How to Wear Loose Summer Tops Without Looking Like a Baby

There are few things more terrifying than adult babies. If I ever win the lottery, I will devote a sizable portion of my winnings (after writing checks for my various philanthropic endeavors, buying my parents whatever they want for putting up with me at age fourteen and going horse shopping) to costume stores worldwide as a payout for setting every single one of their adult baby costumes on fire.

Meanwhile, there are few things I love more than pretty, frilly, floaty tops. The problem is they often make me feel like a great big adult baby.

I don’t think I’m alone! One of you brought this up in the comment section of some post a while back. You were talking about dresses, but the sentiment was the exact same.

And because there are few things I hate more than being told what I can and cannot do or wear — especially because of my body type or adult baby fears — I decided to answer the age old question:

How does one wear a pretty, frilly, floaty top without — say it with me now — looking like an adult baby?

Well, step one is that you find a few shirts you like and then get rid of the baby complex.


Storets top, Zara pants, Tory Burch shoes, Artemis Design Co bag, Safilo sunglasses — another option here

Heels definitely help because babies can’t up their own own necks, let alone walk on four-inch stilts. Add a pair of khakis because no pants say “responsible adult” quite like pressed wide-leg ones in an olive hue. And finally, leave your pacifier at home.


Topshop Boutique top, H&M skirt, Aquazzura shoes, J.Crew clutch, Christie Nicolaides earrings

Balance out a big ass ruffle with a pencil skirt but note that this relationship is symbiotic: the big ass ruffle balances out the corporate zzz’s of a plain, old pencil skirt. Wear giant earrings to prove that your earlobes are fully developed. Hold a clutch to prove that you carry something other than a blankie. See? Way, way over the age of three.

Ammara top, Zara jeans, Soludos shoes, Miu Miu sunglasses

Ammara top, Zara jeans, Soludos shoes, Miu Miu sunglasses

And finally, tackle the tented trapeze top with baggy jeans and wrapped-up ankles. The immediate inclination when it comes to de-sweetening something is to pair it with a biker jacket and combat boots; these are two things that say, “I am a hard ass. Not a diaper butt.” But it’s summer and it’s hot and you can’t actually drive a motorcycle, so instead, do the effortless breezy shirt up top and some low key cool down below.

Why cinch the ankles? Top prove that you have motor skills and can do way more than loop a few bunny ears.

Oooh, baby.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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