There are a few style commandments that I generally live by:
“Love thy closet as thy self”
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wardrobe”
And of course, the biggest one…
“Thou Shall Not Crop Top”
The mere utterance of the word “Crop Top” sends moans of terror across the lips of most 30 somethings I know. When most women imagine sporting this contentious garment, they believe they will resemble a regrettable hybrid of a very plush Winnie the Pooh and the stupidly agreeable Kelly Kapowski. I understand the fear of this hybrid completely as I have seen it unabashedly walking down my neighborhood street getting frozen yogurt in broad daylight.
But as I recently discovered, not all crop tops are created equal. There actually are some crop tops that can work, and there are ways you can style them to accentuate your best features. Let’s leave the Bad Crops with Winnie and Kelly and experience some of the good the Crop has to offer.
The Good Crop
There are two main crop top lengths - just below the bust line and just above the navel. I prefer the length that sits above the navel as longer lengths cover any wobbly bits along the belly line and leave the smallest peek of skin showing for just a hint of sexiness without looking like a woman of the night. The crop top that hits just above your waistline is also the most flattering as it will draw the eyes towards the narrowest part of your waist. Let’s take a look at some ways to incorporate this top into your look!
Crop Top and Maxi Skirt
Often women pair maxi skirts with long cardigans and hip length sweaters. And while this may keep you warm in the winter, it certainly can make you look like a small child lost in their mother’s clothing - think Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Instead, pair the maxi skirt with a crop top that hits at your waist and shows the slightest bit of skin. The maxi skirt will bring a bit of coverage and class to the look while highlighting a tiny waistline, and the crop top itself gives the illusion of a leg line that goes on for days. When pairing the two, remember - there can only be one diva per stage. If your maxi is patterned or pleated, go for a neutral crop as pictured here in black. Add a simple nude heel and Me Oh My…
Crop Top and High Waisted Skirt
There is nothing that a crop top would like to do than showcase your bah--ngin’ figure… even if by your standards you feel more “bah” than bangin’. But if the thought of showing even the slightest bit of stomach skin makes you antsy, then this great compromise was made for you. By pairing a crop top with a fitted and high waisted pencil skirt you will have successfully worn a crop top without showing a trace of tummy skin. This pairing highlights a flirty and tiny waistline but keeps it professional with a classic high waisted skirt. By raising your actual waistline, the crop top will work again to elongate your frame, making you look longer and leaner without the anxiety of excess epidermis.
To master this ensemble, remember that balance is key. Be sure to add a bit of color and pattern to your skirt of choice when wearing a black crop top to prevent being mistaken for a restaurant hostess or funeral patron, or vice versa.
The Cropped Jacket
As the cold of winter approaches, the cropped jacket will be the crowned jewel of your winter coat collection. This piece is universally flattering on all body types, including those with shorter torsos. To reap the benefits of this wintertime wonder, pair it with your favorite tee shirt and jeans as it will add instant structure and warmth to this casual ensemble. Keep your tee shirt tucked in to continue to showcase an exaggerated and enviable leg line. The jacket itself can also be used to dress up for more formal occasions, working its best magic on A-Line and body-hugging sheath cuts.
The Crop’s On Top
With all the possibilities that the good crop has given you, you may now be willing to entertain the fact that yes, there is in fact space in your world for a crop top. When paired with the right balancing counterpart, this contentious garment has the power to flatter and elongate any body type. Suddenly your sworn enemy may soon become your greatest ally in the leg lengthening game!
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