The Going-Out Top Is Back, Baby

Step aside, tie-dye loungewear. Your time in the spotlight is up.

by Michelle Guerrere
Originally Published: 

They were the night-out essentials that didn’t get any love in 2020. After over a year spent socially-distancing, staying in, and accumulating more loungewear than our closets can accommodate, our beloved going-out tops slowly shifted to the furthest, darkest corners of our closets. But with vaccinations on the uptick and local safety regulations beginning to return to pre-pandemic status, the time has officially come to put comfy clothes on the back burner and take our cutest going-out tops out for a spin — and not just in a Zoom box.

But with so much of the past year spent in tie-dye sweatsuits, it’s understandable if you feel that your current wardrobe could use a post-pandemic refresh — and that’s where I come in. Below, I’ve rounded up several of the best going-out tops that will help make your #vaxxedgirlsummer one for the books. Everything here touches on the season’s best trends from strategically-placed slits and cutouts, to upgraded bralettes, to puffy sleeves — and I promise all of them will inject an effortless whimsy attitude into your ensemble.

Ready to refresh your summer 2021 wardrobe? Great — let’s go shopping.

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The Updated ‘90s Crop

1999 called, and it wants you to bring back one of its most beloved wardrobe staples. This cropped tee can easily be ready for happy hour with a pair of wide-leg jeans, or you can dress it up for dinner with a ruched skirt or your favorite pair of neutral joggers.

The Single Shoulder Moment

This dressy, single-sleeve blouse deserves to be worn year-round. Pair it with your favorite denim and ugly ‘90s sandals (the thin spaghetti strap also fits right in with the throwback decade), or make it a key player in your capsule wardrobe.

The Side-Slit Sweater

Mad Men meets happy hour in the form of a chic sleeveless turtleneck featuring a subtle-enough side slit. Dress up your look with a higher-waisted skirt or pair with slim-fitting white jeans and heels.

The Cool Girl Cami

It’s the going-out top you’ll reach for again and again. Shorts, jeans, a mini or midi — it literally works with everything and is breezy enough to keep you cool in even the balmiest of weather.

The Bralette

Yes, going-out tops are back, but there’s no rule that says it actually needs to be a blouse, tee, or button-down. This sexy knit bralette can be easily balanced out by more relaxed jeans or shorts.

The Knit Singlet

Crochet becomes less sweet when rendered in a just-clingy-enough silhouette like this seamless tank. Pull your hair away from your face to show off the daring back.

The Puff-Sleeve Shirt

This top works all the right angles. Lengthen your torso in a cropped silhouette while you rely on the voluminous puff sleeves to add more than just a little attention.

The Criss-Cross Crop

It’s like one step up from the cozy tee you live in. This crossover top combined with your fave dark-wash jeans makes for a match made in heaven. Pair them with square-toe heeled sandals and you’re ready to go.

The Wear-It-Over-Anything Classic

Button-downs are a wardrobe staple for a reason, which is that they never go out of style. Take after the model and drape this silk option over matching trousers and your favorite bralette, or pair it with your best summer shorts for a casual-yet-sophisticated vibe.

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