It’s Friday night, and if you aren’t planning to spend a luxurious night in on the couch, then the time will come in the evening when you snap your laptop shut and start the process of getting ready for a night out. So you swipe on some red lipstick, smudge on your black eyeliner — and for the pièce de résistance, pull on a going-out top. It’s party time.
“People have a newfound reason to go out, there are more events and more to celebrate,” says Shawna Trunk, & Other Stories Concept Designer at the Los Angeles Atelier. “Even going out to dinner with your girlfriends feels like reason enough to dress up.” But while there’s a renewed interest in ditching sweats for celebratory staples like a mini skirt and chunky heels, going out tops needn’t eschew comfort entirely. In fact, many of the expert-approved party tops for the coming fall have a more comfortable bent to them. “Fashion doesn’t have rules,” says stylist Ryan Gale. “But, comfort is my top priority when getting dressed.” Both Gale and Trunk look to pieces like shrunken t-shirts, semi-sheer tanks, and knitted tube tops as examples of more casual pieces that can easily be dressed up for a night of dancing with the right accessories.
[A going out top is] something that makes you feel confident and something that makes you stand out, but also most importantly something you can feel good in all night long,” says Trunk. Her suggestion? Look for fabric with some stretch, as well as more fitted tops that have an adjustable component. That way, whether you’re enjoying a fancy dinner or bar-hopping, you won’t feel like you have to waste time fidgeting with your shirt.
Ahead, shop five expert-recommended trends to add to your going celebratory style rotation.
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Trunk sees the structured corset top as a trend that will remain strong this year, but suggests that reinterpreted details make the style feel especially new. In particular, silhouettes with long sleeves and straps are exciting to her right now. When breaking out the corset, try a coordinated look with a matching miniskirt, or dress it down with your go-to jeans.
“My go-to going-out top outfit is definitely denim and a baby tee crop top,” says Gale. Try styling a shrunken tee with something that’s a bit more relaxed on the bottom — like a pair of baggy jeans — for balance. You can also try a midi skirt with boots or block heels for a dressier feel.
Minimal tube tops are back according to Trunk. And while these tops may seem simple, it's their versatility that she finds particularly appealing. She suggests styling them with a column skirt or tailored trousers for nights on the town. But, she also explains that these tops don’t just have to be for after-hours occasions. For daytime, she says, “you can also layer them under a blazer or over a shirt.”
With the resurgence of many early aughts trends, Trunk sees one notable style of going-out top on the horizon: the halter. This silhouette, which ties behind the neck, is great for showing off your shoulders and back. Try styling it with an on-trend mini skirt or a pair of fitted flare pants for a slightly ‘70s feel.
If you’re looking for versatility when it comes to your going-out top, look no further than the humble white tank top, a long-time wardrobe staple. “Tanks are effortless and are a fashion staple because they can be paired with so much — like denim, silk skirts, or trousers,” says Gale. To take this style from daytime to evening, focus on your accessories. Sparkly earrings or a colorful baguette bag instantly make a look feel dressy.