Men in Going Out Tops

  • Starting off the slideshow strong with David Beckham in a truly solid "going out" top. Best part of this baby is that it can also be worn during post-apocalyptic battle. (via Heart UK)
  • What makes this more of a top and less of a blouse are the mysterious buttons: do they exist, or is this a very deep V? Extra points for fabric. Keep up the good work, Steven Tyler. (via E! Online)
  • I won't lie to you. I was conflicted in my decision to add this particular photo of notable top-wearer, Orlando Boom. It's kind of a polo/oxford combo. But the bit of crop makes it a top, plus, the neck accessory hints that this elf isn't trying to stay home tonight. (via Deviant Art)
  • Just a really solid, classic example of a top here. Rhinestones will get you in the top category immediately. (via Wikipedia)
  • WOW! A truly excellent top courtesy of Harry Styles, a man who not only knows his fashion but knows that a blouse becomes a top the moment the pussy bow is allowed to party just as much as his undone buttons. (via Who What Wear)
  • Here's an easy way to differentiate a shirt from a top: if you wore it to Coachella, it's a top. (via Popsugar)
  • Gavin Rossdale, trying to act all casual like this is his "errands shirt." Ok we know it's a top, Gavin. I can see your peripheral nipple. (via Popsugar)
  • We call this a Tricera-Top in the business: alone, these are dress shirts. Together, they become tops. Excellent teamwork, JoBros. (via Her Campus)
  • A really fantastic choice for Tom Selleck in the top department here. The Hawaiian print says, "I'm laid back," while the pose says, "I am literally laying back." (via
  • *NSYNC's JC Chasez is a jolt of energy here in this top, but Joey, Justin and Chris are following close behind. Lance, you let us down here a bit -- a tee is a cop-out, but we'll give you bonus points for the blue tips. (via eonline)
  • Kanye West doing what he does best: causing controversy in a crop top. (via Complex)
  • Justin with the denim top. I'd bow in prayer too if I had that shredded masterpiece for a night on the town. (via BBC Radio)
  • Ah, Justin Bobby, a man so great they named him twice in a shirt so nice they called it a top. (via US Weekly)
  • Lisa Frank? Instant Top. Nailed it, Ryan. (via The Subtle Statement)
  • Styles is back on our list for a second go, this time in linen: a great fabric for warm-weather topping. (via Daily Mail UK)
  • And a third! Top o-the morning to ya, Harry. Looks like you just rolled out of the right side of bed. (via
  • I'll let you in on a little secret: if you go sans pants, it's automatically a top. (via
  • Johnny Depp, you don't need customer service to answer your question for you -- I can! And that's a top. (via IMDb)
  • It's the amber lenses that make this Simon Doonan standard into a bonafide top. (via Out)
  • Don't look so unsure, Adam Levine. That's a top. (via Daily Mail UK)
  • A$AP Toppy. (by Harley Weir for Vogue UK)
  • If the sleeves are cropped, then this turtleneck is technically a top. Benefit of the doubt here. Wouldn't want to second-guess a style icon. (via Fashionista)
  • Russell Brand knows two things: 1) that a rounded V this deep is not for the faint of heart, and 2) that a rounded V this deep turns any tee into a prized top. (via Daily Mail)
  • The day I stop putting Justin Bieber on this list is the day he stops wearing exemplary, daring tops. (via Mirror UK)
  • Will Smith made crop top listicle history in this iconic look. What a trend setter. (via Glamour)
  • Like father like son as far as good taste and great tops, but don't call this sartorial nepotism: Jaden's taste in tops is elevated. This isn't a cut-up tee shirt that got lucky. Oh no. This, my friends, is mesh. (via Daily Mail)
  • If your shirt has a sailboat on it, you better bet your ass it's a top. Childish Gambino already knew. (via Hypster Blog)
  • Want to properly communicate to the world, "Hey world, this lightweight polo is also a top"? Take a cue from Pharrell here: the key is to accessorize and smize. (via GQ)
  • Careful, Apollo. You flaunt that much top style and somebody's bound to copy you. (via Daily Mail)
  • I really like that Drake took a risk here with pattern and color. In fact, it's the risk-factor that took this dress shirt to a going out top before those amber lenses even had a chance. (via Vibe)
  • Now here's a real party top. Ginuwine kept it simple in an all black ensemble and accessorized with just the right amount of sparkle. (via Glamour)
  • Whether you hate or love Adam Levine, there's no denying: this is a top. (via Youtube)
  • Lest you think this is just your regular old staying-in-tank that accidentally got out, allow me to point out the heat-activated tie-dye. Friends and Jared Leto, any time there's a gimmick -- it's a top. (via Popsugar)
  • Vintage Kanye in a beautiful example of a going out top. The infinity-V, the bit of gold, the white blazer, the cumberbund. Wow. Just so impressive. You don't see tops like this anymore, my friends. Not unless you're in Vegas. (via MTV)
  • Speaking of Vegas, Zac, okay. This is a top, alright. But I'm not happy about it. Make better choices. (via Glamour)
  • The NCAA banned players from playing in crop tops, but guess what? I'm not the NCAA. (via Sports Logos)
  • Bow down, but never button down. This right here is the Prince of going out tops. May we all learn something from him today. (via CNN)
Amelia Diamond | March 7, 2016

Not to distract you, but if you’re into this you’re almost guaranteed to like “Men Leaning In Throughout History,” too

What constitutes a top? It is one of life’s most perplexing questions, rife with multiple definitions and viewpoints and argument.

On its broadest, most generalized scale — when this topic is at its messiest, at its least satisfying — one could simply use the word “top” in replacement of the word “shirt.” Oh but good lord, no. That is like using the label “committed and serious relationship” in replacement of the colloquial “hanging out.” Someone is going to get hurt.

There also exists the limiting idea that suggests a top is a shirt for women. Stuffy societal implications of that statement aside, this denotation is wildly unhelpful because of all the other categories that fall into “shirts for women” that are absolutely not tops. A nice blouse is not a top, for example. It is a nice blouse. A turtleneck — though perhaps more widely accepted as unisex, especially in Maine — is even further from the top truth than the aforementioned nice blouse. I especially wouldn’t call a button down shirt a top.

And just because it’s a tank doesn’t mean it has earned its keep.

It’s all very confusing, I know. One day I shall make you a nipple-covering guide.

But for now, the easiest way to differentiate between that which we consider shirts and the official, all-important top is to see if a “Yes” can be checked next to at least three out of these five quality-control guidelines:

1) Is it cropped?

2) Is it a little bit sassy/sexy/cool?

3) Could it be worn for the purpose of going out?

4) Does it feel more special than your average oxford or singlet?

5) If worn to your adult dinner birthday party, would you be a tiny bit offended?

I’ll let you and your therapist explore the why of number five. As for illustrative cues to help all of you visual learners, kindly refer to the slideshow above: handsome men, in the very definition of “tops.”

Collaged by Emily Zirimis.


  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    A$AP Rocky, young J Depp and honestly, Will Smith as the Fresh Prince each get a blue ribbon (and my heart?).

  • Yvonne Dunlevie


  • Hanne

    absolutely love this article! keep the good work up, its very appreciated : ) i love people breaking the structures made by our society, like dress codes and so on, so i always appreciate men in skirts, leggings, and as here, tops!

  • Leah

    After reading this, I have to come to the conclusion that I only own one top. What does this mean?

    • Amelia Diamond

      You’re not a top girl nor a man-in-a-top, NBD

  • laila h

    I am now gonna file a dress worn over points as a top.
    That Jacquemus top looks like a really cool wearable arts-and-crafts project. Thinking about DIYing it and I NEVER think about DIYing things

    • Amelia Diamond

      DI-do it and then post it here! Good call dress over pants = top

  • Asem Bro
  • Hahaha. I loved this article. I think Jaden actually looks pretty chic in his outfit.

  • Wayne Fay

    funny as fuck!