I love the look of tops/dresses with bibbed inserts. They can make an otherwise plain garment look interesting, fun, sexy, quirky… etc. etc., the particular adjective that you choose depending on the nature of the rest of the garment and of course the nature of the bib.
The key thing with bib inserts for a smart context, IMO, is to avoid them looking too ‘cutesy’. You are a smart, professional woman – you are neither Lucy Locket going to the fair, nor are you going to be eating alphabet spaghetti for dinner*.
So during a quiet moment a few weeks ago, I put a search into Ravelry for bibbed tops. This came up with surprisingly little, but by altering my search terms and trawling for a bit, I came up with the Hotness Top, a free pattern by Lorna Miser:
I love the way that the cap sleeves and lace insert just ‘lift’ what is otherwise a relatively basic t-shirt. The insert would also be great for providing some interest under a suit jacket too. It’s also sophisticated enough to avoid any alphabetti connotations, especially in the black.
This is one to watch the yarn choice on. You’ll probably want a solid to let the lace come out, and the fact that it’s an aran weight knit means that a smooth hand to the knitted fabric is important. Personally I’d’ve also said that you don’t want anything too drapy or it’ll ruin the fitted look – although when I am rich and famous and able to afford such things**, I so knitting this in a silk yarn (and maybe going down a size to maintain the fit, if that would work?). Luxury exemplified.
What do you think?
*Well you might be, but the point is that you don’t want your colleagues assuming so based on your outfit.
**i.e. this side of never