By Alexis Parente
Jun 18, 2015 @ 8:00 am
Photographer by Andrew Yee, Styled by Ali Pew

The shell top makes for a perfect summer piece. It's a classic staple that boasts a flattering silhouette—structure without the boxiness—and it comes in an exhaustive range of colors and prints. We love coupling it with a pair of wide-leg trousers for the office or a mini skirt for a night out on the town. Instead of resorting to solids, we rounded up seven not-your-ordinary shell tops with playful embellishments and exceptional detailing that work for the office and for summer getaways.


All this summery yellow top needs is a pair of denim cut-offs and you're ready to hit the BBQ circuit.

Topshop, $68;


Choose a shell with a pattern—it's the perfect way to liven up your go-to pair of cropped jeans. Pair the leaf print with a lace-up flat and a killer pair of cat-eyes for the ultimate day-date outfit.

Dorothy Perkins, $27;


Channel your inner retro girl and pair it with high-waisted shorts.

Mother of Pearl, $301;


Spice up a classic with an edgy collar. Style it with cropped black pants and sleek pumps.

Theory, $225;


Go for a feminine twist (literally) with this girly poplin piece.

Tibi, $375;


Team this pretty silk floral-print shell with a flowy midi skirt and a bright bag for an al fresco brunch.

Erdem, $662;


It’s all in the details—we love the oversize pockets and contrasting snap closures.

Trademark, $228;

RELATED: The 6 Tops You Need for Every Summer Occasion