At SoSensational, we love our vests and t-shirts, of course we do, but we also recognise a couple of perennial issues with vests and tees – notably “arms” and bosoms!
Let us explain: vests (and we include camis, here) are super-essential for warm-weather dressing.
But in wearing one, we have to expose the tops of our arms. (Obviously, we are not talking warm-weather workwear, when we can put a vest under a blazer. Noooooo, we are talking hot, non-working days.) One solution might be a T-shirt rather than a vest, but if you have anything more than a B-cup bosom or you don’t suit a high neckline, a classic T-shirt is definitely not the ideal solution.
So, lovely SoSensational ladies over 50, and over 60, AKA GLOWS, we have been on the hunt for vests and tees that are properly grown up and flattering.
Vests, by definition, have no sleeves, so if you want/need vests for holiday wear we suggest that you focus on these factors:
Fabric – Ideally, good and stretchy, maybe with a little elastane (Lycra, etc) so it keeps its shape. Same is true for T-shirts
Length – your ideal length vest (or T-shirt) will depend on your proportions. If you are shorter in the torso but have longer legs, a longer vest or tee will balance you out while if you are longer in the torso but with shorter legs, a short top will balance you out.
But then it also depends whether your vest or tee is going to contrast strongly with your bottom half, or blend with it. The latter, by the way (blending) is especially good if you are Petite or want to appear slimmer as one colour/one tone from neck to knee or from neck to ankle makes us appear taller and slimmer.
Neckline – vests are generally available in these necklines: scoop, V, round or square. The best neckline for you will be one which reflects your face shape; so if your face is more angular, like Cyndy, a V-neck or a square neck would be more flattering. If, like Jan, your face has more curves, a scoop or round neckline will suit you better.
The depth of the neckline is also important and is, again about proportion. If you are shorter in the body a very low neckline will shorten your body, but a very high neckline won’t flatter either; If you are longer in the body a slightly lower neckline may be more flattering. But whatever your shape, when ordering a vest or cami, consider that you may need to shorten the straps!
Colour – At SoSensational, we always believe that wearing your best colour is better than Botox for making you look fabulous after 50 and sensational after 60. And that goes double for a garment such as a vest or T-shirt when we are not wearing much else. So do not choose the default “white” unless white truly suits you; choose vests and tees in colours that make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle.
When choosing your colour you might wish to factor in whether you want your vest or tee to contrast strongly with your bottom half, or to blend with it, as previously mentioned.
When it comes to choosing T-shirts, in addition to the advice above relating to fabric, length and colour, we would also offer specific advice relating to necklines and sleeve length.
Neckline – The classic T-shirt is, well, a T-shirt, so it has a round neck that sits above the collar bone. If your body type is straight and you are a B-cup or less, a classic T-shirt will really work for you. Neither Jan nor Cyndy look good in a classic T-shirt. Indeed, both have been known to rip apart a classic T-shirt to lower the neckline (when the wearing of a T-shirt with a charity’s branding was demanded). Happily, there are plenty of T-shirts around which are not classic. Of course this blurs the line between Tops and Tees, but if we look 1,000% better, who cares about the terminology!
Again, generally, the options in T-shirt necklines are: scoop, V, round, square or a straight-across boat neck. The best neckline for you will, again, be the one which reflects your face shape; so if your face is more angular, a V, a square or a boat neck would be most flattering. If your face has more curves, a scoop or round neckline will suit you better.
The depth of the neckline is also really vital with a T-shirt. If you are curvy, a lower neckline will always be more flattering – again, we are blurring the lines between Tops and Tees, so please do not report us to the style police. And, again, face shape, comes into the equation: a longer face will suit a U-shaped neckline; a heart-shaped face with a round jaw will suit a slightly scooped neckline.
Sleeve Length – One more thing to think about is the length of the sleeve on a T-shirt. If you are a slim straight who suits classic T-shirts, you can skip this bit. If, however, you are anything like Jan and Cyndy, please pay attention! If the little sleeve that is usual on a T-shirt finishes exactly in line with the fullest part of your bust, that creates a horizontal line from the outer edge of one arm to the outer edge of the other arm, thus making us appear wider. So, look for Tees with very short sleeves or with sleeves that finish just above the elbow – just not sleeves that are exactly at bust-level.
For warm-weather wear, Jan has bought several Bardot tops in plain colours from F&F and from Dorothy Perkins, commenting: “Bardot tops leave my shoulders bare but cover the tops of my arms, and because the ones I bought were are quite long, they look good with trousers and skirts or even with a sarong at the pool.”
The straight-across Bardot neckline is not Jan’s ideal neckline but because it gives her a bare neck and shoulders, that cancels out the negative effect of a straight-across neckline!
What is your favourite style of tee to wear?
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