23 feminine tops that aren’t at all prissy

I’m basically allergic to anything too prissified, but a girl also gets tired of wearing button-down shirts every day. So I’m on the hunt for tops that feel feminine without crossing the line. Most of the pieces I like have one or two fladylike flourishes but are otherwise clean-lined, like this gorgeous leopard print blouse. Possibly you think a pussy bow is the very definition of prissy, but I like to wear them untied.

Of course I like this because I’m still on a bit of a yellow kick, but the subtle dot pattern under the floral print is aces too.

This slightly spendy red number would be perfect under a blazer.

Just a cute little eyelet top for wearing on its own right now, or later on under a chunky cardigan.

This Universal Standard wrap top is waitlisted, but it is so pretty—and that blue is so good—that I feel it might be worth waiting for.

This manages to be menswearish and feminine at the same time, which is a cool trick.

A flutter sleeve top that looks like Ulla Johnson, minus the Ulla Johnson price tag.

The pleating here keeps this top relaxed yet really chic.

I like the twist at the neckline and the excellent snakeskin print here. Another good one for wearing under a blazer.

This looks like a great vintage store find—retroish, but not costumey.

Click through and zoom in on the print on this Joie top—eensy red and black hearts, which is fun.

A ruffle sleeve is usually not too far up my alley, but the cut here is otherwise so clean that it works.

The most refined hippie girl top I’ve maybe ever seen.

A grey floral is kind of unexpected and very elegant.

This leopard print wrap top has serious dress-it-up dress-it-down potential.

The pale pink floral print here is just glorious.

I’d wear this wrap top with an A-line denim skirt.

The graceful neckline here is just so good. This top isn’t exactly cheap, but I think it looks way pricier than it is.

I’m always a sucker for well-deployed smocking.

The bold red and blue print here is pleasingly graphic.

The bow almost crosses the line into priss territory, but I dig this Coach top anyway.

Just a good classic black floral.

And finally: this is a button-down, which isn’t too feminine on the face of it, but the color combination is just so sweet, and it’s silk, which drapes so beautifully.

Feeling hippie girl dresses

Summer and hippie girl dresses go together like a cheeseburger and fries, but you want to be careful not to look too much like an extra from Hair, and that can be easily accomplished. Just look for dress shapes that are relatively clean-lined, and keep your accessories sharp. I like that this cute pink number is essentially a shirtdress, but with interesting—but not too interesting—sleeves.

Such a feminine and flattering shape.

This dress is from Matta, which is a good resource for chic hippie girl garb (and they’ve got a store near my apartment and also in Sag Harbor, so I find them very nearly unavoidable). It’s a more traditional hippie girl shape than most of what’s here, but the subtle color palette keeps it sophisticated.

This is longer than I typically go, but it looks so flowy and comfortable.

Likewise, this J Crew dress is pretty maxi, which I don’t always think is flattering, but the fact that it’s fitted up top makes it work.

Just a cute sundress with a touch of matchy-clashiness at the hem.

This is rather low-cut so probably not best for busty gals, but I think it is quite graceful.

The contrast of embroidery and a floral print on this Free People dress appeals.


In the mood for: bright stripes

You’ve got to be careful with bright stripes—if they’re too bright or the color combination isn’t quite right, they can skew slightly Candy Man—but I think they can be so fun and chic, especially this time of year. I love the red-on-red of this Frame Denim blazer: it almost looks like corduroy, but is much lighter.

This bag features a really unlikely—but highly appealing—combination of hues.

OK, this navy-and-white dress isn’t especially bright, but it’s so damned snappy.

Pink and red really pops, and even though I usually don’t like such a high neckline, I think this is really cool. Also: here is a similar pink and white tee that’s super-cheap.

You know I’ve got a thing for yellow these days, but it’s not a color that everyone can pull off, and for those people, I suggest this Excellent Clare V tote.

The silhouette of this skirt is just so graceful.

This blazer is so English Schoolboy. It’s also extremely well-priced.

I dig the way the black and grey are integrated with brighter colors on this sweater, and believe this makes it a highly versatile piece.

This cape is so Euro-preppy.

Any lover of stripes must check out Kule, because they have some of the best striped tees and tee dresses I’ve seen anywhere. This  red, white, and blue specimen is very nearly perfect.

And I adore the striped detail on these Nili Lotan French military pants.

This Everlane dress appears to be on the shorter side, but the model is 5’9″, so it might hit closer to the knee on some of you. For you tall types, it might make an excellent beach coverup.

This furry mule from Rachel Comey is just a delight.

And finally: this tank dress is an ideal piece for kicking around on the weekend: it’s as easy as it could possibly be, but still rather put-together.

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