23 feminine tops that aren’t at all prissy

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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.

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22 Thoughts on 23 feminine tops that aren’t at all prissy
    Moi
    16 Aug 2018
    1:50am

    I need a few new tops, and that red print Yumi Kim and the black floral Velvet by Graham & Spencer are calling my name. The latter is probably a better buy for fall, although I probably wouldn’t hesitate to plunk the Yumi Kim over a black turtleneck.

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    y.k.
    14 Aug 2018
    10:59am

    The pleating on the shoulders of that 2nd yellow top is just the coolest.
    and on a completely different topic,
    I was just listening to the Omarosa craziness –
    – her tape of her convo w/ the Orange one – when he says dammit!
    ok, i will calm down now.

    4

    0
      c.w.
      14 Aug 2018
      1:52pm

      Ms. O is as wack-a-doodle as Agent Orange. imho

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    c.w.
    14 Aug 2018
    11:51am

    I often have a hard time with print tops because they so often do look prissy. This is an excellent collection. Super drawn to the heart Joie top and the final orchid floral. Kim, your phrase “well-deployed smocking” may go down in fashion descriptive history because it’s that brilliant.

    5

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      Viajera
      14 Aug 2018
      2:56pm

      Yes! I also appreciated “zipper to nowhere.”

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      Mamavalveeta03
      22 Aug 2018
      2:13pm

      Lol! I thought the same thing, c.w.!

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    Meg
    14 Aug 2018
    1:33pm

    Lovely tops. Question. Am I right in thinking, with these plunging-neckline blouses that are coming in now, that you pretty much just skip the bra and use some kind of adhesive to keep everything from flying out there? What are people doing about this? Your expert guidance appreciated

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      Kim France
      14 Aug 2018
      9:09pm

      You can always wear a camisole to make the neckline less plunging, or acquire a plunge bra like this one: https://rstyle.me/n/c733cpz5c6

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    gk2829
    14 Aug 2018
    1:48pm

    Great tops.. I have an odd rule of thumb for picking out some of my tops. I will love whatever I choose if it reminds me of even the faintest way any of the shirts or tops Fay Dunaway worn in Network.

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      Kim France
      14 Aug 2018
      9:10pm

      She had the BEST wardrobe in that movie!

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    Kathi
    14 Aug 2018
    5:27pm

    To own an Equipment top is on my bucket list. Okay, might have to add that Joie top to the list.

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      Eloise
      14 Aug 2018
      7:08pm

      Off Fifth often has them at very reasonable prices, including Kim’s favorite – leopard print!

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        Kathi
        14 Aug 2018
        10:03pm

        Thanks, Eloise!!

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    Sammy Sam
    14 Aug 2018
    6:29pm

    At first glance, I thought the cutie yellow number was rocking horses, not florals.

    Eyes = OLD

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    Susan
    14 Aug 2018
    10:28pm

    The eyelet white shirt and pink black floral are my favorites. I never know what are the better style and color undergarments to wear with eyelet white shirts. Any rec?

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      Kathy
      15 Aug 2018
      3:09am

      I have a white eyelet blouse. I usually wear a white camisole under it, although I have worn it with a skin-colored cami from time to time. I think the latter reads a smidge sexier while the former looks a little more conservative. However, I do confess to wearing it with just a skin-tone bra under it more than a few times when the temperature in my classroom was in the 90s. Priorities.

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        Viajera
        15 Aug 2018
        3:01pm

        I don’t see how children can be expected to learn in such high temperatures. And I wonder about your union a bit too. What is going on with them? All of you deserve better.

        Not that it is any of my business really. I just know what heat does to my thinking ability.

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          Kathy
          16 Aug 2018
          6:49am

          One year I had an especially activist group of parents. Whenever the temperature in my room reached 80°, I’d call one mom on the sly and she’d activate a phone tree of like-minded parents. They’d all show up at school (often with local media!) to have their kids dismissed early. It happened several times a week in the fall, and about once a week in the spring. My 2nd graders also wrote letters to the superintendent and other suits begging for room air conditioners. They (unprompted!!) drew pictures of themselves melting, or as ashes, or with their heads on fire. We got NO response–not even a “thank you for your letter” letter. Karma: said superintendent is currently in prison for fraud.

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            Viajera
            16 Aug 2018
            5:25pm

            Holy s!!! I would not dream of messing with you-all, Kathy!! I love activism in defense of the small and helpless – wait, with those drawings, they are not helpless. It is a great lesson for them to learn too, about speaking up! So happy to read this, especially first thing in the morning.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      22 Aug 2018
      2:17pm

      Those are my favorites, too, Susan – and both by Velvet, right? They do hippie tops well. I’d wear either a nude bra and not worry about it, or a silky cami in white or nude layered under it.

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      Kim France
      15 Aug 2018
      1:24pm

      I always like the contrast of a black camisole, but something flesh-colored is probably a bit more polished-looking.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        22 Aug 2018
        2:20pm

        You rebel!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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