Sometimes I like to employ an "absence makes the heart grow fonder" method of shopping where I leave the store without a piece I'm considering buying to see if my desire to own it grows. I've found that there's really no better way to tell whether I can't live without an item than to spend some time away from it.
That's exactly how it went down with the Ahlam Ruffle Tie Top from Club Monaco. I was immediately drawn to the dramatic bow in the back and the under-the-sea print which prominently features lobsters (it also comes in plain white and blue and white gingham) but I was a bit hesitant when I first tried it on. Was it practical enough? Would I get enough wear out of it once the heat of NYC summer really kicked in?
Fast forward two weeks to when I found myself back at Club Monaco; I scooped up the shirt for 30% off — sales are always a sign, right? I don't regret this purchase one bit. The print is so unique, as is the cut, which is loose and drapey in the front, open in the back.
I am pretty much guaranteed to love anything with interesting back detailing, so that sealed the deal for me. It took me a long time to feel confident in tops like this, especially because I have a larger chest and thus always prefer to wear a bra with decent support. This shirt is great for that because it has voluminous elbow mid-length sleeves and even though the back is open it still provides coverage. It's sexy but not super overt; definitely my style.
I've been pairing it with light wash flared jeans from H&M that are fitted through the thigh, which balances out the diaphanous, flowy nature of the shirt, and some high-heeled sandals for a bit of height.
This is an outfit that calls for simplicity when it comes to accessorizing. A simple red vintage-looking bag (that I actually bought in 2015 at Urban Outfitters, of course) and a purple arrowhead ring that my best friend bought me for my birthday a few years back perfectly compliment the exaggerated silhouettes in this look without being overpowering.