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Ask Belle: Tops to Wear with Suits

Hi Belle,

I am having trouble picking out tops to go under a suit. I generally think an oxford is traditional, but it’s just too bulky a look for me given how fitted most women’s suits are. Do you have suggestions about blouses will go well under a suit?

Thanks! Michelle

The oxford is a traditional suit shirt, but it’s never been my favorite.  I like to mix masculine pieces (the suit) with feminine ones (a silk blouse, a chiffon top, etc.).  Here are a few tops for mixing with suits:

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Olivia Moon Short Sleeve Top ($58) // Chelsea28 Surplice Top ($58) // Hinge Print Woven Top ($58) // Anne Klein Pleat Top ($39)

My favorite look for under a suit blazer is a v-neck.  This surplice top and the woven top have necklines that will complement the cut of a blazer.  I also found this basic cream top from H&M, which would look lovely tucked into a skirt suit.  A great choice for job interviews.

Another great look is printed tops that give you some color and pattern.  I love this sale-priced DvF top with a marble print.  This Theory chiffon top with soft print is also a great choice.  But my favorite top I found was this Ann Taylor blouse with a poppy print, also in petite.

Plus-size? This Anne Klein blouse comes in beautiful raspberry color, and this printed top from Sejour is the perfect neutral blouse in black and white.  Petite? This Dorothy Perkins ivory blouse is a good choice, as is this Alfani top with a brushstroke print.

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    3 comments

  1. Bernie says:

    Tip: if you like the look of an oxford but not the bulk, try a sleeveless button-up shirt. They come in lots of colors and prints and are way more comfortable than the full sleeved version. Beware, however, if you’re going to remove your suit jacket. Good idea to keep a cardigan to cover up your arms.

    May 27, 2014/Reply
  2. Jamie says:

    I have the Anne Klein pleated top in white and I really love it. I was tempted to get the printed version as well, but I don’t like the print.

    May 27, 2014/Reply
  3. Kelly says:

    I used to fall in the same trap, suit+oxford shirt and started feeling like it just looked too masculine and like you didn’t try very hard. Almost like a uniform. Thanks for the suggestions on tops, I’ve also found really good ones at Ann Taylor, LOFT and Club Monaco.

    May 28, 2014/Reply