One day, we’ll show off fits in real life again, even if it takes a little re-learning along the way. The Highsnobiety Summer Style Guide is here to help, ensuring that lightweight pieces still result in heavyweight looks.
The mesh top made its sheer grand entrance onto the high fashion stage via Jean-Paul Gaultier's lauded Tattoo collection of Spring 1994. This skin-tight signature of the French haute couture maestro was modeled on men at the runway show, but it's a category that never really stuck in this sphere, at least not in the mainstream.
Mesh tops have had a big moment over the past couple of years. That's thanks to the likes of Bella Hadid being obsessed with archive Gaultier and younger labels like Ottolinger offering new iterations. Though they're getting love in the womenswear world once again, this one-sided resurgence has further highlighted how the mesh top's place in menswear is still in question. And I think that needs to change.
For summer, mesh tops are perfect. Mesh not only provides a breathable extra layer, but it also lets you show what's underneath through a new lens. The transparency of sheer shirts and mesh tops affords you the license to experiment with bold prints and color combinations underneath, helping you achieve originality in the face of going-to-be-everywhere collections. It's a brave look, but it's one that pays off if you take the leap. Seriously, we'd get ahead now.
With mesh on the mind, we've rounded up the best of the mesh tops for men on the internet right now, from the obligatory and OG Jean-Paul Gaultier to iterations from Walter Van Beirendonck, Our Legacy, and even Stüssy.
Browse the best mesh tops below for men.
Jean-Paul Gaultier FW01 "Marlene" Mesh Top
The OG of the mesh top game, Jean-Paul Gaultier's 1994 show was the game-changer that introduced the look to the fashion crowd. It continued into the 2000s, too, and the "Marlene" is one of the most iconic iterations. A timeless investment.
South2 West8 Mesh Sweater
If you're not ready to embrace the skin-tight mesh top just yet, then there are baggier versions to gateway with. Japan's South2 West8 is one of the labels supplying them and this green mesh number will look with nothing underneath in summer.
Walter Van Beirendonck Ghost Top
Antwerp Six alumni Walter Van Beirendonck is well known for his out-there expression and often cartoon-like designs. The ghost top, from his recent collection, is perfect for going no holds barred post-lockdown. Comes with a six-pack, too.
Our Legacy Super Slim Longsleeve
As we already mentioned, menswear mesh tops are limited, so it helps to look to brands putting out the genderless goods if you want to get involved. Our Legacy is one such brand and this super-slim long sleeve from its SS21 collection is fire.
Maison Margiela Mesh Top
Mesh tops are sooo good for layering with, and some come with layering options built-in. An example? This stretch nylon beauty from the house of Maison Margiela. Another reason to long for the return of European clubs.
Stüssy Abstract Mesh Shirt
This is from last season, but a worthy reminder that it's not just the likes of Gaultier letting you mesh this summer. Wear over a tee if less exposure is music to your ears.
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