Zoom Tops - Switching up Plain T-Shirts

In my year-end round-up, I mentioned closing out the year by making a bunch of "Zoom Tops" - comfy but cute tops to wear at work on my Zoom calls. T-shirts are a wardrobe staple for pretty much everyone, and this year I realized just how much I reach for them more than any other thing in my wardrobe. To make them a bit more work-appropriate, I've been trying to add fun details that make them a bit more interesting than a basic tee without sacrificing any of the comfort. 

So here is a roundup of my tees and my tips for making a basic t-shirt pattern work harder for work:

1. Pick an Interesting Neckline

This is probably the most obvious tip for a Zoom shirt, but I find that switching out a regular neckband for something more interesting makes my plain t-shirts much more work-appropriate. On this top, I used my regular t-shirt block and added the neckline from Vogue 1460, a Badgely Mischka designer dress, to create a high neckline with a bit of drape. So much fancier and just as comfy as a regular tee. I also like boatnecks, turtlenecks, gathered necklines, and even just turning under the raw edge rather than adding a neckband. 

2. Add Fancy Sleeves

While this switch isn't as visible on Zoom, adding fun sleeves definitely takes my plain tees up a notch. This shirt uses the Iris Pleated Tee sleeves. I added them on to my Mandy Boat Tee, which is a personal favorite pattern and one that I know I will wear a lot. I also love bishop sleeves from McCall's 7993, which I recently tried out. 

3. Layer Your Basics

I also cannot understate the importance of having simple basics in my wardrobe. I made this black turtleneck almost exclusively as a layering piece. I can see putting it under my Vogue Rachel Comey Jumpsuit for winter or, as pictured here, layered with a wool vest. 

4. Have Fun!

Whatever you do, have fun with it! Here I experimented by copying a favorite ready-to-wear design from my closet. The cut-on sleeves and loose fit make this an easy shirt for weekends. And I'd love a version in colorful stripes!  

Now to figure out what to make next...

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