I’m Open: 6 Split Back Tops I’m Loving

I’ve been coveting split back tops and sweaters for fall ever since I saw this outfit Mackenzie wore while sailing. Isn’t it just the epitome of effortless chic? Club Monaco always seems to be a great source for split or open back anything, from sweaters to rompers and jumpsuits; I spotted this one over the weekend, and added it to a “must purchase for fall” list I have running in my head. As counterintuitive as it may seem, a cashmere split back sweater is perfect if, like me, you tend to overheat easily, even in cooler months (I think everyone can relate to that period in the late summer/early fall where you can’t yet break out coats, you kind of want to wear a sweater, but you really hate sweating in them…amiright? Additional aside: it just struck me how funny the word ‘sweater’ is…like, outside of the gym, who wants to wear something that makes you sweat?).

Now that you’ve made it through my rambling thoughts on sweaters and perspiration, I’m going to answer the question many of you are probably asking: if the split back on a top is high enough, what do you do about the whole bra situation? Well, you can always choose to rock the band, especially if your lingerie is lovely and lacy and you want to make a little bit of a statement. But for a true open back look, let me point you to the Nu bra. I actually bought one of these before I got married, to test with my dress — I wasn’t sure whether I’d wear this, a strapless, or nothing at all if the corseting was enough. Though it didn’t work with my wedding dress, I ended up keeping the Nu bra, because it’s a great item to have around exactly for items like these tops. You probably aren’t going to want to go dancing in one, but they work great for everyday tasks/movements, and I have found I’ll use it a lot in the summer time.

From sweating to inventive bras. The split back top might not be as effortless as it seems. But, I’m still sold on it. Do you love this look?


Shop the featured tops, plus a few more:

Top image via Design Darling, photo taken by F.E. Castleberry


  1. 8.11.15
    Kendall said:

    Always inspired by your awesome graphics (love!) and accompanying good copy! :)

  2. 8.11.15

    I got a split top sweater from Club Monaco a few years ago that I still love. The split actually opens up to a really pretty silk floral (the sweater is a light gray), so that resolves the whole bra situation!

  3. 8.11.15

    that topshop sleeveless top is so good.

  4. 8.11.15
    katie said:

    I’ve tried out a similar style bra to that Nu bra and TBH, it just looked really awkward underneath my shirt. I bought a really deep-backed maxi summer dress, and was looking everywhere for an open-back bra solution. I am quite small chested and finally tried out these things called Breast Petals that I found at Target. Basically, it’s like…a sticker/band-aid cut in a flower shape that just covers and smoothes out your nipple. Obviously they don’t provide any support, they just round things out so you don’t clearly look like you’re braless. They sounds weird, but they are cheap and worked like a charm! Though once fall really hits and the temps drop a bit, if you go with a cashmere sweater option, something like a silk tank underneath could be a lovely look. Then bra choice wouldn’t matter!

  5. 8.12.15
    Kathleen said:

    I love this trend! Great pics!

  6. 8.12.15

    You completely read my mind with this post! Mackenzie’s outfit definitely set off the love of this style for me, too (did you see that Inslee is including it in her 2016 calendar?!) and I picked up a navy + white striped open back sweater from Banana Republic last month. I’ve been using a little dab of dress tape to keep bra exposure to a minimum and it’s worked quite well!

  7. 8.12.15
    Nan said:

    Oh my gosh I have always loved that picture of Mackenzie! Can we just be transported there right now?! I have a few split back tank tops that I love from Madewell but I am intrigued by the idea of a sweater with a split back.. That tan cashmere one is beautiful. Might have to add that to my fall wishlist!
    xo Nan // Simply Elegant Blog

  8. 8.12.15

    These are gorgeous!

  9. 8.12.15

    Love this trend!!

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