The ‘going-out top’ from the Y2K fashion era is back on the scene

DUA Lipa wearing a butterfly inspired going-out top paired with denim jeans. Picture: Instagram.

DUA Lipa wearing a butterfly inspired going-out top paired with denim jeans. Picture: Instagram.

Published Dec 23, 2021


CELEBRITIES and fashion influencers have been spotted with fancy embellished tops and backless blouses with jeans signalling the revival of the ‘going-out’ top that dominated in the 2000s.

The 2000s was an era of fashion and beauty nobody could forget – no matter how badly they want to. Whether it was Paris Hilton strutting out of a party in a denim mini or the star of a Disney Channel show rocking a chunky belt – if the outfit was plastered onto the cover of a magazine, the look was bound to become an instant sensation. From frosted brown lipstick to platform flip flops, the grip these bizarre fashion fads had on society, was something to behold.

While these styles may have been too cringey to revive a few years ago, in 2021, with Gen Z and Millennials as the trendsetters of society, it seems that the Y2K aesthetic is back in a big way.

As Millennials are getting older, they’re becoming more nostalgic about their childhood through reliving fond memories and bonding over shared experiences.

Meanwhile, Gen Z, the next group to take over, is discovering Y2K culture for the first time by adopting bits and pieces from the era, especially fashion. The nostalgia is re-emerging in the form of baggy jeans, baguette bags, velour sweat sets and over-the-top hair accessories that have been featured at some of the biggest fashion shows, worn by our favourite fashion gals Bella Hadid and Rihanna.

One outfit that’s been surging up the ranks of popularity is the going-out top and jeans combo. In the early 2000s, denim was big on the fashion scene. Designer it-jeans carrying hefty price tags like True Religion and Frankie B were all the rage and mostly bought to show off the embroidered logos emblazoned on the back pockets as a status symbol. People didn’t mind splurging though because they were an investment for their durability and comfort.

Effortless to style, you could transition a pair of designer jeans from day to night with minor adjustments to the outfit. From glitzy tops with stilettos for more formal affairs to plain white T-shirts and sneakers, maximising their versatility.

Undeniably linked to the nightclub fashion of the period, when asked the question, “What are you wearing tonight?” The answer was usually: “A pair of jeans and a nice top.” In the present day, the look is more refined and purposeful as it sheds the fixation we had of over-accessorising. The aim is to adopt the aesthetic into our everyday wardrobes without teetering on kitsch. In essence, the top is allowed to shine above all else.

When the pandemic struck, comfort was valued above over-the-top ensembles. Most people were staying home, so sweat sets and hoodies became trendy and were elevated with gold accessories and chunky sneakers or boots. Now that the world is opening up, we’re looking to balance comfort with fashion and jeans seem to be the perfect solution.

More styles of these staple pants – not just the standard high-waisted skinny variety – are making their way to store shelves.

Whether you’re sporting light-wash bell bottoms or dark wide-leg jeans, there’s one thing that’s the same across the board, the tops are ultra glitzy. Silk cowl necks, sequinned halters, sheer nylon cut-outs, velvet corsets, sparkling metal mesh and a range of other statement materials and designs are being used to make these tops statement pieces.

The trend may have dipped out of fashion for a brief time during the 2010s when little-black dresses, fitted bandage skirts and even shorts paired with sheer pantihose replacing jeans, which took over the clubbing scene. But, now that Y2K is alive and thriving again, we’re sure that it’ll stick around in the new year.