The 18 Best Going Out Tops That Are Sure To Turn Heads

Time to refresh your summer wardrobe with mesh tops, floral bustiers, and silk halter tops.

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Best Going Out Tops

InStyle / David Hattan

The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and we are called to spend more time outdoors, soaking up the flavors of the sunset and sweet wine in the company of our closest friends. Not just friends, but office parties are back in full swing, too. So, you’ve found yourself with a plethora of such invites, but not a single outfit to wear to them — which has landed you here, on this page. 

We’ve taken into consideration every event to come up with an extensive list of the best going out tops, so that you may look your utmost best no matter the location or audience. We’ve even enlisted the help of three style consultants, to offer some stellar styling tips and ways to get more wear out of a single top. Our hope is that you find all the guidance you need to dress in a way that evokes confidence and excitement for the upcoming nights out, right here in this article. So without further ado, scroll along to find the best going out tops for any occasion, below. 

Best Overall

Good American Faux Leather Tank

Good American Faux Leather Tank

Good American

What We Love: The top will look good on pretty much everyone.

What We Don’t Love: You can only dry or sport clean this.

When in doubt, opt for leather (or faux leather). Even though the texture feels sultry and elegant, it covers your entire chest and back. The modest, yet alluring top proves you don’t need to show lots of skin to look sexy. And we recommend this for more than just a night out: a day in the office, a trip to see the in-laws, and even a simple stroll into town. There’s a full top to bottom zip down the back, while your shoulders and arms stay bare. Besides those two key points, however, the top is humble enough to be suitable for all people and occasions, winning it its best overall spot on the list. Try to keep the dancing and the sweating to a minimum, however, as it can only be dry or spot cleaned. 

Price at time of publish: $58

Sizes: XS-5XL | Colors: 4 | Material: Polyurethane, polyester

Best Budget

Showpo Ryley V Neck Tie Up Bodysuit

Showpo Ryley V Neck Tie Up Bodysuit


What We Love: There’s a snap-button closure at the bottom for easy toilet access.

What We Don’t Love: We wish it were a thong bottom.

A night out with friends can quickly do some damage on your credit card, so to balance things out, save some coins on your outfit. But we don’t think that means you need to compromise on style — and this cute bodysuit is here to prove it. We were drawn in by the endearing bowties on the shoulders, which are more than just an accessory, but a way for you to tighten and loosen the fit, as they can be retied and adjusted. The bodycon top shows off your chest in an alluring V-neck. Thanks to the snap button closure at the crotch, trips to the bathroom are also made easy. We only wish it came with a thong bottom instead, so it didn’t peek through tight jeans.

Price at time of publish: $45

Sizes: 2-16 | Colors: 3 | Material: Polyester, spandex

Best Splurge

Mara Hoffman Liya Top

Mara Hoffman Liya Top

Mara Hoffman

What We Love: The organic cotton and linen blend make this soft, comfortable, and breathable.

What We Don’t Love: You can only dry clean this top. 

If going out equals a night of racking up some compliments, then you’re going to want to step out in this top. Embossed with an abstract line art that squiggles around the front, the sides, and back, this bustier stands out for its design, while the sweetheart neckline creates an alluring statement. More than just gorgeous wearable art, however, the piece is made with a blend of organic cotton and linen, meaning it’s breathable, soft, and sturdy. That does make it a little difficult to clean, and the brand recommends getting it dry-cleaned each time. We think the one of a kind piece is worth going through those steps, however. 

Price at time of publish: $475

Sizes: 00-12 | Colors: 1 | Material: Organic cotton, linen

Best Plus Size

River Island Bandeau Top

River Island Bandeau Top

River Island

What We Love: It’s sophisticated, comfortable, and stretchy all at once. 

What We Don’t Love: It can be challenging to find the right size.

For nights out, stylist Lara Betiku looks for tops that she can “wear under blazers, like sheer tops or bandeau tops.” That’s why she finds this option from River Island to be a wonderful go-to, given the sophistication, flattering construction, and of course, ability to layer under a jacket. Made with a blend of polyester, viscose, and elastane, the top feels comfortable and stretchy. And even though it does have some give to it, thanks to the zipper in the back, you don’t have to worry about pulling it over your head and getting makeup accidentally smeared on the top. Considering you are relying on the bandeau portion to maintain put, make sure to read the size guide, which includes bust measurements, to see which size fits you the best. 

Price at time of publish: $73

Sizes: 14-24 | Colors: 1 | Material: Polyester, viscose, elastane

Best Vest

Helmut Lang Halter Vest

Helmut Lang Halter Vest


What We Love: The open back adds an unexpected sexy detail.

What We Don’t Love: You can only dry clean this piece.

This top is more than just a basic vest — it’s a halter top with an open back as well. The sleek and sexy piece is style curator Jamie Grimstad favorite item at the moment. “I always go back to tailored pieces, because they’re so versatile,” she says. This one in particular is “perfect for going out this summer, but ideal for an elevated off-duty look as well.” The ivory piece creates a smart look for an upscale dinner with friends, and thanks to the virgin wool and polyester blend, it will feel substantial on the skin as well. Just be careful not to splatter any sauces on the vest, as it can only be dry cleaned professionally.

Price at time of publish: $375

Sizes: 0-8 | Colors: 1 | Material: Virgin wool, polyester, elastane

Best Day-to-Night

Reformation Lindy Knit Top

Reformation Lindy Knit Top


What We Love: No matter the occasion, the top feels chic and respectable.

What We Don’t Love: For a perfect fit, you’ll want to size down.

We tested this top on multiple occasions — out for brunch, out for dinner, out in town, and out shopping. On all occasions, we felt immensely put together and chic. There is something about a sleeveless high neck top that just feels respectable. The shirt, although labeled as cropped, goes down past our belly buttons, which made it appropriate enough for more elegant outings as well. But above all, the double layered, buttery soft material simply feels like quality. Feel free to size down, however, as the material is quite stretchy and won’t look quite as form-fitting if not the correct size. 

Price at time of publish: $68

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 8 | Material: Organic cotton, spandex

Best Mesh

Marcella NYC Evelyn Top

Marcella NYC Evelyn Top

Marcella NYC

What We Love: The mesh sleeves are well constructed to be tear-resistant.

What We Don’t Love: Make sure to lay flat to dry, as the dryer would destroy the top.

Sustainable fashion brand Marcella allows you to look on trend without needing to break the bank. The sleeves on this top are made of European mesh, which is stronger and more tear-resistant than your standard mesh. It’s stitched onto a jet black body, which curves into a wave around the chest and back. It’s just the right amount of sophistication and simplicity, making it an ideal option for cocktail hour or after-work drinks. When it’s time to get it cleaned, you can machine wash it, but avoid the dryer at all costs otherwise the mesh will likely deteriorate. Pair with leather pants or a smart skirt to complete the look. 

Price at time of publish: $78

Sizes: XS-3XL | Colors: 2 | Material: Tencel, elastane, polyester, viscose, lycra

Best Long Sleeve

Michael Lauren Dave Halter Neck Top

Michael Lauren Dave Halter Neck Top


What We Love: Thumb holes keep the sleeves from awkwardly riding up your arms.

What We Don’t Love: It runs a little large, so finding the perfect size might be difficult.

When mights can still feel chilly, we understand the constant confusion on what to wear out because by no means do you have to cover up your carefully planned outfit with a chunky sweater. This long sleeve doesn’t lack sensual appeal, but covers you up enough to keep you a little warm — maybe just throw on a leather jacket with it when it gets really brisk. The form-hugging shape around the body and sleeves (which by the way, have thumb holes to keep them from riding up your arms) still leaves your chest bare with the exception of halter strings going around your neck. It does run a little large, however, so if you’re stuck between sizes we recommend going with the smaller option. Paired with your favorite high-waisted jeans, you’ll have an exceptional look for going out in the evenings. 

Price at time of publish: $88

Sizes: XS-2XL | Colors: 1 | Material: Siro viscose, spandex

Best Satin

Dissh Charli Pearl Satin Crop Top

Dissh Charli Pearl Satin Crop Top


What We Love: It has adjustable straps.

What We Don’t Love: It’s very cropped, so finding the right bottoms might be tricky.

There’s nothing like a cropped, breezy, satin top in the summer. When styled right (Betiku recommends skirts or wide leg trousers for satin shirts) the Dissh Charli Pearl top can even work in the colder months — although the very high crop will require you to find bottoms that are equally as high-waisted, if you want to avoid showing too much belly. Otherwise, the smooth and elegant top comes with adjustable straps, a stretchy back, and a captivating square neckline. You’ll get plenty of wear out of it, thanks to its minimalist appeal, and because it’s machine washable (albeit on a cold gentle wash), you can do so without any hesitation. 

Price at time of publish: $80

Sizes: 2-12 | Colors: 1 | Material: Viscose, rayon

Best Cottagecore

Rumored Vineyard Haven Top

Rumored Vineyard Haven Top


What We Love: It’s breezy enough for a hot summer. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish it had a wider size range.

When cottagecore entered the chat back in 2018, we didn’t expect it to maintain its grip on pop culture for this long. It’s safe to assume, therefore, that it’s not going to go anywhere soon either, and the investment you make in this Vineyard Haven Top will be fully redeemed. It comes in black, white, and floral, and can only be closed by the single tie at the front. It’s definitely more risqué than your average top, revealing the entire belly and much of the chest area as well. But if you’re comfortable with that, then you’ll love prancing around in the delicate and sweet top. We only wish it came in a wider size range, as the largest size offered is a large. 

Price at time of publish: $78

Sizes: XS-L | Colors: 3 | Material: Cotton, spandex

Best Halter Top

French Connection Inu Satin Halter Top

French Connection Inu Satin Halter Top

French Connection

What We Love: It’s not skin-tight, giving you more range of motion throughout the night. 

What We Don’t Love: Finding the right bra could be difficult.

For a more mature look, a halter-top (particularly a satin one) will come in handy. This one flares out ever so slightly on the hem with fabric wrapping over the chest in a criss cross motion. The top is then fastened by several clasps behind the neck, leaving the upper back bare. No part of this top (except on the mid back) is skin-tight, which gives you a little more breathing room and free range of motion. The only question that rises when we consider this piece is what type of bra can be worn with it, particularly for anyone with a larger chest. 

Price at time of publish: $58

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 4 | Material: Polyester

Best Bustier

NBD Hailee Bustier Top

NBD Hailee Bustier Top


What We Love: Despite the caging, the bustier is stretchy and therefore comfortable. 

What We Don’t Love: Bigger chests might feel as though they are spilling out the top a little.

Bustier tops come with mild caging around the body, then lifts up the chest for a tasteful display. This might sound uncomfortable, but the Hailee top by NBD was made to be stretchy and mold around the figure. And while smaller chested people have confirmed that there is no gaping at the top, bigger chested women do feel as though they spill out a little. Otherwise, the strapless garment stays in place throughout the whole night, and looks dashing on a night’s backdrop.

Price at time of publish: $168

Sizes: XXS-XL | Colors: 2 | Material: Polyester, spandex

Most Comfortable

ReOna Signature Tank Top

ReOna Signature Tank Top


What We Love: The double-layered material is stretchy and soft.

What We Don’t Love: They run a little large, so we recommend sizing down. 

If comfort is a non-negotiable for you, then a sleek, double-lined, and super soft tank top by ReOna is the way to go. While tank tops are typically not “going out” attire, unless you plan to keep it casual, this piece is an exception due to its high neck, cropped hem, and flattering fit. We’ve featured ReOna’s products multiple times, as their elevated basics make any outfit look elegant. You could easily go from a night out to a chill lay-down on the couch and feel plush and homely in this top. They run a little large, however, so size down for a perfect fit. 

Price at time of publish: $69

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 1 | Material: Modal, elastane

Best on Amazon

Reoria Sleeveless Cropped Bustier

Reoria Sleeveless Cropped Bustier


What We Love: The zip closure in the back makes it easy to slip into. 

What We Don’t Love: The material is less sturdy.

Yes, you can shop cute going out tops on Amazon, look great, and not spend too much money. Backed up by excellent reviews, this demi-corseted top comes in 15 different colors. It has a zip closure in the back so that you don’t have to squeeze through the bottom. The straps are also adjustable, so that you can customize the fit. The double-lined material ensures your bra (if you choose to wear one) won’t poke through and provides a bit more support. But the material can feel a little flimsy and less structured than the corset top from NBD bustier. All in all, this Amazon find is a great steal. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Sizes: S-2XL | Colors: 15 | Material: Nylon, spandex

Best for Large Busts

House of CB Floral Lace Camisole

House of CB Floral Lace Camisole

House of CB

What We Love: You can shop by cup and waist size.

What We Don’t Love: It has tedious wash instructions.

The sizing options on this bustier are phenomenal. Not only can you choose the size of the garment, but the cup size that will come with it. There’s a range of regular sizes, catering to the A to C cups, and a range of extended sizes, catering to the D to E cups — even those blessed with a large cup size but small back. The corset camisole (also available in black) is decked out in a gorgeous floral lace, and you’ll find caging at the front cinching in the waist. Naturally, this means it comes with some tedious wash instructions, so be prepared to bring this to the dry cleaner. Otherwise, the top is definitely intended to show off your figure and allow you to embrace your full feminine energy.  

Price at time of publish: $135

Sizes: Regular, plus, XS-XL | Colors: 2 | Material: Polyester

Best Lace

Free People First Love Cami

Free People First Love Cami

Free People

What We Love: The chest portion is double-lined.

What We Don’t Love: It’s definitely not an all-occasion kind of shirt.

Lace gives an undeniable sensual appeal, regardless of the cut of the top. This cami however takes it up a notch by creating a semi-sheer middle section, while keeping the chest properly covered with a double lining. Pile on the fact that it’s cropped short, just below your belly, and you’ve got one alluring piece that’s sure to catch some attention while out and about. While it’s certainly not for all occasions, the item might be the best thing to wear on a sunny vacation or late night drinks with friends. Style it with your favorite pair of denim to keep it edgy, or slip into a midi skirt for a touch of femininity. 

Price at time of publish: $38

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 3 | Material: Nylon, spandex

Best Open-Back

The Line By K Ximeno Tank

The Line By K Ximeno Tank


What We Love: The two minimal straps leave you from feeling completely bare and exposed.

What We Don’t Love: There will be some side-boob visible, and larger chests might want to consider using boob tape.

To blogger and style consultant Lauren Parry, the ideal going out top should have one detail that “accentuates your favorite feature, such as your back, your shoulders, or your decolletage,” which is why she chose this open-back top as one of her best going out tops right now. Unlike your traditional open back top, this top doesn’t leave you completely bare. Instead, there is a very low back, kept in place by two asymmetrical straps. It leaves just a little less to the imagination, but remains a very sultry piece all together. Be aware that there will be a little side-boob action going on, due to the low cutout, so if you have a larger chest consider using some boob-tape to keep everything in place. 

Price at time of publish: $75

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 3 | Material: Rayon, spandex

Best Bodysuit

Abercrombie Sweetheart Bodysuit

Abercrombie Sweetheart Bodysuit


What We Love: The two-snap button closure at the bottom makes trips to the bathroom easier. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish it came in more colors.

Sweetheart necklines never fail to look endearing. This one is met with some ruching around the breasts as well, to further accentuate the figure. The bodysuit (which by the way, comes with convenient snap closure at the bottom) is made of Abercrombie’s signature softAF seamless fabric, meaning that you not only look good, but feel ridiculously comfortable in this top as well. Even the back portion dips a little into a square cut-out, giving your shoulder space some time to shine. As a matter of fact, we love this bodysuit so much that we only wish it came in more colors.

Price at time of publish: $45

Sizes: XXS-XL | Colors: 3 | Material: Nylon, elastane

What to Keep in Mind


Going out tops are going to be constructed a little differently than your average everyday T, with the intention of standing out and typically looking sexy. Parry recommends looking for unique fabrics like leather (like the Good American Faux Leather Tank), feathers, silk (like the Dissh Charli Pearl Satin Crop Top), and lace (like the Free People First Love Cami). But before you commit to one material, consider how it will need to get washed. If you don’t mind going to a professional dry cleaner, then you can opt for pieces like the Mara Hoffman Liya Top, which is made of organic cotton and linen, or the House of CB Floral Lace Camisole, whose lace needs to be maintained in good condition. For something with an easier maintenance, pieces with nylon or polyester, like the Abercrombie Sweetheart Bodysuit and Reoria Sleeveless Cropped Bustier, will be easier to handle. 


Are you going out for dinner with friends, or with colleagues? Is it a casual brunch, or a formal cocktail hour? Each occasion will require you to dress accordingly. Before you make your purchase, consider the location and the company you will be spending your time with. For all things a little more formal, opt for more modest options like the Marcella NYC Evelyn TopEloquii Shirred Puff Sleeve Top, and Reformation Lindy Knit Top. For something more sultry, options like the Free People First Love Cami and the NBD Hailee Bustier Top are sure to turn heads. 

Your Questions, Answered

How do I style going out tops?

One thing style experts Grimstad, Betiku, and Parry all agree on is that you can never go wrong with a pair of denim when styling a dressy shirt. “My go-to for dressing up a nice going out-top is pairing it with dark wash jeans or a midi skirt, pointed heels or a heeled mule, and a great pair of chunky earrings to further elevate the look,” says Grimstad. For a different take, Parry suggests a”monochromatic pant, a leather pant or skirt” as an alternative. Betiku, who likes to add a touch of elegance, finds comfort in a nice blazer thrown over her shoulders, with a skirt or wide leg black trousers. 

How do I get more use out of a going out top?

Spending a good coin on a top, only to wear it once is a shame, but Parry reminds us that a “piece that is versatile can be styled multiple ways,” and therefore, worn on multiple occasions. Our favorite day to night option, the Reformation Lindy Knit Top, for example, is like a blank canvas that will only be as elegant or as casual as you style it. The Abercrombie Sweetheart Bodysuit or the Ryley V Neck Tie Up Bodysuit also border between evening and day wear. Simply swapping a denim skirt for a silk skirt, can instantly give your top a new look and life. Statement pieces, like the French Connection Inu Satin Halter Top or the House of CB Floral Lace Camisole might be a little harder to convert, but taking them from one event to another can easily be done if you change the accessories or color palette of the overall look. But it’s more than just items of clothing you can mix and match, but occasions as well. If you wore something to an office party, you can dress it down next time and wear it to your friend's birthday party. The people attending will be different, and no one will be any wiser that you wore the same shirt twice. 

Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer at InStyle, with over two years of experience covering fashion and beauty. Spending over nine hours a day browsing the web for the latest fashion trends has earned her a keen eye for finding the best pieces to shop right now. With the help of bloggers and style consultants Lara Betiku, Jamie Grimstad, and Laura Parry, who offered key insights on how to style and shop for evening wear, this list of carefully vetted going out tops was curated. 

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