The Going-Out Top. For Men

Kristina Akhrarova

Sheer shoulders, backless blouses and diaphanous négligée fabrics. Welcome to the era of the he-halter.
Timothée Chalamet wore a barely there halter top to the Venice Film Festival in 2022.Photo byLaurent Koffel/Getty Images

Saint Laurent, the iconic French luxury brand with a distinct gothique flair, presented its latest fashion show on Monday evening in Berlin. The chosen venue was the Neue Nationalgalerie, a renowned architectural masterpiece crafted by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

The garments that graced the runway, on the other hand, did not embody van der Rohe's inclination for oversized suits and wide ties. Instead, they subtly referred to a contemporary style icon - Paris Hilton.

The collection included daring tops favored by Hilton and other celebrities. Paparazzi often pursued them at upscale clubs during the early 2000s. Sheer blouses revealed wearer's nipples, tanks showcased biceps, and single-shoulder shirts were also featured. Foremost a free interplay between elements considered masculine and feminine.
Bad Bunny in a backless suit at the Met Gala in May.Photo byJason Howard/Getty Images

More recently, Bad Bunny backed the free-the-shoulder-blade campaign, wearing a cutout Jacquemus suit that exposed his upper back at May’s Met Gala. And, while Fendi's Florence show featured a sleeve-free tuxedo shirt at a leather-goods factory, Ludovic de Saint Sernin uses translucent crepe shirting, and Gucci offers pussy-bow blouses for both genders.

The modern male going-out top nods to Marc Jacobs' 2012 Met Gala look. He wore a see-through lace frock, exposing his bare chest and white boxers below. Jacobs explained, "I didn't want to be boring in a tuxedo." It was more like a nightie than Studio 54.

Men have always had their own clichéd "cool guy on a date" shirt. It's the one with paisley swirls, white cuffs, red thread on the buttons, or a Rolling Stones logo. Brands like Etro and Robert Graham have thrived selling these shirts to middle-aged men who want to stand out. It's not about looking good, but about being noticed.
Marc Jacobs at the 2012 Met Gala in a sheer lace shift.Photo bySteve Eichner/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images

Attention can be sought with a YSL blouse or a vibrant RG shirt. The latter diverts from age-related concerns, but the former reflects commitment to fitness.

It’s an evolution of ‘I work out and I want to show it off'. Men are learning the power of the tease. – Jian DeLeon, Nordstrom’s men’s fashion and editorial director.

Men's fashion is aligning with wellness culture. Both men and women engage in fitness activities like HIIT and Peloton. Transparency in men's shirts indicates a growing market for men who want to show off their gym gains. This shift is predominantly seen among straight men, as gay men have long appreciated these clothing qualities.

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