Charlotte recently recounted the best part of starting to grow up as finally coming to terms with the fact that to go out does not mean to wear a going out top. I’d have adamantly agreed with this legitimate credo until a month ago. After all, I’ve long been a supporter of the tenet that if you’re at a place that requires you wear a going out top, you should really reconsider where you’re spending your recreational time.
But recently, my personal gauge of what to wear when socializing has changed. Just last week I wore a raw silk Max Mara wrap blouse for no reason other than my wanting to. Before that I considered a floral lace-trimmed camisole from Zara and, well, look at me now: brown silk, uneven hem, exposed arms and all. I’m wearing a bona-fide going out top and though it comes from the purveyors of weird (see: Maison Martin Margiela), it is what it is which is not who I am, or was. Know what I mean?
So what in the good name of plunging necklines and elastic velvet is happening?
The first is that like in the case of Isabel Marant’s pioneering wedge sneakers propelling a full-blown ugly shoe/sneaker-proper renaissance, so too is the white cotton “boyfriend” shirt making room to allow for a new interpretation of waist-up toppers (it’s beginning as poplin interpretations of white blouses in more feminine silhouettes like this one, by Acne, but you just wait). Where we forewent blouses in the name of t-shirts just a few years ago, here we are again, hungry to look like the better versions of our 1995-selves.
This parlays perfectly into theory #2, which essentially just suggests that going out tops were as much a part of the 90s Zeitgeist as plaid and Jordan Catalano were. Having exhausted every other element that made the decade unique, party shirts are the obvious next stop on a train called Misplaced Nostalgia.
And finally, quite simply, maybe we’re bored of t-shirts. Considering the boundless denim that I, personally, wear, it’s refreshing to think that the world can be my oyster in terms of what I choose to pair with my jeans. I’m not saying it’s going to be a halter top but I’m also not saying it’s impossible.
Of course, though, if I’m going to wear a going out top, I’m also going to make sure that it’s wearable under any circumstance, which is where the white sneakers permeating the first half of the above, shot-by-Charlotte photos come in.
And for when I am going out? Gladiator style bow pumps that are equal parts fantastic and devastating.
But the most important perspective — yours — remains undiscussed, so, talk to me about your party wear policies.