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How to Wear a Crop Top

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crop tops
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With summer coming to an end and fall semester quickly approaching, most of us have just a few weeks left to try one of the hottest summer trend: crop tops! With scorching August temperatures still going strong, now is the perfect time to show a little extra skin.

I know many of you think crop tops are hard to wear, but I’m here to prove you wrong: They can be versatile AND flattering when styled correctly. Read on for my tips for wearing crop tops, as well as some sample outfits to get your inspiration going!

Tips for Wearing Crop Tops

  • Pick a length. Crop tops come in a variety of shapes and lengths, and depending on how daring you are, you can pick a top that shows only a sliver of your stomach or one that bares your belly. Daring? Try a top that hits above your belly button (as seen above). More conservative? Opt for something that grazes the top of your jeans. When picking the length of your top, you should also consider what you’ll be wearing it with, and where you’re going!
  • Pick and choose the rest of your look wisely. Crop tops are cute, but they can either look amazing or awful, depending on the outfit you wear them with. Each piece you pair with your top will evoke a different look. A higher waisted bottom paired with a crop top, for example, will limit the amount of skin you’re showing and can actually look sophisticated and fashion-forward.
  • Add a tank. Not into showing your tummy in a tiny top? Don’t! You can still get that crop-top vibe by wearing one with a tank underneath. You can match your tank to your crop top, try a neutral, go for a color contrast, or just wear a nude tank underneath for the illusion of skin.
  • Keep it classy. This is a perfect end-of-summer trend to try since, after all, crop tops really aren’t appropriate for work or class, and they’re a bit odd and out of place for a trip to the grocery store! They’re perfect, however, for the gym, the pool, and music festivals. Style your crop top right, and you can even wear it to a party or on a date. Just keep a fun, casual vibe in mind and consider your venue and you’ll be good to go.
  • Try it out! Still afraid to incorporate crop tops into your summer wardrobe? Try wearing one on the beach over your bathing suit! It’s an effortless, but totally tend-conscious choice that will have people talking! Still not convinced? Layer, layer, layer! You can spice up a long-sleeved tee or a tight dress by wearing a cropped top over it as a layering piece.

Three Outfits for Inspiration

1. Cute & Casual

Cute and Casual Crop Top Outfit

Product Information: Friendship Bracelets, Asos. Canvas Wicker Tote, Tory Burch. Curved Hem Pocket Crop Top, Topshop. J Brand Roll-Up Shorts, Bird. Glamour Ruffle Underwire Bikini, American Eagle. Saahara Sandals, Steve Madden.

This outfit would be perfect for spending time at the beach or a summer music festival! The crop top featured here is slightly sheer and has a baggy fit, making it perfect to wear over this adorable vintage-inspired bikini. Denim shorts are a classic summer staple, while the bright bag and shoes add a fun pop of color!

2. Surprisingly Chic

Chic crop top outfit

Product Information: Biker Jacket, Oli. When In Doubt Crop Top, Modcloth. Nine West Rocha Pumps, Lori’s Shoes. U.S. Polo Assn. Watch, Endless. BCBG Max Azria Textured Tube Skirt, Zappos. Tank Top, J.Crew.

This outfit is a perfect example of a classy way to wear a crop top–without ever showing skin (note the nude tank on the right)! Tuck a crop top into a high-waisted bandage skirt for a classic look with minimal bumps and bunchiness, or leave it untucked and play up the rock star edge. Added bonus: this crop top can be worn open like a vest! It’d be adorable with jeans and a tank in a contrasting color.

3. Effortless and Easygoing

Effortless and easygoing crop top outfit

Product Information: Back Stripe’s Back Tank, Modcloth. Filigree Cross Double Finger Ring, Urban Outfitters. Military Jeggings, American Eagle. Peacock Feather Earrings, Forever 21. Splendid Bandeau, Net-a-Porter. Sam Edelman Gigi Sandals, Heels.com.

This crop top has a longer length than those in the previous outfits, making it perfect for those of you who prefer a less daring aesthetic. Not only does it boast a longer back and sides for more coverage, but its cropped length is just short enough to show a sliver of stomach. Comfy jeggings and metallic sandals top off this effortless outfit.

What do you think?!

Is this a style you’ve seen this summer? Would you wear a crop top? Have any advice for girls looking to try this trend? Let us know with your comment!

Posted on on August 17, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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55 Responses to “How to Wear a Crop Top”

  1. 1
    August 17th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I love this post! I’ve been looking for good crop tops and you provided some really practical and versatile ones! Loving the outfits. :D

  2. 2
    August 17th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to be able to try this one… it’s a little plus size bias….

  3. 3
    August 17th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I really think it’s a trend I’m going to avoid. But the clothes in the pictures are really nice. Especially the jacket.

  4. 4
    August 17th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    I like your picks and how the girls in the photo look like, but even though I guess my tummy is flat enough for me to sport this trend, I’ll rather pass.
    Sidenote: I’ve got identical pair of peacock feathers earrings for less than one dollar ;)

  5. 5
    August 17th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    These are cute, and I love them as cover-ups at the pool or beach.

  6. 6
    August 17th, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I don’t think I will be trying this trend either. Its not a classy look, no matter where you wear it.

  7. 7
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I like the second outfit, but most loose fitting crop tops make it look like your shirt shrank awkwardly in the wash, if you ask me.

  8. 8
    August 17th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I love crop tops! I have actually tried wearing them all summer and I think my favorite trend was taking my brothers old band t-shirts and cutting them for a grunge look.

  9. 9
    August 17th, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Crops are so in right now love them.Definitely going to try Look 1 !!!!

  10. 10
    August 17th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I love this article!! that outfits your put together are great!!!

  11. 11
    August 17th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Oh man, I hate this trend. Haha. It sounds harsh, but I just don’t think it’s a very flattering look for most people. When I do see people wearing crops, the best to me look is much like #2, which is much like what I’ve seen people wearing out (to clubs, bars, etc). Otherwise I think they tend to look a bit awkward as Faith said above.

  12. 12
    August 17th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Girls all over FIDM campus rock this look all the time and I adore it! I think it is super cute.. great post!

  13. 13
    August 17th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Crop tops in the real life work about as well as sheer blouses over lingerie. I could see pairing a crop top with a high waisted skirt, but that’s about it. Too trendy and fleeting for my tastes.

  14. 14
    August 18th, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Thanks for the article; I love the crop trend. Ever since watching ’10 Things I Hate About You’, I’ve been dying for it to make a come back. Once the weather warms up a bit (Aussie reader here!), I’ll definitely be working a few crops into my look.

  15. 15
    August 18th, 2010 at 7:14 am

    i love the outfits, but they’re WAY too expensive for me :(… i think i will try this trend though, looks really cute ;)

  16. 16
    August 18th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    One of the hottest summer trends??? I haven’t seen a single person wearing a crop top in Toronto this summer. I have a cute belly but I crop top sends out a message that isn’t worth showing it off that way. I’d wear the third outfit though, since it’s not a crop top (which raises the question of what it’s doing there in the first place).

  17. 17
    August 18th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I’ve literally been living in crop tops all summer. However, I will only wear them with high waisted shorts or pants. I’ve gotten a bunch from American Apparel and they’re really versatile. I’ve even worn them over dresses to create a great layered look.

  18. 18
    August 18th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    SupaWaifu is right. This is just compulsive bringing back of vintage trends- and this one is best left in the past.

  19. 19
    August 18th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I adore this trend! I love Chelsey’s tip about cutting up old band t-shirts for a grunge look. Definitely something I’ll try.
    I live in Iceland and although this trend is not exactly winter-friendly I plan to keep wearing my crops with some master layering!
    Love the blog btw.

  20. 20
    August 18th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    This trend is just not going to happen. No matter how you wear it, I believe it crosses most people’s line of modesty in public situations that do not involve the beach or a pool.

  21. 21
    August 21st, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I love this. I have 3 crop tops, i wear 2 with a white vest underneath and the other one, i just wear with nothing underneath, with leggins and distressed boots.

  22. 22
    August 21st, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I have to say, I really love the look of a crop top, but it really only works for slimmer body types.

  23. 23
    February 7th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    First of all to the girl saying you’ve seen no one wearing them in Toronto, are you living in a cave? Cuz they’ve been worn for the past few summers now. And I hate to say it but all of the girls saying they dislike this look. I think you mean you dislike this look on YOUR body. I hated them summer of 2009, with a passion, along with belly button rings. Then lost weight over the winter and this past summer tried one on my new body and loved it. I realized you shouldn’t hate on something just because you personally can’t pull it off with your body type. Just like I can’t wear many of the new neck lines designed for girls with nice chests. Doesn’t mean I dislike the look on a curvy girl. So ladies stop the hating!

  24. 24
    April 21st, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Yeah I Love These Crop Tops Especially The First One , Because You Have Gave Me A Good Idea Of What To Wear Tomorrow , Seeing As im Going To the beach :D but the only problem is , if i do wear a crop top , im always stuck on what shoes to wear beacause in wales atm it very hot seeing as its coming very close to summer 2011 , i dont know weather i should wear military boots or is it ok is i wear dollies , i dont have a clue :( please help :( x

  25. 25
    April 29th, 2011 at 6:15 am

    I think crop tops are excellent — not plain, but paired with a long tunic or tank underneath (the latter especially, as it shows the difference in sleeve length and still comes off as sophisticated and tasteful). I didn’t realize how much I liked this trend until I found a black & white polka dot one made of a satiny fabric. It looks great, and I wish I could find other cropped tops that are half as stylish as that one is. It really works well for layering.

  26. 26
    June 28th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I love crop tops! So 90′s. More articles on it please?

  27. 27
    June 29th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I think they are very cute. I bought one a few days ago but i bought a tank for under mine. If i was a teen again i would of so rocked this with out a tank. but having kids now. I try not to show so much skin

  28. 28
    July 18th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I think the crop tops are hot, great way to show off that nice mid-sections that you’ve work so hard for at the gym. If you got it, by all means show it off. Just remember to keep it grown and sexy.

  29. 29
    July 27th, 2011 at 1:18 am

    We offer a crop top that is to use a layering piece underneath your tops. With all of our optional sleeve length you can use your imagination and create the coolest outfits!!

  30. 30
    September 14th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Can’t wait to try your style suggestions. Especially the more formal ones. I didn’t know you can wear a crop top that way.

  31. 31
    November 11th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    These r so sexy & stylish. Imma make my own!

  32. 32
    December 4th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    i luv crop tops! theyre so cute n comfy! btw american eagle sells great ones in all different types of patterns! you can buy xs for a tighter and shorter look, or a medium to wear both sleeves off the shoulder…. so awesome! kk bye see yall at walmart xoxoxoxox

  33. 33
    December 26th, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I have never wore crop tops before but i do want to start.
    Im just scared how it will look on me.
    Im skinny but i like to wear my jeans a little up above my waist.
    So how could i wear it then?

  34. 34
    January 15th, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Umm I have this brown cropped sheer top from my grandma, and it’s vintage & really cute. But I have a problem pairing them. Any suggestions for the pants/ skirts?

  35. 35
    January 21st, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Hey I’m a fashion styling student & recently wrote about how to wear crop tops myself. I think they are best paired with high waisted trousers/shorts/skirts if you aren’t either confident or think you aren’t toned enough for the look. Everyone can wear them it’s just how you wear them.

  36. 36
    August 31st, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    My aunt and uncle are coming over today. I am wearing a b/w crop top that says Geek 83 from forever 21. It’s loose and only shows off a little bit of my belly, that way it isn’t inappropriate. I’m just wearing some light denim shorts I got at a thrift shop.

  37. 37
    April 10th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I think crop tops are absolutely adorable, but I really was having trouble with how to style so I don’t look slutty or too racy (I’m not extremely modest though). These outfits helped, any other suggestions about how to wear them and still look a little classier?

  38. 38
    June 3rd, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    personally I don’t think crop tops are important. People don’t need to be walking around showing their bellies. keep your body parts to yourself! : )

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