It's pretty much the perfect combination of summer's hottest trends.

By Samantha Sutton
Jun 22, 2021 @ 10:37 am
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Paper Clip Tops Are the Latest Strangely Sexy Trend Models Are Loving
Credit: Getty Images/Courtesy

It can be argued that, right now, we're experiencing an extremely sexy time in the world of fashion. It's summer, we're vaccinated, and those two factors coincide with a major Y2K comeback. In short, people are dressing like old school pop stars on an MTV red carpet, and in between thong jeans and upside-down bikinis, another super revealing trend has emerged: the paper clip top.

To be honest, we should probably feel a bit unfazed about this one. This shirt (bra?) is almost like the love child of all the hottest styles — the halter-neck, the corset top, and the shest. And yet, seeing it out and about still made us do a double-take.

We first spotted this piece on new mom Emily Ratajkowski, when she paired her bright blue paper clip top with baggy jeans and sneakers. InStyle editors immediately took to our team Slack channel, pointing out how the metal closure of the collared Cult Gaia design sort of looked like a paper clip, and thus, the nickname was born. To be honest, it was more of just a throwaway comment — something silly we'd likely forget about a few days later. But then, Kaia Gerber wore a paper clip top of her own with an all-black outfit, and it suddenly became the new trend to watch.

Paper clip top
Credit: Byrdman / BACKGRID

Pretty soon, the style was taking off. Hailey Bieber posed for an Instagram photo in the black version of Ratajkowski's paper clip top, while Kendall Jenner wore a crotchet option with baggy pants while out in Paris.

Hailey Bieber Paper Clip Top
Credit: Instagram/@haileybieber

In many ways, this style reminds us of a pully shirt, an item that's also on the rise as of late. Instead of lace-up strings, however, paper clip tops feature a single, statement-making metal closure, making it even more revealing. It's definitely a daring, nearly-naked look, but if there's any time to embrace chaotic, fun fashion, it's now, after a year and a half where the hottest, must-have trends included sweatpants and loungewear.

It's also easy enough to steal these two celeb-loved versions. Ratajkowski and Bieber got their $278 paper clip tops from Cult Gaia, while Gerber's $60 design is from I.AM.GIA.