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WHy does one of these tops make me look great & the other the back end of the bus?
Thing about no. 1 is that, the lack of structure and the material means you have to rely completely on having a really slight build around the shoulders/chest area in order not to look like a tractor.
It hangs from the shoulders and just covers. So if you are not waif-like in the shoulder area, and not fairly flat-chested, it's going to just make you look lumpy.
It's also cut really wide on the shoulders. And, technical point here, it's not cut to hang or drape in a way that means it would naturally fall in towards the waist, so it's just going to hang several inches away from your waist. that means it will cover a very large tummy but will look as though you have a very large tummy to disguise, even if you don't.
As everyone else has said, the set of the shoulders on no. 2 (the shoulders are set more narrowly), and the material, and the fact it has a structured waist built into it, and darting around the bust area, means it follows a female shape rather than hanging like a marquee over your widest bits, and making everything under it look as wide as your widest bits. No. 1 has no darting around the bust, which means it's a (wide) rectangle, no. 2 has darting, which means it can go in and out.
No. 2 also has that detailing on the bodice too, which is pretty and feminine but not overwhelmingly so.
There, I've repeated what everyone else has said but with any luck, you don't feel like an outcast any longer. I think people aren't posting because the other posters have said it all, really.
Given you have that to worry about, I think they should be delighted with the polo shirts.
Actually, aren't polo shirts rather nice? A bit "Northern Soul"ish? Shame if they're not washing well.
What about looking for something similar to no. 2 in Primark? I think the key is cotton, structure and Narrow Shoulders. Or narrow-er - it's relative. I've noticed there is a strange tendency to increase the shoulder width as they increase the size when manufacturers make clothes. But of course, you can have a fairly large bust (requiring a 14, or whatever) but still be fairly narrow across the back/shoulders. Hence tractor-effect. Grrr.
I don't generally approve of Primark, but I think you have a dispensation. They really do do very decent cotton blouses.