Refined tops that are as easy to style as a basic tee

If your spring & summer wardrobe looks anything like mine, it’s probably pretty t-shirt-centric. For everyday casual wear, it’s hard to beat a classic tee for effortless casual style. But as much as we love our trusty tees, sometimes we want to elevate our everyday look without sacrificing comfort and ease. That’s where chic, easy-to-style tops come in. These versatile pieces offer the same effortless feel as a tee, but with added refinement and sophistication.

But first though, I’d like to say thank you for all of the kind and supportive comments on my last post. I truly appreciate your compassion and kind thoughts.

Easy to style tops & elevated tees

I just purchased this smocked cotton-blend tee and love it! It’s lightweight but pretty opaque, and has a lovely texture and neat look. It’s a more fitted piece (though not super snug) and I sized up to a Medium for a bit more ease in the bust. This “Gesso” color is a soft, creamy slightly off-white. It’s also available in black, sizes XXS-XL.

Short sleeve sweaters in lightweight knits like this one are another refined tee shirt alternative. Yes, it’s wool, but hear me out…lightweight wool really can be comfortable in warmer conditions. It breathes, wicks moisture, doesn’t tend to pick up odors (which makes it great for travel). This sweater is washable, and available in several colors, sizes P – XXL.

I love this whimsical music print tee, which I think would look really cool layered underneath a blazer.

Eyelet is great for keeping cool, but can skew a bit twee. The slim elbow sleeves on this top help balance the eyelet detail here, and the navy color keeps the overall look more grownup and refined. It’s 100% cotton, available in several colors in Misses, Petite, Plus & Plus Petite sizes.

Dress it up or down…this satin v-neck tee is available in 3 shades, sizes XXS-XXL. And it’s a budget-friendly option!

Micro-pleats are one of this season’s micro-trends, and here’s a budget friendly pleated tee in a rich cobalt blue. (Winters…this one’s for you!) Sizes XXS-1X.

And finally, this little relaxed elbow-sleeve linen sweater is better in person than it looks online. It’s available in a few colors in Regular and Petite sizes. I’d suggest sizing down.

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  1. Oh thanks for this post. It reminded me I do have a loose black shirt, even a silk one. So no need to buy a new one haha.

  2. Oh, no. I felt sure I didn’t receive a post from you recently, so your comment about well wishes sent me searching — sure enough, I did not receive the 22 April post. Besides being full of fashion items I love (!), I was so sorry to hear about your husband. I appreciate your thoughts on casual lives, caretaking lives, home lives, etc. Thank you for all you do for us!

  3. Nice choices Susan! The Vince tee is lovely. Would you size up to M in the Theory tee/sweater also?
    Many tees are just too long waisted for me.

    1. Hi Sally, I haven’t yet tried on the Theory sweater. I’ve had some favorite regular tees shortened, a tailor can do it easily. Just be sure they use a serger and not a straight stitch.

  4. The whimsical music tee caught my eye and it is ordered! I liked a couple of the other patterns when I went on the website, but will see about size with this first. From the size chart the medium seems okay, but lately I have had to size up to large a few times. The large was sold out so – here’s hoping it fits! Thank you!

  5. Désolée d’entendre que votre mari est malade Susan! Bon courage !
    J’aime beaucoup votre blogue, très bons conseils.
    The link for the linen tee doesn’t work for Canada but I found it anyway on the Banana Republic site!

  6. I love the eyelet blouse but if only the sleeves weren’t puffy. With the ruffled neck it’s tooooo. The darker colors should let only the eyelet shine? It’s always something, isn’t it?

  7. I wear a flax linen sleeveless top most warm days. I either wear a big linen shirt over it as a jacket, or a lightweight cardigan if it’s not quite as hot. T shirts do me no favors!