K/R: That Helmut Lang wool top, and other contenders

I'd love advice on these three pieces, though I realize the lighting makes it nearly impossible to judge black clothing.

Photos 1-4:
A few days ago I linked to a Helmut Lang wool top with an interesting structured cowl. I bought it at Saks just to experience it, but it's a lot of money, so I will probably return it. This is the XS, and it feels too tight and bodycon (plus you can see bulges in places I didn't realize I had them). What do you think? I think it should go back.

Photos 5-7:
An alternative is a lighter wool top I got from Yoox. It was $100 (the other was $200!) so still expensive but more in range with what I can spend. In some ways this is my perfect top: wool, sleeveless, casual. I feel like I would just throw this on all the time, whereas the HL top would be a special occasion top because of the tightness. But does this one look too sloppy, too short, etc?

Photos 8-10:
Finally, I fell in love with this Eileen Fisher cotton sweater on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. This is a small and an XS would be a lot better, but it's sold out absolutely everywhere. I've been looking for something like this - casual, interesting color, shape, and texture - but perhaps I should practice PPP unless you all think the oversized drape looks perfect. Which it might! I'm a bad judge of oversized fits.

All these are with my awesome new R13 skinnies. I sold off two old black skinnies that just didn't work, to fund this purchase from Yoox, and I'm so happy with them. Maybe I'm not over skinnies after all! I now have the perfect jeans collection for me: these waxed skinnies, a straighter pair of black Gap jeans, grey AG boyfriend jeans, black R13 slouch skinnies, and straight leg grey jeans that I rarely wear anymore.

(However, I guess I need to beware of VPL. I wish underpants didn't do that...)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Tanya replied 10 years ago

    Wow, what an amazing selection of tops!  I love each and every one of them on you.  Yes, HL is a bit bodycon, but I think that is how it was intended to fit.  However, I understand the price issue, so you should take it back if that makes you uncomfrotsble.  But please keep the other two!  The Yoox one is perfect, and I think that the fit on the EF sweater is just right.

    Btw, your jeans collection sounds amazing (jeans are my favorite clothing item in the world).  Just curious, why no blue denim pairs?

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    I don't own anything that's not black or grey or white, right now! Well, I have a blue top, a purple sweater, and a purple tweed blazer, but I'm thinking of getting rid of them. And a green tee for St Patrick's day. But blue jeans are such a staple that I'm consider a pair of dark blue boyfriend jeans. I haven't had blue jeans in a few years, but they can be a nice contrast to my usual look.

    After years of only buying mediocre second-hand jeans (designer brands but never quite right, and often rather worn) this was the year I decided to refine the jeans collection since I wear them every day. Aside from these new skinnies, the others were actually thrifted too, but they were chosen very carefully.

  • Thistle replied 10 years ago

    I like the EF top the best!

    I say return #1. It is not a 10, and no sense stretching your fashion budget beyond its budget.

    As for #2, I like. You sounds thrilled with it, and that makesit a keeper.

  • ironkurtin replied 10 years ago

    Looking good!  You have no bulges, but the second top does the job without the sticker agony, so I vote #2.

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Too funny - I just went searching for the EF sweater on Pinterest to see if I could find it, and the first hit was from our very own RachyLou! RachyLou, do you have this one too?

  • CocoLion replied 10 years ago

    Looking at both tops from my phone they look very similar. Or I need to find my glasses. Love the EF sweater. It's my fave of three tops. And yay for new skinnies. They look amazing on you.

  • Diana replied 10 years ago

    I like all three!  I do have a slight preference for the HL over the Yoox top because of the length, but if you are planning to wear it like this, with black bottoms, the slightly too short length on the Yoox top isn't much of an issue.  It sounds like you're not totally sold on the HL though so I'd probably return it.    For the record, I see no bulges though!

    I like the EF sweater a lot too.  The oversized fit looks good to me, you have the strong shoulder line to pull it off.  

  • Angie replied 10 years ago

    I'm an absolute spanner. 

    I love the HL sleeveless turtleneck. The neckline is perfect for your long neck. It's killer gorgeous on you, especially with your red hair. You can try sizing up if it feels too body con. The YOOX version is awfully short, but will be great over skirts. Do you wear skirts, Greyscale? 

    I like the EF sweater third best because the neckline is wide for your long neck and dainty shoulder line. I have a similar body type, and prefer to keep the shoulder neck point covered, and/or the neckline very high when the shoulder neck point is exposed - for extra structure. I hope that makes sense. 

    Love the new R13 skinnies. Killer perfect for you. xo

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    I do wear skirts - or at least, I just organized my closet and discovered that I owned seventeen(!!) skirts, but I haven't worn them much recently. I just put six in the giveaway pile. I am concerned that the top is too short for most of my wardrobe. I think I'll go through and see how many outfits it would work in.

    The saleswoman thought one size up in the HL top was too big, but I thought it was good. I'll go check it out again over the weekend.

    Interesting point about the neckline. I enjoy scoopneck tops but I realized recently that the proportions are wrong with my neck. Crewnecks make my shoulders look like a football player. A slight scoop or slight ballet or boat neck seems ideal. Every time I put on the EF sweater I think "this is too big" so that one is probably going back as much as I like it. The sleeves are long enough that they annoy me.

  • Angie replied 10 years ago

    Lets see you in those skirts, Greyscale. I'm excited. 

    You don't have football player shoulders at all. An XS would be better in the EF pullover - but alas, they were sold out. 

  • cinnamon fern replied 10 years ago

    Can you go back and try the small in the HL again?  This size looks good, but if it feels too bodycon you won't wear it.

    I often have SAs try to convince me to buy what seems to me like a size too small.  (Never the other way around.)  What's up with that?

  • Jaime replied 10 years ago

    Aha. I am glad Angie came along and spannered you, because I also love the first one the most! I don't find it too bodycon, just flattering but not in a too tight way. I like the Yoox one too, but it is short for jeans. And I also own lots of skirts that don't get nearly as much wear as my jeans and really, really want to see yours.

  • catgirl replied 10 years ago

    So fab! Keep 2 & the sweater if price an issue. What a fantastic denim collection you have. And the arms of a climber - high five! I have the same neckline issues. A high crew does not work for me, nor does a wide boat neck - a forgiving crew or a mid-V are best.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Helmut Lang. Helmut Lang. Helmut Lang. 

    (And when you get sick of it, please send it to me.)  :)

    I am with Angie on the Eileen Fisher. Sadly. I like the idea of it a lot. 

  • Gigi replied 10 years ago

    I didn't notice a lot of difference between #1 and #2, but after reading the posts, I do see that the Yoox one is quite a bit shorter. I don't think it's a deal breaker if you wear it with black pants, as someone else suggested, but will it annoy you to have it riding up above the belt line, esp. when you sit down?

    On the EF, I think that there is too much material around the armpits. I notice this a lot in clothes that I buy when I try to cheat and shop in misses' rather than petites'.

  • Jeanie replied 10 years ago

    I like the HL.  I can't find your original link but I remembered it having more drape and that was the cool part. I looked at SAKs and it does drape more in the pic.  Perhaps you could post a pic with the size up.  I think the 2nd sweater is a bit short.  I  like the EF on you.  I think slightly oversized looks good on you.  

  • rae replied 10 years ago

    Hm. Maybe I'm the triple spanner, because I agree with Angie about the EF neckline, but I don't think either turtleneck/cowl looks special enough to be that spendy. That said, maybe there is some fabrication glory that isn't coming through in the photos?

  • Greyscale replied 10 years ago

    Hmmm. The HL fabric is amazing (it's the same dense wool knit they use for a lot of outer layers and dresses) and the draped structure is done quite well. But you might be very right that it's not worth the cost for those details. Certainly it's only worth it (and that's a stretch) if I'd wear it all the damn time.

    Jeanie, I think you're on to something. I just looked back through the online photos and every store has it looser than this one. And the models are generally wearing a small, not XS, which is usually a sign that I should size up too. Unfortunately, someone must just have bought the last S at the Saks downtown because they had one a week ago but not now. I wonder if any other stores do. I also wonder if there will be any post-Christmas sales...

    I love wool tops and they're hard to find. I did find two wool fabrics that I could use to sew something like #1 (heavier) and #2 (looser knit) if I knew how to design it...

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