Mum on the Run – Top of the tops

There’s no doubt it, tops can be tricky. When I say “tops” I don’t meant t-shirts, long sleeved plain tops, sweatshirts or breton tops, although they are of course tops – just not the kind that I am talking about. They are too plain for what I have in mind.


Nor do I mean going out skimpy, revealing, sparkly, expensive tops. What I am talking about are every day tops that you can wear with your jeans, that are a little bit pretty but that aren’t too fancy, or too expensive, for every day wear. The kind of top that you might put on and which makes you feel nicely put together, as though you have made a bit of an effort, without going overboard. The kind of top that when you put it with the right bag and the right shoes, you can look at in the mirror and think “I don’t look half bad.” The kind of top that someone might say “Oh, I like your top” about. You get my drift.


So, when I was in Zara today and I spotted three tops, all of which I could quite happily own, I went back to take photographs of them. One nice top is worth remembering, two nice tops are worth telling someone about and three nice tops are worth photographing and sharing on the blog. One thing I would urge you to do though, if only for a laugh, is to follow the links to the tops. Oh golly the models look miserable, as if they hate the clothes and can’t wait to get home.


First off there’s the oriental print combination top (£22.99) which reminded me very much of a Ted Baker style print. The print has also been used on skinny jeans and a dress – so it might result in Zara print overload later on in the season but so far, so good. There are so many pretty colours in this top that it would be easy to pick one of them up somewhere else in your outfit – or not if that’s not your style. 


Number 2 is this printed embroidered top £29.99  How fab would it look with a pair of beaten up jeans and sandals or flip flops on a hot day? I’m not one for revealing all during the summer but this would still keep me cool whilst covering up. It’s a little bit floaty but the neat pleats around the neckline and shoulders will keep the silhouette neat, so it should avoid that smocked/pregnancy top style look. I’m thinking more Reese Witherspoon and less [insert name of your choosing]!

Number 3 is this Japanese top with embroidered sleeve £25.99. V-neck tops aren’t easy to come by which is a real pain in the whatsit because they are so much more flattering on ladies with larger busts and there are lots of ladies with larger busts. The way that the waistband sits also means that the top is really flattering for any lady with a less than flat stomach – which would be most of us.  I think that the embroidered sleeve is really pretty and the eye will automatically be drawn to it, rather than towards the centre of the body and to those bits that we tend to like least…

Finally I just thought that I would show you these bow trim high heel court shoes (£85) from Dune. It’s quite rare to see such bright blue shoes but for anyone looking for a pair of shoes to jazz up a simple dress, or to add some interest to a plain wedding outfit, or because they fancy introducing some coloured shoes into their wardrobe, these could just be them.

Oh and look what I received today by way of a free gift with my trainers, which I have now located. How cool is this? My very own Sports Direct mug. It’s more than I get with most purchases!


  1. Katie Portman
    February 28, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    Beth, I love them ALL!Completely agree with you too regarding the top struggle. As a new Mum, my wardrobe has changed rapidly from smart work attire and impractical byt fabulous going out clothes to jeans, jumpers, easy to wear dresses and tops! Well that's if I could find any decent tops. Bar the basics, I am yet to find anything remotely pretty and practical. However…you may just have helped ;-) Thank you. x

    • StyleGuile
      February 28, 2013 / 9:06 pm

      Hi Katie – so pleased that you like them. This post was partly inspired by a lady I was working with the other day who is in exactly the same position as you. I think that a few nice tops can make all the difference to how you feel about yourself – especially in those new Mum days. I find that they help to bridge that psychological gap between where you used to be with your clothes, where you are and where you would like to be!

  2. The Flaky Fashionista
    March 1, 2013 / 9:11 am

    I love the second and third top. I really struggle to find tops that are pretty and have sleeves (very important when you have psoriasis that you want to conceal!) They are really pretty … love the shape of the third one. I feel a trip to Zara coming on!

    • StyleGuile
      March 1, 2013 / 9:18 pm

      Hi Helen – the third one was a similar shape to the one that you had on last weekend wasn't it? I thought it when I saw of you so I am pleased that you like it. Hope it works just as well when it's on. Can't believe it was a week ago that we all met up, can you?!

  3. The Find Boutique Bootcamp
    March 1, 2013 / 9:44 am

    Those Sports Direct mugs are invaluable, since I have SD on speed dial and pretty much weekly deliveries, I am overflowing with them. As much as I might struggle to drink a litre of tea at a time, they are fantastic for storing left over bits and pieces in the fridge. I love the second top, would def lend a bit of glamour to scruffy jeans and flip flops oh for the weather to wear it though.

    • StyleGuile
      March 1, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      Hi! I love the mug too – it's quite sad really how excited I was by my free gift. Love the storage idea – after I've christened it with some tea that is. The second top is my favourite too – think I might have to pay Zara another visit…

  4. Kathryn Radcliffe
    March 1, 2013 / 9:58 am

    Hi, I totally agree finding tops is a tricky business. They're interestingly also the hardest thing to design and sell well. Where ever I've worked 'tops' is the area people groan about! Lovely choices though. xx

    • StyleGuile
      March 1, 2013 / 9:35 pm

      Hi Kathryn – So pleased that you like the choices. A good selection of tops can make all the difference to your wardrobe can't it? I'm definitely a woman on a mission now!

  5. Sharon
    March 1, 2013 / 11:29 am

    oooh love the first top, so pretty and lovely for the Spring (if it ever arrives!) Have avoided Zara for the last couple of weeks as there appeared to be a lot of sale stuff hanging around in our local store, and also, an overwhelming display of monochrome as you walked through the door…feel more inspired to take a look now..Thank you!

    • StyleGuile
      March 1, 2013 / 9:37 pm

      Hi Sharon – I know what you mean about Zara. Ours was dire with all the sale stuff, then the monochrome and lots of yellow too which generally I love but it was just yuck. It's definitely on the up now though so hope you will find some gems.

  6. Anonymous
    March 1, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    Love all three tops! I have that same sports direct mug too. It's so BIG.

    • StyleGuile
      March 1, 2013 / 9:38 pm

      Thanks, so pleased that you like the tops. As for mugs – I like them big. Like bars of chocolate!

  7. Kirsten Wingate
    March 1, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    All 3 of the tops are great, they look fab on their own but look like they could add a bit of interest to my wardrobe – I feel a trip to zara coming on. Thanks for all your help Kirsten x

    • StyleGuile
      March 4, 2013 / 8:30 pm

      Hi Kirsten – sorry, I tried to reply the other night but it wouldn't work. Hope that Zara reveals its gems to you. Let me know how you get on! Oh and by the way, you are very welcome!

  8. Amanda
    March 1, 2013 / 12:56 pm

    Those tops are gorgeous. I always laugh when i check out the Zara website atm. If i relied on how it looks on the models i wouldn't ever buy anything. They look like they want to be somewhere else to me! x

    • StyleGuile
      March 4, 2013 / 8:32 pm

      Hi Amanda – you're so right! I couldn't believe how awful the second top looked on the site – I would never have looked twice at it, which is a shame for a brand which sells so much online. I reckon we could all do a better job – it's not that hard to smile is it?!

    • StyleGuile
      March 4, 2013 / 8:33 pm

      Hi Joanna – clothes waiting for you on the other side of the Atlantic. How sophis is that?!! Bet that they look amazing on you!

  9. happyoldbag
    March 1, 2013 / 2:27 pm

    I love these tops! I consider tops as teeshirts but I'm looking for something dressier these days. These are great.

    • StyleGuile
      March 4, 2013 / 8:35 pm

      Love your name – happyoldbag. It's brilliant! Glad that you like them and I hope that you find many more on your travels. Do let me know if you do!

  10. Style At Every Age
    March 1, 2013 / 8:52 pm

    I have loads of tops of this nature because I wear jeans so often! Those mugs are great for that first cup of tea in the morning, we have loads of them in this house as someone is always buying from Sports Direct although it's never me!

    • StyleGuile
      March 4, 2013 / 8:37 pm

      Hi Sharron – where do you get your tops like this from? I know that you like Great Plains and Zara but is there anywhere else in particular? Loving the goldfish bowl sized mugs. We need more in our house!

  11. Anonymous
    March 6, 2013 / 5:29 pm

    Hi we have 3 of these mugs now(seriously ) one is chipped as we actually paid for another one with a second order we loved it that much,it came chipped and they sent out a replacement.( whoa I can drink loads of tea)

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