For more than a year, the going-out top has been, for the majority of us, a nostalgia trigger or an existential punchline. We didn’t go out — in some instances, not even for food. Our Reformation camisoles and bodysuits from Aritzia gathered dust alongside our occasion dresses and work heels. Today, though, more than 45.6 million people in the UK have had at least one dose of the vaccine. We can go out, to the shops, to a restaurant and even a bar. And because of that, the going-out top is back — with a vengeance. Demure camisoles and skin-concealing bodysuits are so 2019. Instead, the A-listers of the fashion brigade are popping up in our feeds wearing a going-out top style that’s slinkier, sexier, and more revealing than anything those of us who might still be getting regular use of our COVID wardrobe staples could have dreamed of. Meet the pin top.
Though it was Emily Ratajkowski in her blue Cult Gaia pin top — which, as the name suggests, is a top held together by nothing but a pin — who really put this new going-out staple on the map, it was actually fellow model Hailey Bieber who’s responsible for introducing the style. Vogue stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson dressed Bieber in a black cardigan secured only by a tiny gold button and a large gold paper clip at the breastbone for a recent beach fashion shoot in the magazine. The photo of Bieber in her barely-hanging-on knit didn’t end up making the final cut for the resulting story, and therefore, didn’t garner the kind of attention that a top of that nature deserved. Leave it to EmRata to remedy that.
The model-actress, who’s been known to don ab-baring clothing whenever possible, was photographed in June wearing a periwinkle blue halter top that, if not for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it U-shaped pin, would have been held together by nothing other than pure will. Called the Diem top, her £260 Cult Gaia halter immediately sold out. But the Los Angeles-based brand, an Instagram favourite, is readying itself for a restock in off-white and black, both of which are now available for pre-order.
Vogue referred to Ratajkowski’s barely there top as a “new extreme,” while Page Six Style called it a “wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.” And yet, in the three weeks since she debuted the look, similar versions by I.AM.GIA and Jacquemus have flooded runways, social feeds, and street style pages.
Bella Hadid was spotted in a pin top of her own at Jacquemus’ La Montagne show in July. The cropped black jumper, closed in the middle of her chest with a small silver tube fastening, was by the designer in question, and styled with slouchy black-and-gray jeans and Y2K-inspired blue-tinted sunglasses. During the show, her same knit made its runway debut, as did long and short versions in fuschia, saffron red (modeled on Kendall Jenner), and tangerine orange.
This past Wednesday, Bieber took to the trend again, wearing a fuzzy, caramel-colored iteration with plaid trousers to an appointment at her dermatologist’s office, of all places. That same day, Spanish fashion influencer María Bernad posted photos of herself on Instagram wearing a red pin top from I.AM.GIA (also seen last month on Kaia Gerber at a friend’s star-studded birthday party ) with low-rise yoga trousers and a cowboy hat. Suffice to say, pin tops are all over the place.
This style is only one of many fashion trends dominating post-lockdown that are more revealing than those of pre-COVID times. Dresses are shorter and more sheer, trousers are lower-rise and more fitted, and swimsuits, well, they hardly exist at all. We’re showing everything off, with scarcely a care in the world. So, bring your boob tape and mentally prepare for wardrobe malfunctions. Let the pin begin.