How to Style a Going Out Top

This piece was originally published on December 10, 2015

Theory: going out tops are coming back.

Reality: going out tops are like, the reason the 90s were so weird.

Solution: learn to style them without feeling like you’re wearing a going out top or in other words, are coming from an afternoon Soul Cycle class, followed by a smoothie and glass of wine at the hair salon where you’re getting a blowie (girl talk for getting your hair blow dried by someone you don’t know). Which isn’t to say don’t act basic (as evidenced by our project and furthermore by the lifestyles that 96% of the population employed by Man Repeller both maintains and celebrates), but it is to say, don’t look so obvious.

Do you get what I mean by that?

Let me break it down by example.

Say you’re getting dressed, right? It’s 8 p.m. on a Thursday night and you’re going to get a drink with the ladies. Sorry, I mean tHe LaDieZ~z*s~z. You just acquired a black silk camisole and for a reason still consciously unbeknownst to you, it’s the only thing you want to wear. Fuq the button downs, fuq the t-shirts. So you put it on. And then you stare into your closet in Donald Duck mode thinking about what bottom to pair with it. Somehow, your jeans make you feel — not necessarily look — like every other girl on the corner of Lafayette Street. So you’re like, where’s the character? The individuality! And at this point, you think to yourself: Soul Cycle.

You follow? So, how do you feed the beast that is your almond milk latte while feeling like the cover star of an indie mag called something bold and nonsensical, like “Combustible.”

Three ideas, right this way.

#1: Compliment your going out top with going out pants.


Céline top (another bare shoulder option here), Rosie Assoulin pants, Atea Oceanie denim top around waist (similar here), Valentino shoes, Illesteva sunglasses

Add a shirt around your waist if you feel like you need a belt but know it’s not going to work. Also! Clashing shoes work if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t particularly love looking extremely neat and put together. I can explain what I mean when I say this by expressing that I like for my outfits to leave a couple of question marks on the table.

#2: Slouch toward layers.


Céline top (another option here), Rosetta Getty metallic top, Levi’s jeans, Walter Steiger shoes, Olympia Le Tan x Muzungu Sisters bag

I don’t know why I’m standing like Napoleon Dynamite but I do know that wearing a gold mock neck underneath this particular going out top plus a pair of old Levi’s (I think I’m ready to retire mom jeans) makes me feel like a fairly earnest version of myself. I’d wear this to work or to the bar or to stand on a red wall near Great Jones Street. There’s no wrong way to do a Snow White sleeve.

#3: Pretend it’s spring, but know it’s not


Céline top (another bare shoulder top here), Stella McCartney skirt (similar colorful floral skirt), Rosie Assoulin necklace, Dior boots (these are cool too)

I apologize for looking like I am trying to have sex with you, but the fact of the matter is, I’m just trying to help you get dressed. Here’s an example of grade-Aa, Slow Fashion recycling on display with a very trusty, 5-year-old skirt plus new-ish “sock” boots to…boot.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? I am literally sitting at my desk waiting to answer them.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis


Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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