I have explained the concept and genesis of the party in a top many times, but for those of you who might be new to GOACA, here goes: I came up with the notion after attending a holiday party that was quite crowded, and it occurred to me that at big fêtes such as that, all anybody really notices is what you’re wearing from the waist up. What a freeing concept, right? Just find yourself a great top, pair it with anything from jeans to cigarette trousers to even a skirt, and prepare for the compliments to come rolling in. I always do this post around holiday time, but took a break last year when parties weren’t really happening. But I’m back now, with—for starters—a really good leopard print peasant top.
I’m a big sequin fan, but feel they must be deployed with care. I don’t ever like to see them on something tight-fitting, and I’m pretty picky about the hue too—anything too colorful skews cheap. So I’m liking this sleeveless top, which I’d probably throw on under a blazer.
I don’t usually like a puff sleeve—at all—but this silk top somehow really works for me.
A gathered T-shirt that looks like it could be something fancy and Japanese, but it is in point of fact from Cos and rings in just under $75.
Vince’s band collar silk popover is a classic, and could just as easily be worn with a sleek pencil skirt as beat-up jeans.
Such a feminine, subtly sexy velvet camisole.
I dig the smocked sleeves and nice deep neckline of this tie neck blouse.
This lace top is pretty sheer, so I’d for sure pair it with a cami.
This metallic top is pretty statement-y, so I’d wear it with a comparatively quiet bottom.
I think the color combination here is unexpected and cool.
I’d wear this floral tie-neck top untied and unbuttoned a bit for a tousled and sexy look.
A nifty and well-priced metallic top that looks so easy and wearable.
A pleated top from Vince is a pleasingly dark floral.
This mauve smocked top comes in a couple of other good colors and is sort of sweetly romantic.
Nan Kempner called it “restaurant dressing” as no one sees your pants/skirt while seated at a table!
Love both of the metallic tops. My holiday vibe is dark sparkle, and I adore the teeny sequins that Brunello Cucinelli puts on sweaters and other tops, even more if I find it marked way down (I scored a black sequined BC cardigan for $180 on theRealReal once and I will die happy). I am not a party-goer at all, but throwing a little sparkly somethin’-somethin’ over my regular clothes for errand-running during the holiday season sure cheers me up.
Amen to PIAT!
But also, totally intrigued by the black jacquard skirt under that Ulla Johnson top. Can’t find it anywhere–anybody got a lead?
I snooped around – is it this?
While I enjoy PIAT for others, I am a party-on-the-bottom (POTB) girl. I have an embarrassingly extensive collection of weird-sometimes-witchy-designery skirts packed away for when I return to having a social life. Additionally-that FRAME blouse is stupendous.
For those of you wondering what the collective name for skirts is: a spell of skirts.
I recently used this idea to dress for a wedding in a cold climate. I wore a party top with a pantsuit, then took the jacket off when the dancing started.
“Wedding In A Cold Climate” sounds like the name of a film starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant 😉
This is a lovely post and were I to be invited to a party, I could imagine wearing any of these. Except, I’d probably go louder. … … … I like the subtle colors too, yet I also feel if one is going to wear sequins, then it makes little sense to be defensive about it. People are going to notice that there is spangling happening. Nor do I agree that bright colors should be read as cheap – though I know there is a prevailing idea in fashion that anything that actually tries to look pretty, or “pretty,” must be rejected. I don’t go along with that, myself. (Well, inside my head, that is. My actual clothing is sad and boring. Must do something. Note to self…) There are also ethnic differences with our ideas about colors. To be clear, I am *not* trying to say that anyone heeeeeere has any such idea. I am just noticing its existence, out loud. … … … I love to see that some of these have a good size range – thank you, Kim.
Actually though, I think Kim just meant that bright sequined things more often actually doooo seem to be cheap, as in literally not well-made, and really, I could see that. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a sequin in person, come to think of it.
I think I’d feel all kinda’ sexy in that leopard flowy top. Of course, it’s quite possible that I’d come off finding myself in a Celeste Barber Instagram post. (Check her out, GOACA’s, if you’ve never seen her. She’s one of my heros!)
so SOOOOO funny! Thank you, Val!!
I have to mention two women whose party in a top game is supreme: the president and prime minister of Barbados. I watched a bit of the ceremony in which the president became the first president of Barbados. The president wore this amazing pink coat with tiger stripes. The prime minister had this incredible blue and yellow scarf trail down her shoulder.
Say … that iiiiis a nice coat. Yowza.
That first sequined top is ‘chef’s kiss!’
I always enjoy the “party in a top” posting (and the concept as well) even though I am not a party person. There are some beautiful selections here, Kim. Covid may have attacked your sense of smell, but it did nothing to harm your sense of fashion!
Love this! I’ve been doing this for years. Got a great pair of JCrew black velvet trousers around 10 years ago and have various blingy tops that I wear with them (or did, back in the day of parties). These are all great new examples to dream about!
Funny, I literally just ordered that Frame top this morning to wear to my upcoming 50th bday dinner, with cigarette pants (and a very high heel)! Totally agree with this concept. I was bummed because the bright red pants I’d been hoping to get were backordered, but of course who would see them when I was sitting down anyway?
Happy Birthday!!!! Sags rule! (jk – the other signs are nice too … )
PIAT is totally my gender identity lol. And I love the Sezane black lace number. Am I insane, or could one style the sleeveless sequin top with something long sleeved underneath?? Like an ivory silk something?
Totally okay to tell me I’m insane!
I must have missed the whole Party in a Top thing, but it has always been my jam. I live in jeans and felt that a fun top and shoes with a cute bag and jewels were all I ever needed. Also, that Ulla Johnson top reminds me of a ripe persimmon tree.
Love this whole concept which I borrowed and deployed for Thanksgiving dinner. Next stop Christmas Eve. Love the leopard top and the Vince Camuto, but the big win is the sequin top. I saw some really good ones in Marshall’s of all places. I agree with Francine that we need a post on them please.
Can you do a post on sequins soon? I’m also a fan and agree the fit and color have to be just right. Thanks!
I’d be up for a somehow mellow “sequins” post, too. That silver number is very much “me in the corner pretending to enjoy myself” (I like parties the IDEA of parties) but it is sold out.
Nordstrom (via Kim’s link for the Vince Camuto metallic tip, of course) has the silver sequin top in stock.
Whaaaat? Another Francine? I’ve only met ONE my entire life. So hello!
That COS top runs huge, so keep that in mind if you order. I need to return mine – it fits like a giant bag.