A surprising wardrobe staple.

I’ve always considered jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops my obvious style necessities (the perfect ones, mind you). But the pieces I end up wearing over and over again are often the ones that surprise me the most. I got a half-sleeve grey hooded shirt at a clothing swap last fall with no idea what I would pair it with—the neck scooped too low and it was too cropped to wear it alone. The sleeves were too short for the cold but too long for the heat. But I’ve gotten more mileage of this mid-sleeve hoodie than I have out of almost any other top. It’s added life to stained tank tops (the old “yuck and cover”), and carried me into the late fall months layered on top of long sleeve shirts (I especially love it over patterns like stripes). And because it’s cropped, I can sport the short over long look The Sartorialist has spotted on the streets of Paris. Okay, I don’t look like those amazingly chic Parisian women, but I feel “with it” nonetheless! I never thought a top so in-between could fit into so many looks and seasons. It layers over and under, it slices, it dices. I’m sparing you a picture of my own shirt… if you read my last shopping post, you know I’m no product stylist. This time I’m leaving it to the professionals with a few of my favorite mid-sleeve hoodies from around the web.

SAVE! OK, so no hood, but who cares at this price? On sale at Old Navy, only $15
SPLURGE! Splendid Space Dye Fleece Hoodie, $114

A nod to this year’s popular dolman sleeve (although I feel the term “dolman” is a little too liberally doled out). And I love that this one’s long enough for leggings!

WAITING FOR CLEARANCE, CLARENCE. Joan Vass zip front hoodie, $258

And the kimono sleeve craze. Lurrrve.

PLEASE COME BACK! Currently Unavailable (boo), Free People's Pointelle Kimono Hoodie, on sale for $69.95

What’s your surprise wardrobe staple?