I really wanted to share this striped Seamwork Astoria crop top with you, but not sure it was worth a proper post on its own. So I decided to make it the feature of my blog series on how to style a handmade item in three different ways, for work, for comfort and for fun. I previously styled my beloved pink culottes and my favourite summer pattern from last year, the Fibre Mood Mira dress.
Firstly, a quick work on the Seamwork Astoria. I wrote a review back in the day when I made my first version, and there is very little to add to that. Astoria is a super simple pattern to make and probably the most fabric efficient pattern ever (that is not a tank top). It’s definitely my go-to pattern when I have very little fabric and so I pulled it out of the pattern stash when I got my hands on this gorgeous viscose jacquard. The piece was basically a fabric sample, less than 1/2 wide and about one yard long. But I was determined to make something out of it and so I got my crop top. You can imagine there was pretty much nothing left at the end. I had to get very creative with the cutting and piecing and had to make the sleeves a bit shorter, but very happy with how it came out.
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Now let me show you how I styled a (very short) crop top to preserve my modesty (and midriff) and still make the best of this beautiful fabric.
1| STYLING A CROP TOP FOR COMFORT
This outfit plays perfectly on the strengths of this top: the interesting print, while working around its weakness: the very very short length. It’s the perfect layer to slip under a comfortable, yet stylish jersey pinafore type dress. The cropped part is well hidden underneath, so no danger of midriffs showing. At the same time, the navy stripes blend in perfectly with the navy of the dress. And to bring it all together, I added a brown belt, that would match the golds and beiges of the remaining stripes. And to complete the outfit, I put on my favourite navy shoes.
COMFORT: This is a bit of a different take on the notion of comfort, which in this series usually come in the shape of a casual outfit. I actually tend to wear this combo for work, but it doesn’t mean it can’t also be comfortable + stylish and work-appropriate at the same time.
LAYERING: Yes, this is all about layers. And I love how two perhaps more warmer weather pieces come together to allow me to wear them when it’s a bit cooler outside.
COLOUR PALETTE: Beige and navy are, of course, one of my favourite colour combinations. Pretty much anything with navy is one of my favourite combinations, but shhh, that’s our little secret.
PROPORTIONS: The pinafore is really comfortable and had a slightly elevate waist, but I like that the neckline only just peeps from under the dress. It’s almost like I’m just wearing sleeves on their own.
2| STYLING SEAMWORK ASTORIA FOR FUN
It’s a pretty tall order to try to keep a very crop top from exposing the ol’ muffin tops. That’s why I prefer my jeans at least mid-rise, if not downright high-waisted. Which these ones are not so much. Yes, this is a casual outfit, but I can’t honestly say it’s super comfortable, at least from the pulling down the top/up the jeans perspective. I have in the meantime finished a fantastic (even if I do say so myself) pair of high waist Ginger jeans that will 100% sort that out, so I will be able to enjoy this playful outfit without the inherent issues.
FUN: Again taking a different interpretation than in previous posts. I wanted to style a fun look that was not necessarily for going out, but does bring a sense of whimsy. And again, fun is not necessarily comfort as I usually ascribe to more casual outfits.
LEATHER: This jacket is probably one of the oldest pieces in my wardrobe and I still love to take it out to jazz my casual outfits. It’s thick, keeps me warm and had all the right hardware. In this outfit, it gives me a bit of a ‘bad Sandy’ vibe (from Grease, of course). The leather belt keeps it from being our of place.
THE BANDANA: Another element that adds to the playfulness of the outfit. And there is just something about a spot + stripe combination. I still maintain the sense on joined-up however by keeping up with the navy theme.
THE SHOES: More gold and navy combos, down to the footwear. These are actually made by me, using a Sneaker Kit pattern and sole. Roderick, the designer behind Sneaker Kit made this pattern for a friend and it so just happened that I was the same size. I can’t wait for them to be available in all sizes, it’s an awesome pattern!!
3| STYLING A CROP TOP FOR WORK
Please allow me to wax lyrical a bit about how much I love this outfit! The trousers are so very old, I think I must have bought them in 2009. But they are still going strong and getting loads of wears. Definitely have passed the 30 wears limit. And, as I was just saying, a crop top needs a high waist pair of trousers, to be safely tucked in. So here we are. Plus a warm cardigan for the cold. And heels, of course!
HIGH WAIST + HEELS If there is one combination that ensures legs that go on for miles, it’s this one. These are some of my favourite shoes that unfortunately don’t get enough wears.
OVERSIZED CARDIGAN This Burda Style cardigan has a slightly asymmetric shape and a bit of a bat-wing and I love the way it lends more volume to the upper body. It’s still office-ready but also warm and even a bit playful.
ACCESSORIES: It’s no secret I love my really really big earring and these are just perfect! I love that making my polymer clay jewellery allows me to just mix and match and really indulge my colour coordination habits. I’m really tempted to make a pair in the exact colours of the stripes on the top…
ANY OTHER IDEAS ON HOW TO STYLE A CROP TOP? WOULD LOVE YOUR IDEAS IN THE COMMENTS.