If I’m being really honest, my only problem with going-out tops has ever been that I hate going out. Now that they might actually be coming back (for real this time!), with nary a nightclub in sight, I am as excited as a person on the brink of spandex-pant explosion could be. We’ve been talking about whether the elusive going-out top would be back for a while now. In 2014, we posited our first guesstimation; by 2015, we were straight-up styling ourselves silly; and then one time, last year, we ran a slideshow of lots of men in, you know, going-out tops. (Truly a pièce de résistance, if I may say so.)
There is a photo of Kendall Jenner swirling around the Internet again wherein she wears a jewel-encrusted mini dress that is probably actually a top on the occasion of her 21st birthday. She is deliberately emulating a look that Paris Hilton wore decades earlier — a look that has come to define fashion of the early aughts.
That Jenner chose not to include butterfly clips to complete her look is disappointing. What is not disappointing, however, is our close proximity to a genuine resuscitation, punctuated by the Fall 2017 runway season. Anthony Vaccarello’s second collection for Saint Laurent, for example, was practically an homage to the nightclubs of the 2000s. And there have been halter tops everywhere — the kind that look like Kate Moss once wore them, and those that may moonlight as belts. Look no further than London’s Marques’Almeida or Ashish, Milan’s Gucci, or New York’s Rosie Assoulin.
But to understand the value, the meaning, the importance of a going-out top — I mean to really understand — you have to get inside the trend’s apex. The story of how it all started. The women! The trailblazers! The champions of chest-decoration and navel grazing, of casual award ceremonies and likewise red carpets that requested, nay, demanded, the kind of upstaging that only a terrible, shiny, one-shoulder jersey top is capable of. This brings us to the above slideshow, an important retrospective, lesson and case study in the glory of the going-out top.
When you’re done clicking through, meet me back here as we contemplate the below:
And then get ~intellectual~ about it, which is to ask: Are you in, or are you out?
Photos via Getty Images