet simple look that is flattering for anyone making some gains at the gym 🙂
A simple combination with leggings or pants and a pair of sneakers have you set up for any kind of workout.
Cold shoulder top – An unusual top
We finish our list with a top that is very rare in itself but that combined properly can look really nice and unique.
The cold shoulder top was introduced in the 50s and its characterized by a simple trait; the shoulders have to be exposed. To distinguish between these and other off shoulders, the cold shoulders have to have (but not restricted to) the deltoids (round part of the shoulder) completely exposed, while others have it partially covered or expose more of the neck and upper arms.
With the tops featured hopefully you get a clearer picture of it.
A traditional design and outfit of the cold shoulder top are…
Vintage cold shoulders tend to have a more rectangular and loose look to them, still, you can use that to your advantage. An equally rigid (in cuts or maybe pleated) and loose set of trousers combines perfectly and adds a more serious and elegant look, as seen in the featured picture.
Stilettos and similar thin-strapped heels go very well with the outfit. Don’t forget to pay attention to the colours, as less vivid colours (pastel for example) are preferred for more conservative looks.
The possibilities are endless for this one, as factors these tops come in lots of lengths, shapes, and forms.
This is clearly seen when we give it a slightly modern fit to the top…
As you can see, a change in cuts, fit, and colour completely changes the top’s nature. Now with a more tightly fit top, you can go for equally tight pants, where the colour combinations shift to a modern metallic or darker nature.
You can also play around with modern heels/boots as shown in the picture above, where a set of high gladiator boots are featured. If you go for leather and similar fabrics, leather boots (high and ankle level), Cuban heels, and similar shoes are all great alternatives.
Play around with different colours, fits, and cuts!
We hope that with the outfits presented here a lot of ideas came to your mind on how to combine these tops. You will get the most out of this by experimenting with different sets of tops, pants, accessories, etc… and see what works best for you and what doesn’t.
If you want to know more about these (or any other tops) feel free to let us know in the comment section below, as there are still lots of things to know that we couldn’t cover in this post for length reasons.
Also, remember to check out our reviews as it is our space to cover some of the best options available online to shop.
Thank you for reading, and we hope your outfits turn out to be great 😀