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FW21: Key Tops

Stylish New Staples

Tops are the product category with the biggest potential for FW21. With a total of 1423 tops that were presented on the shows and a year on year increase of +109% the possibilities to integrate statement tops are broad.

Overall, the idea of transitional styles that set us up for multiple possibilities of tomorrow is the way to go. Tops, that can be work-appropriate yet function for more ceremonial events consider the needs of the zeitgeist. Elevated shirts, presented in 1144 outfits during FW21 Shows, which incorporate a masculine notion are just one of such new versatile styles. Through surprising design details and a generally more luxe feel, these shirts boost norm-core looks to occasion-wear levels. For a more feminine and sophisticated interpretation of shirts and blouses, designers have embraced a variety of draped looks. Draped details feed into currently favoured aesthetics of harmonious and balanced simplicity. However, the draped blouse can also take more dressy forms and feel flamboyantly glamorous, responding to desires of mesmerizing evening looks.

For FW21, historic blouses are evoking nostalgia. With ruffle and lace details or high and pronounced collars, they are able to create almost theatrical moments. A wide range of party-ready blouses and tops embrace new maximalist and bold trends. As trims designers favor feathers, jewels, rouching and as fabrics sheers and satins are a safe bet.

From Hoodie to Sexy

Bralettes, Bustiers and Second-Skin Tops are continuing to make an impact for FW21. With a similar focus on second-skin dressing, the bodysuit is an increasing trend for FW21. Celebrating a newly empowered and seductive femininity, the bodysuit provokes through high-side cut-outs. All of those pieces are usually favored for layered styling and reflect a new female gaze, which  ignites designs and general mindsets.

Opposed to those sexy styles, the Sweatshirt, an emblem of comfort and our lock-down uniform, continues to be a Must-Have-Piece. More and more designers are striving for interpretations that are glamorizing the piece by using jewels, embroidery, cut-outs etc. Other design details might include: extra long-sleeve and hoods for a feeling of extra cozy comfort. Reflecting the detail trends, utility elements with a special focus on pockets, propose a  stable potential to boost pieces like the shirt(-jacket). For FW21, the utility shirt translates more functional and commuter-friendly needs.

The life on screen has turned tops into core fashion pieces. In a world post-pandemic, which will be the tops of choice?

Let us dive into the tops for Winter 2021 in more depth:

Key Styles


A question of Comfort

After a series of worldwide lockdowns, lifestyles have completely changed and nowadays comfort is no longer a negotiable characteristic of a garment. Tops are no exception, with an increase of 110% in fabrics such as knitwear, jersey and fleece. Hoodies represent more than 6% of the category and show a 38% growth compared to FW20.


Party-Ready Tops

In opposition, but just as strong, is the optimistic desire to dress up again and party. This trend results in festive, flamboyant and particularly creative tops. These styles are rising 247% compared to FW20 and getting 4% of top assortment for FW21. Feathers, shiny embellishments, sheers, draping and ruching, are predominant components of these Party-Ready Tops.


Embracing the Skin

The perfect product to combine comfort and elegance are the trending second skin tops. The sensation of touch, the skin's contact with the feeling of the material, has become so important that it demands for tight-fitting tops. Especially relevant for trendy layered styles, bodycon tops can be worn and combined with knitwear, tailoring and slip dresses. The room for interpretation is broad and knows no limit here.


New Office Staple Shirt

For Winter 2021, consumers will be returning to the office with an evolved wardrobe. However, there is still a need for essentials such as the shirt. The office must-have has been represented in 1144 outfits during the FW21 fashion shows. Playing with utility details on pockets, statement collars, creative pattern making or embellishments. New elevated styles range from minimal to more glamorous interpretations and the shirt will be able to surprise us again.


The Draped Top

Draping looks charmingly combine femininity and sophistication. Tops with draped details were a reoccurring trend during the fashion shows, adapted within 111 looks. The top showed a growing trend, doubling from the previous winter, and weighed 3% in the top product mix.


Reviving Historics

Statement collars have been a strong trend since last winter and their evolution for FW21 is certainly taking on a more historical inspiration. Almost a hundred tops featured these collars. The looks range from oversized Peter-pan collars to Victorian necklines and jabots. With a growth index of 35% YoY, highlight collars are sustaining their strong business potential.


Bustiers and Bralettes

Bralettes maintain a strong visibility on the catwalks, while showing a slight decrease within the numbers. Presented in a total of 117 outfits, the fashion piece remains a stable trend and solid bet for the upcoming season. Now, integrated by the mainstream, the bralette finds itself as a more commercial garment. The piece is a staple for layering and, if treated with the right proportions, it can be worn as a set combination with skirts or pants. More cheeky interpretations that resemble the undergarment more, the bralette remains more suitable for a young or more edgy audience.


The Body

Confirming the growth of this garment as observed on Instagram, the bodysuit is an emerging trend in the FW21 shows too. With a 16% YoY growth rate, this garment confirms its versatility: perfect when worn with low waist, layered with transparent dresses, comfortable thanks to its elasticity... This garment has all the characteristics to become a staple in your collection.


Must-Have Details

Utilitarian Details

Reassuring Hoods

Extra Long Sleeves

New Core Items

For FW21 the main trend pieces in the top category can bee broken down too elevated shirts and blouses. Whether this means minimally reconstructed, flamboyant or historic features. Keep pushing the top as a focus piece, considering the new lifestyles of consumers. However, your assortments should continue to embrace more functional and minimal styles, like sweaters and shirt, that acknowledge new wardrobes and client needs.

Make sure to further look at the Top Colours and Key Details of the FW21 shows and get some more design directions on how to twist the classics, so you will be guaranteed to create new best-selling products for the upcoming FW21 season.