Skip to Content

A Must Have $22 Top for Work

A Must Have $22 Top for Work

Get ready, because this post is JAM-PACKED with super wearable, size-inclusive pieces that stand alone or can be paired together. I had a hard time coming up with a post title because there are so many good pieces here. 

We’re continuing to focus on filling in the voids of our wardrobes, starting with this sweet and simple $22 top from J. Crew Factory.

Better Than A Tee Shirt – Tee Shirt

When I worked with personal clients, I use to look for what I called “better than a tee shirt – tee shirts.”

I define it as something:

– finished enough so you can take your jacket or blazer off comfortably.

– versatile so you can pair it with everything from jeans, your favorite trousers, or a pencil skirt and not feel like you have to add more to your outfit. 

– a straightforward piece that is elevated more than a basic cotton tee.

When I spotted this at J.Crew Factory last week, I quickly grabbed a few for myself and made sure to add it to our content calendar. 

It’s only $22, so scoop it up before it sells out. 

Textured Puff-Sleeve Top by J. Crew Factory


Top, $22.50

Available in the five colors above, I purchased the coral and the ivory – which is a true ivory. It looks yellow-based in pictures but in person it is ivory, or off white. I doesn’t look dingy at all.

The sleeves have a subtle puff style. Don’t worry they don’t make your shoulders look bigger than they are, it’s just a nice detail.  And you can comfortably layer something over it.

I love that the fabric has a bit of texture too. It looks like a cross-hatch, so you get some added depth and interest. 

If you are looking for an ideal layering piece that can also stand on it’s on, this is it.

I’ll be featuring it a lot in upcoming posts.

Regarding size, if you are in between or want a little more room consider sizing up. I am a true medium, but bought the large because I like how it drapes and worry about it eventually shrinking. 

Because J.Crew Factory has a fantastic size range, you can get this top in up to a 3X. 

An Outfit Full of Must Haves

Top, $26.50  |  Pants, $110  |  Heels, $75  |   Bracelet, $58   |   Earrings, $35   |   Tote, $195

My goal is to provide accessible outfit inspiration without it being boring. When writing these posts I envision how most of us get dressed in the morning: our eyes half opened, stumbling into our closets, hoping a cute outfit jumps out at us. 

If you have the right pieces, it’s easy to quickly get dressed. Today is an example of how basics coming together create a simple yet elegant look. 

For this inspiration outfit I used pieces I know many of you already have, and a few worth picking up. 

First, the top, in coral, because I love the combination of coral and navy in the spring. 

Next, I paired the top with ankle pants from Banana Republic. These get rave reviews from readers for their fit, quality, and the fact that you can wash them. They are available in regular AND petite from a 0 – 20, a stunningly awesome size range.  

Next, I added these tan suede heels from Taryn Rose. If you are not familiar with Taryn Rose, listen up! 

She is a former orthopedic surgeon who started a line of shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. Usually, her prices are around $200 (+), BUT these suede heels are on sale at Zappos for $75, so they might be worth checking out if you are looking for both function and fashion from your footwear. 

Then I added accessories I know many of you already have, like this navy tote from fan-favorite Cuyana and updated studs from affordable jewelry brand Gorjana

Finally, because I can’t resist a little animal print and extra love it with this color combination, I included this super chic patterned bracelet you can pick up on HSN for under $60. 

Shop this Post


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Postand wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.



A Must Have $22 Top for Work

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Megan Reister

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

I bought the J. Crew Factory top in Coral a few weeks ago, because it's perfect for our Key West vacation in May. So excited for the additional ways to wear it with navy, as you highlighted.

Also regarding Ginny's comment: I am borderline petite at 5' 4". I usually buy petite tops and regular length pants and get the pants hemmed (because I have a longer torso, regular fit pants work on me better). I find the minor pouf on the sleeve a really flattering, feminine detail. Try it on and make a decision for yourself.

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Thanks for the note! It's a great little piece to pair with casual skirts or shorts - enjoy your vacation!


Tuesday 10th of March 2020

I'm going to give this top a try. Do you think it will work for a large chest?

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

It's really going to depend on your shape. Typically a v neck will be the most flattering, but it might be worth giving it a try?


Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Being petite it’s difficult enough to find professional clothing. So many designers change petite clothing to be juvenile. We are short people. We do not want puff sleeves, Peter Pan collars, bows, etc. A puff sleeve on any size women’s clothing says girl not woman.

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Your comment is unnecessarily aggressive. It's a little detail, it's not a childish puff. Are you speaking for all petite women everywhere? Have you seen it in person? Tried it on? Relax.

Marianne Rohde

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

Megan, you are, welcome, trouble, my fashion friend...I bought the pants, shirt(s) and heels :) Thank you! I am interested to compare the Taryn heels to the BR 12 hour heels, I already bought, to see which pair is more comfortable to keep....have been walking around the house in the BR heels to see if they become more comfortable. I just don't do great with heels and oddly enough the left heel always wants to slip out of the shoe, must mean one foot is slightly larger. Maybe one day there will be a market for different size shoe sets :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.