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Jeans and a nice top: why the “going out top” is the ultimate nostalgic fashion trend

Photography By LEIF PRENZLAU, MICHAEL COMNINUS
Published 22.03.22

Glitter, drama, a sleeve that’s 100 per cent going to get stuck in an Uber door at 1am. The world is ready for the return of the “going out top”.

I want to take you back to a simpler time. A time of parties, late nights, easy mornings, crowded rooms, millions of friends and beautiful clothes. When you opened your wardrobe doors and felt excited. When all your fashion problems could be solved with advice like “belt it”, “dress it up or down” and “wear it with a heel or a boot!” And all your other problems could be solved with a half-priced vodka-raspberry at student night.   

Yes, we sentimentalise the past. Each generation draws an overly flattering sketch of the one that went before. We see it now in the revival of indie sleaze, Matrix aesthetics and the fact that Dua Lipa wore a pair of platform flip flops on purpose 

It can be disconcerting to relive trends across decades. Honestly, who has the heart to tell these new fashion enthusiasts that the lived reality was more Ashley Tisdale at the Princess Diaries 2 premier than Bella Hadid in a scarf top. Also, who cares? It’s not about that. It’s about looking to the past, cherry-picking the parts we like and bringing that fantasy to the present.  

On that note, there is one fashion legacy we want to nominate for a revival. The simply known (but deeply loved) “going out top”.  

For a certain person, it’s an instantly recognisable concept. One championed by patron saints like Mariah Carey and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Dressy but not “dressed up”, cool but not complicated, confident but not overworked, comfortable but not “I just got changed in my hatchback after finishing a shift at Boost Juice.”  

Let’s bring it home. Let’s be the “jeans and a nice top” person again. Let’s return to that space, where the whole world is sparking in front of us like an Emanuel Ungaro butterfly crop.   

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