Scared Of This Trend? Think Again!

Photographed by Kristina Wilson.
The phrase "crop top" may instantly bring to mind music festivals and Gwen Stefani's abs. (As in, "don't even try if you aren't at a music festival or in possession of Gwen Stefani's abs.") But, don't write this look off as merely for front-row head boppers or those who live at the gym. We're firm believers that the slightly stomach-baring staple is for everyone. We repeat: EVERYONE.
As with any daring wardrobe choice, it takes a bit of perspective to translate this one to something that'll work for you. What's your shape? Which parts of your body do you like to show off? What are you doing today? Asking questions like these can make a somewhat tricky trend a bit easier to wear. And, more importantly, make it your own. To prove it, we turned to the women of R29 — the trend averse, the trailblazers, the boss — to show us how the shrunken shirt is not only amazing on different bodies, but also versatile enough to fit into our incredibly diverse personal styles. Keep reading for the long and, well, short of it.

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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Girlboss Crop
Christene Barberich, editor-in-chief

Maybe not all crop tops belong in the board room, but we'll argue that this ensemble is nothing short of boss. A high-waisted pant looks great on a woman with a tall frame and allows just a peek of skin to flash from beneath the top. For the crop-averse, the long, tailored vest helps cover up a bit, too.

What she said: "I'm cool to show just a sliver of midriff, and, when done right, it can be really elegant — even for the office. The best part: This outfit doesn't feel trendy to me at all... I could see myself wearing it in 10 years, no sweat."

Osklen top and Novis vest.
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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Bigger-Is-Better Crop
Connie Wang, style director

Go ahead and play with proportions. There's no need to always have a slim-fit top for every wider bottom. Go all in with this trend and pair roomier separates in an array of clashing patterns.

What she said: "As someone who exclusively wears high-waisted shorts and pants, the crop top is basically a godsend, since I hate tucking my shirt in. No extra bunchiness, no having to worry about my tops coming untucked, and I have to admit that the errant breeze is pretty nice, too. I've been really into the all-over boxy, baggy shape, and this look is basically a tomboy's version of a sundress. I'm tiny on top, so a silky-crepe crop tank gives me enough structure that I don't have to wear a bra (which is always a plus in my book)."
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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Feminine Crop Top
Gina Marinelli, associate fashion features editor

For those whose style leans ladylike, a crop top makes the perfect accompaniment for a full, high-waisted skirt. Here, we balanced the volume below with a boxy but fitted shape up top.

What she said: "I've been super late getting on board this crop-top train and, honestly, until a couple months ago, I would have counted myself out altogether. Being busty, but also on the petite side, it's tricky to toe the line between a looser top that's all consuming and does zilch for my shape, and a fitted version that makes me feel, well, on display. But, the fuller skirt really balanced my proportions. I've never been so comfortable in a crop top... Wow, never said that before."

Karen Millen skirt and Topshop top.
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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Next-Level Crop Top
Annie Georgia Greenberg, senior style editor

Love crop tops? Live in crop tops? Want to show off those abs? Go ahead — take the obsession a bit further. A basic sports bra can double as a shirt, if you're bold enough to go there. Which you are, aren't you?

What she said: "I'm no stranger to the crop top. In fact, I'm a full-blown fan. Here, however, I took the thread-bare piece even further because (shhh!) that ain't no top; it's actually a Nike sports bra. And, while I was initially a bit hesitant to tackle this style dare, I ended up convincing myself through the process that I'd try this look in real life, too. It's a sneaky way to get the perfect cropped length and add some edge to a fairly tailored look — so long as you keep things a bit more covered up. I paired the sports bra with a blazer to balance out the athletic vibe with something a bit more formal. While this idea takes my deep-seated love for crop tops to a new level, it's definitely something I'm going to keep trying all summer long. (What? It's hot out!)"
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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Trickster Crop Top
Lauren Caruso, contributor network editor

News flash: For ladies with super short torsos, crop tops are just tops. Shop the shorter shirts selections for pieces you'll never have to tuck, half tuck, belt, tie up, or let haphazardly hang ever again.

What she said: "Because I'm so short, pulling off a crop top never feels too provocative to me — they mostly fit me like boxy, flowy shirts. While this patterned pick might not cover much on someone with a normal-sized torso, it meets just at my hip for an office-appropriate look."

Novis top.
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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Camo Crop Top
Lyne Lucien, photo assistant

On Lyne's petite frame, we chose to create a continual look with a layered maxi-dress and cropped top in an almost identical stripe. This kind of layering accentuates curves and also helps elongate — without showing any stomach.

What she said: "I would have never combined a crop top and dress. My instinct is always to pair it with jeans. The combination of the dress and crop top worked really well with each other and I think it has a lot to do with the pattern. I liked the variation of blue stripes across the crop top and dress. It was a fresh approach on how to wear a crop top. I think I would definitely wear this again and even experiment with different patterns and prints."

Zara bag.
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Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The All-Day Crop Top
Liz Black, contributing writer

We wanted to give Liz a look that could take her from day to night, and flatter her shape. We went with a shirt that has some structure, as the tailoring compliments and defines her curves. Its hem meets right at the waistline of her skirt, which offers a much bolder pattern but in a toned-down color. And, the killer, clashing heels just seal the deal.

What she said: "I feel that being plus-size is about standing out, not blending in, so wearing something that's bold, edgy, and on-trend fits right in with my sartorial aesthetic. I recommend that all women try wearing a crop top; being a larger shape or size is not a reason to deprive yourself of fabulous fashion. I would take this look from cubical to cocktails without having to change a thing. The crop top is slightly longer, which makes it an easy office-approved pick, and the color really makes my hair pop!"


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