Ilse Menck Thulamela: 3⁄4 sleeve cross over t-shirt

Buying my top at Big Blue in Johannesburg. You can see a pink one at the top left of the photograph

When I was in South Africa my cousin (who is an absolute shopping wizard) and I were shopping and she found this – in my opinion – basic black top by Ilse Menck. She encouraged me to try it on and I immediately loved it. As I was standing in the queue to pay, a woman in front of me bought a blue one and told the cashier that it was her third and that she loved them. The cashier said it was their best-selling item. I was not that blown away at the time, and thought it would be a nice addition to my wardrobe.

I didn’t wear it while I was in South Africa, but since I have been back in Sweden I have worn it about twice a week for close to a year. This top is magic! My necklace is a bit skew in the photo below, and the sofa is a mess, but you get the general idea.

The first thing I like about it is the fabric. It is thick cotton knit and washes like a dream. No pilling, no fading, no shrinking, no stretching. The top has kept perfect shape despite being washed twice a week for almost ten months. It is also incredibly comfortable.

The second thing I like is the 3/4-length sleeves. It is ideal for in-between weather and is ideal if you don’t like showing your upper arms.

An ingenious detail is the double panel at the front. There is one panel that hugs you, and then over it is another ruched layer. This means it gives gentle support while at the same time covering any lumps and bumps. The bottom is gently curved and the length is perfect. A v-neck is always very flattering for large busts.

The style gives you curves if you are straight and hugs you nicely if you are curvy. I am out of proportion but this top fits everywhere, which most clothes don’t. I don’t mind having a tummy but I hate it wobbling. This hugs me nicely and keeps everything in place.

I would really like this top in white, navy blue, and chocolate brown.

They also do a Lea Sleeveless cross over t-shirt which I would really love for hot weather and underneath jackets.

And this dress ($20)…

Ilse Menck has a website here and ships internationally, though I don’t know how much it costs. I plan to visit any stockists I can find on my next trip. Their clothes are great quality and also flattering and incredibly comfortable. I really like that the models are in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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