We have a long history of saying fuck the fashion rules here at R29. But where some rules are finally accepted as antiquated — don't mix blacks with browns, don't wear white after Labor Day — there are some lingering 'rules' we're still in the process of smashing. The idea of picking clothes that are "flattering" for your body type is one of them — and no one knows that better than Brianna McDonnell.
As the face behind the Instagram style account @the_b_word_ (that's currently racked up just under 60K followers), McDonnell's made it her daily task to circumvent what dressing and shopping for your body looks. From her plus-size fashion-driven posts to her YouTube page, which chronicles her shopping hauls, among other things, she's made it her life mission to give the middle finger to traditional fashion tropes. As she puts it, "I am championing fat women showing themselves, however they choose. We are sold the idea of what is flattering and I want to see more plus people living their best life, whatever that means to you." But apart from making women, and herself, feel good about everything they wear, there's one thing she's really good at: crop tops.
There's an art to crop tops at any size. At the root of it, they're tops made for ants that seem to look one way on retail models, yet look another way on us. But regardless of our frustration with the silhouette, they're still a summer staple we can't seem to shake or put behind us. Like Brianna, we're planning on wearing them no matter what anyone thinks. But just how do you go about wearing one when most retailers don't even offer them in any size above a medium?
Ahead, McDonnell takes us inside her process for finding the perfect crop top for plus ladies, from where to shop, how to style it, and how to make yourself feel comfortable in your own skin — crop top or no crop top.