If You’re A Fan Of Off-The-Shoulder Tops You’re Going to Love Fall’s Cutout Tops Trend

Designers introduced us to a new wardrobe staple in fall 2020: the cutout top. Ahead, discover 12 of our favorite styles and how to wear them for every occasion. 

Every year around this time,  we enter  the highly anticipated transitional period when high summer shifts into early fall. It is the time when we finally swap out our beloved bikinis for our favorite fall essentials and new must-haves of the season, thus breathing new life into our wardrobes once again. 

Perhaps this newfound energy comes from the thrill of welcoming the season’s It items into our wardrobe, as if we are hitting refresh. And this fall, the runways introduced a new must-have top: the cutout top. From Parisian fashion houses Chloé and JACQUEMUS to Italian luxury brands like Prada and Fendi, designers developed their own versions of the cutout top — and no two are the same. Designers explored keyhole cutouts, asymmetric paneling, and modest peek-a-boo placements as subtle yet strategic design elements to elevate woven tops. Such thoughtful details and innovative cutout placements make for a more dynamic garment that is quite versatile when it comes to styling. Pair a tailored cutout top with a straight-leg jean for a more casual look, or opt for a sleek evening ensemble with a high-neck cutout blouse teamed with silk menswear-inspired trousers and elevated jewels. There are countless ways to style this hero piece. 

As we continue to embrace the new normal of Zoom work meetings and digital dates, the cutout top lends itself perfectly to this new wave of designing for a digital world. Often referred to as “above the keyboard dressing,” these creative cutouts are yet another way to stay on-trend while on the screen. Ahead, discover this season’s must-have cutout tops and how to wear them for every occasion. 

Cut Out Tops
Jacquemus FW'20 / Versace FW'20 / Proenza Schouler FW'20 / Dion Lee FW'20 / Altuzarra FW'20

Suiting + Cutout Top Look

To elevate a suiting look and take it from workwear to eveningwear, pair it with a sleek top and a strappy heel. Both fashion powerhouses, Bottega Veneta and Chloé debuted their classic suiting with a twist by styling them with cutout numbers. Take a styling hint from Elsa Hosk and pair a high-neck cutout top with a menswear-inspired gray suit and a minimal strappy heel for a sophisticated suiting look.

Leather + Cutout Top Look

Another popular trend this season, leather dominated the fall-winter ’20 runways. From  trench coats and blazers to dresses and shorts, there’s no denying that leather is having a major moment and has become even more versatile in its styling. Wear Loewe’s chic leather culottes as fashion icon Nausheen Shah did and pair them with a fitted cutout tank top, tastefully revealing a sleek, silk bralette and Valentino’s contrasting pointed-toe pumps for a night out.

Minimal Cutout Top Look

This season — and now more than ever — designers placed an emphasis on keeping it minimal. Returning to practical, wearable clothing without being boring about it, the runways offered a new minimal aesthetic. Take a styling cue from model and style icon Amy Julliette Lefévre and pair a ’90s-inspired keyhole cutout top with JACQUEMUS’ linen shorts suit set in neutral colors. Complete the look with the season’s must-have Gucci Jackie 1961 small hobo bag for a dose of timeless sophistication.

Animal-Print Look

Animal print, a trend that is seemingly going nowhere, is the perfect pattern to update this season with a cutout top. From minimalist zebra stripes to colorful cheetah prints, there’s  a plethora of animal prints to play with come fall. Style GANNI’s silk keyhole-neck top as influencer Lucy Williams did with a neutral oversized blazer and high-rise tapered jeans in a black wash, and complete the look with Bottega Veneta’s leather slide heels.

Evening Look

The cutout top is the perfect update to your fall evening wardrobe. In addition to sultry slip dresses, embellished and embroidered numbers, and sleek suiting, cutout tops will instantly elevate your evening look. Like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, opt for a monochrome after-hours look and pair it with a subtle cutout top with a silky trouser. Accessorize it with pops of gold accessories, such as CELINE’s Triomphe belt and Nadine Aysoy’s iconic triple-link earrings, for a contemporary finish. 

Bold Cutout Top Look

A strategic cutout and a bold color equals a statement-making ensemble. And because this new top silhouette is here to stay, why not invest in a few different iterations? Opt for a vibrant color in a fitted knit wool top to stay on the more casual, daytime side, and style it with fashion’s latest obsession: country check prints. Keep the look elevated by accessorizing with Chanel’s Coco Crush Two-Finger Ring, which fuses gold, silver, and diamonds, and Messika’s diamond hoop earrings.

Daytime Look

Instagram’s style icons are already indulging in this new top silhouette, and it’s likely you’ve already seen it on your favorite creatives. Like the backless dress, the cutout top is dynamic and makes for an intriguing photo. Opt for a daytime look like creative Camille Charriere and style Bottega Veneta’s cashmere cutout halterneck bodysuit with high-waisted, baggy neutral trousers and trendy wedge sandals for the perfect daytime ensemble.

Knitwear Cutout Top Look

While we have spent this summer relocating or reimagining our lives, we’ve also shifted our wardrobe a bit into the luxury loungewear category, with knitwear being the hero. British designer Christopher Kane debuted several cutout tops this season, including this ribbed-knit turtleneck silhouette. Take a styling hint from Monikh Dale and pair the must-have sweater with The Row’s essential tailored trousers, Bottega Veneta’s pouch bag, and mini-heel sandals.

Vacation-Ready Look

As resort season may be extended this year, reveal a cutout look while on holiday for the perfect beach-and-beyond aesthetic. Update your go-to cover-ups with Tove Studio’s tie-front cutout top. For a more sophisticated look, style it as Jessie Li and pair with a matching short for a relaxed holiday look. Complete the ensemble with this summer’s beach essentials: Loewe’s canvas tote bag and Dior’s iconic embroidered sandal-slides.

Business-Casual Look

Though we may not be returning to an actual office in the foreseeable future, we still need businesslike clothes, whether for a socially distanced coffee catch-up or important Zoom conference. Position the neutral cashmere cutout sweater as the statement piece and keep it simple by styling it with a tailored trouser, Proenza Schouler’s knotted leather mules, and Balenciaga’s beloved crystal hoop earrings for a business-ready yet fashion-forward look.

Romantic Cutout Top Look

Blouses typically err on the more feminine, romantic side. Update your go-to sheer blouses with a chic cutout detail while still keeping it very romantic in the detailing. Style a sweet and sultry cutout blouse as style icon and creator Brittany Xavier did by keeping the look delicate with a silk and lace bralette and simple jewelry like Jemma Wynne’s pear-shaped diamond ring and minimalist gold chain necklace.

Denim + Cutout Top Look

Denim will always be a wardrobe essential, so style your go-to pair of jeans — whether it’s KHAITE’s straight leg, Saint Laurent’s iconic skinny silhouette, or a vintage pair of Levi’s — with a cutout top. Ideal for either a daytime fling or a night out, this outfit is the update your wardrobe needed this season. Like creative director Leia Sfez, accessorize with a sleek pointed-toe bootie for a more polished vibe, and complete it with a pair of Gucci sunglasses.

About the Author
Adrienne Faurote is a contributor at Editorialist covering all things fashion and beauty. After studying Fashion Design at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York, Adrienne then moved on to become the Fashion Market Editor at Marie Claire Magazine for over 5 years. When she's not covering the season's must-have fashion trends or reviewing the latest beauty fads, you'll find her trying popular boutique fitness and wellness trends.
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