Types of Women's Tops

By Indigo Zuri

Choose the right style of women's tops to accentuate your positives and draw attention away from less flattering areas. Different features of women's tops will look better on you than others depending on your own body features, so take the time to try on a variety and get objective opinions on which look best on you.

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Blouses, tunics, empires, sweaters, t-shirts, and camisoles are common types of women tops. The differences are found in sleeve length, collar type, neckline and cut.

Sleeve Length

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Sleeves of blouses, sweaters and t-shirts can be long, three-quarter length, short, or capped. Long sleeves stop at the wrist. Three-quarter length tops end midway between the elbow and the wrist. Short-sleeves stop at the bicep. Cap sleeves never fall beyond the armpit.

As the name suggests, a sleeveless top, such as a camisole or a halter top, has no sleeves. Straps are most often used instead. Tube tops, however, are sleeveless and strapless and kept in place with the help of elastic sewn in at the top of the garment.

Collar Types

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Collars placed on a woman's top either stand up or lay flat. Straight collars are considered to be more formal than rounded collars, which hint at playfulness.


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Tops without collars are grouped according to necklines. The most common necklines include crew necks, v-necks and scoop necks. V-necks and scoop necks typically create the illusion of a longer silhouette.


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Cut refers to the top's shape. Some tops are boxy and loose-fitting and have straight seams running from the armpit to the hem. Form-fitting tops have princess seams. Trapeze-shaped cuts, which are seen in many empire tops, are loose-fitting and flare out at the bottom.


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Body type dictates what style of top is best for you. Always consider cut and fabric. Tops with a straight cut flatter most body types. Princess seams create the illusion of an hour-glass silhouette. Clingy fabrics reveal imperfections.