Tying One On

The long and short of it? Well, that’s just it: I’m kind of short and sometimes tops are too long. Especially these days, when high-waisted everything is the norm and I’ll admit to wanting to make cropped jeans like this and midi skirts like this work. I’ve struggled with all manner of tops to get these types of bottoms to look good on my petite-yet-curvy frame — tucking in tees, experimenting with tops with elasticized hems — but it wasn’t until I started pairing tie tops with everything that I felt I could get the look to work for me. If you have any sort of chest at all and are also under 5’3″, tie-front and tie-back tops are a godsend. You can make the tie looser if you want the look to be blousier (meaning it can still pair well with classic skinnies), or cinch it a bit tighter if you want more of a fitted, crop top look. Even more wonderful is tying the top in such a way that you can make it hit at the exact point you need on your specific waistline, making them infinitely usable no matter your bottom half. Plus there’s just something casual and playful about the tie itself — they’re really the perfect style for summer, and for right-now trends.

I ordered this simple cotton tie back tank from J.Crew a couple weeks ago and liked it so much, I promptly went back to the store and bought two more (surprise surprise, they were on sale!). I love the look of the black one with this striped skirt I got from Madewell (it’s sold out now, but here’s a similar one). The outfit is so easy breezy that it’s going to be a go-to in Korea, for sure. I think cotton tees make customizing the tie even easier, since you can be a little rougher with the fabric and make the tie bigger or smaller, making the top correspondingly tighter or looser.

Also, a PSA: I find that sleeveless, button-down tie-front shirts look really good on everyone, but especially if you have a bigger chest. Something about it is just super flattering and balances you out visually. I LOVE this one from DVF — it’s linen, blue and white striped, and even has a matching skirt (seriously, what’s not to love?).

Shop the Tops:


  1. 6.13.18

    I have the same problem at 5’2″. I’ve started tying a knot in the bottom of some of my tops that have enough fabric to do it. It keeps my tops shorter and a little more fitted so I don’t feel like I’m drowning in them.

    • 6.13.18
      Victoria said:

      Yes, exactly! Same here (same height!) :) This one little trick opened up all types of new bottoms previously unavailable to us gals with shorter frames!

Comments are closed.