(The Shopping List)

These 3 Going Out Tops Give Me Main Character Energy

A real confidence booster.

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Aemilia Madden
Aemilia Madden
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I never seem to discover the gaps in my wardrobe until it’s too late. A week before a wedding, I realized I’m sorely lacking in dresses that fulfill the black-tie dress code. A few days before making my return to the office, I’m reminded that I only own two blazers — one houndstooth and one black — neither of which I’m particularly excited about. And now that I’m venturing back into dating and even nights out at buzzing outdoor bars with my friends, I’ve come up short on cute going-out tops. It’s easy enough to throw on a pair of jeans and some ankle boots, but I’ve found that I’m still re-learning what going-out dressing means to me, and how much of my body I’m comfortable showing above my belly button.

Having entered my thirties in the midst of our year at home, I’m finding that as I reemerge, the pieces that I turned to before, a super-cropped tee or barely-there tank, don’t cut it for me anymore. I want styles that offer something unique — texture, tailoring, or detailing — that makes my choice to go the sensual route feel a bit more sophisticated. Brands like Paris Georgia, Mirror Palais, and Orseund Isis hit this balance well ... seductive, but not simply for the sake of sexiness. I want to dress in a playful, celebratory way, but I still gravitate towards clothes that are comfortable on my body, and I’m trying to re-establish my relationship with the showier side of my wardrobe. Below, explore three ways I’m envisioning wearing going-out tops this fall, and shop pieces inspired by my looks, too.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Bustier Top & Trousers

On Aemilia: Paris Georgia top, Vince trousers, and Prada loafers.Aemilia Madden

There’s something unexpectedly cool about the combination of a fitted corset-style top worn with a pair of loose but tailored trousers. This is the kind of look that would likely work for the office with a blazer over top. But, I like the idea of meeting a friend for evening drinks in this — it calls for a martini, I think.

Matching Set & Statement Sleeves

On Aemilia: Reformation jacket and skirt, Staud top, Frame sandals.

Aemilia Madden
Aemilia Madden

When was the last time I went out dancing? It’s been a while, but the combination of a mini skirt and a playful top has an enduring appeal that while a little nod to Clueless still feels modern and suited for a night on the town. While my denim on denim look is a bit more casual, I like the idea of trying a preppy blazer and miniskirt as an on-trend alternative. Finish with a strappy heeled sandal and you’re good to go.

Sheer Top, Bralette, & Maxi Skirt

On Aemilia: Rabot top, Sir. bralette, Ganni skirt, Miista boots. Aemilia Madden

I consider a sheer top to be a choose-your-own-adventure kind of piece, it’s great for layering and only has to be as revealing as you want it to be. The addition of a bralette top underneath and a cool graphic denim skirt tones down the sultry factor and feels better suited to an evening at a new-on-the-scene restaurant somewhere downtown.

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