“ Manufacturer: Cheap Monday / Type: Casual Wear „
I like to dress it up on a night out, and being of the slightly gothic persuasion I usually end up in alternative nightclubs where pretty much anything goes on the dress code. I saw this top on www.asos.com of all places, and thought it would be the perfect sort of thing for wearing to gigs. It's part of a range called Cheap Monday, which is made by company Sophie Ann. I have heard of neither of these names before, but to be honest I don't really follow fashion and have a limited knowledge other than seeing things I like and wanting them! The top cost £30.00 at RRP but I managed to get it at the reduced price of £18.00.
This Duck Tape & Mesh top is available in only one colour choice, black on black. It has a simple long sleeve t-shirt style cut which should suit most people. The base material is a lightweight mesh which has a fine gauge and provides an even colour coverage although it is a sheer fabric. It feels soft and flexible unlike some of the more stiff mesh fabrics you can get. It flows nicely and has a slight stretch to it. The pattern is basically metallic tinted black stripes that resemble strips of duck tape. It's not actually duck tape stuck onto the top! It does have a plasticy rubbery sort of feel to it though. The stripes run down both side of the chest and also down the arms. The back of the top is just plain mesh, which is a bit of a shame as it looks boring compared to the rest of the top, almost like the designer forgot to finish it off. There is also a really visible tag sewn just inside the centre of the neckline, it would have made sense to maybe have an extra duck tape stripe to cover that over rather than have it show through as it just looks messy.
Depending on how brave you're feeling you can wear this top underneath a short sleeve t-shirt so that the patterned sleeves show through, or have the top as the main item, with a camisole or maybe even just a fancy bra worn underneath.
I loved the look of this top when I saw it pictured online, and as I unpacked it from my order I thought it looked great in real life too. The design is simple but the little details add interest and of course with it being black this makes it wearable and versatile. Unfortunately for me when I tried it on the top just did not look right. I was pleased with a couple of things, in particular the length of the top and sleeves. I am quite tall and usually tops come up a bit short on me, but this one was the perfect length going to just below the waist band of my trousers. Similarly the sleeves reached right down over my wrist bones and I didn't have that awkward problem where the sleeves can come up a bit too short. The main problem that I did have however, was that it just didn't fit my body in the right way. I have a long torso, small chest and waist, and my hips are proportionally quite a bit bigger. Although this top is described as being "bodycon" it did not fit my curves at all, it just laid there over my body looking flat and not at all flattering! It seems to be cut rather square and there was no real shaping to the sides. I was very disappointed as there wasn't really anything I could do to remedy this.
After rejecting the item myself, I asked my boyfriend for a second opinion. He agreed that it didn't fit quite right and then eyed it up for himself! After trying the top on I can safely say that it looks much better on a man and fitted him perfectly! The square shaping suited his body shape much better than mine and it flowed over his arm muscles in a clingy way that showed off the fabric to its full extent. I was very jealous, but had to admit that it worked for him, and he quickly snagged it to add to his wardrobe. I would say if you're looking to buy something like this, maybe try going a size smaller than you would usually, unless you have a boyish up and down figure, in which case this will probably fit you quite nicely. The Small size I ordered was too loose on me and I'm a size 10! This is not at all what I would expect from a size Small, as it was the right size for my 38" chest boyfriend. Of course if you're a big goth man like my other half then this will be perfect for you!
This top is made from 100% polyester, and is fairly easy to care for. You can machine wash it at 30 degrees, which is the temperature that I always use to try and be green. The label states do not bleach or tumble dry, warm iron, not suitable for dry cleaning. I would reiterate that you should not tumble dry the top, this is really important as it will ruin the finish on the duck tape panels. I have learned this through experience with other clothing! It's still in excellent condition although it has only been used for occasional wear.
This top is a nice piece of clothing that looks great but I had problems with the cut of it. Also the plain back is disappointing it would have been nice to balance out the detail on the front by having something placed on the back. All in all it's a nice design but I wouldn't have paid full price for it and probably would have returned it if my other half hadn't liked it so much.