It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the crop top.
But that has not always been the case. Until about 6 months ago, I shuddered at the thought of anything that may potentially bare that patch of stark Scandinavian white on my midsection I call a belly. Frankly, they made me want to run for the hills. Then I laid eyes on few beauties by Parker that had me singing a different tune! I had to figure out how to make the crop work for me too. And what I’ve found since is that they are surprisingly flattering..when done correctly.
There are few pretty obvious objectives here for most of us. We aim for flattering, classy, a hint of sexy, and top it off with not looking like a Spice Girl (no offense to Mel B and the girls). I for one am a bit of a gym phobe, so I’m not exactly rocking a six pack these days.
My tricks of the trade for finding the most flattering crop? Take a peek at my secrets to crop top success below.
1) There are varying degrees of crop. Use it to your advantage.
A crop should hit you at the most narrow section of your waist. I’m a fan of the version of crop that doesn’t even show skin. This floral Zara option is definitely the most adventurous I’ve worn, and shorter than the others in my closet. To keep myself comfortable, I made sure the rise of my skirt was a bit higher, so I was only exposing a sliver of skin at most. You can also always add a sleeveless coat or blazer to up the elegance factor.
2) Crop tops can put off any vibe you want.
Sometimes they’re edgy, sometimes they’re girly. It’s all about what you pair it with and how you accessorize. If you’re aiming for uber feminine, try a coordinated set or pair your crop with an A-line skirt.
3) Cover up elsewhere.
If you’re going to be showing off a peek of midriff, err on the side of conservative elsewhere. There is good reason most crops have a higher neckline. Keeping things classy is made easy simply by increasing the length of your skirt or pairing your crop with a great pair of pants. Lightweight, high-waisted trousers or white culottes are perfect for summer.
4) Put your stock in a structured fabric.
Heavier fabrics take the cake when it comes to a crop. They’re more forgiving. Trust me.
5) You may want to lay off the shapewear.
There is nothing worse than a peek of flesh-colored material that is very obviously not your skin. Instead, strap on your confidence and wear your outfit proudly. Another helpful tip if you’re worried about a bulge here and there: leave a little extra room. Buy once size up or find a cut that has a bit of extra give to it. Skintight doesn’t work to anyone’s advantage with a crop (okay, maybe supermodels, but we don’t need to talk about that).
6) If you’re really not comfortable in a crop, try one over a blouse!
Since Marissa Webb has taken the helm of Banana Republic, I’ve seen so much of this pairing, and it could not be more on point. Layer a crop over a white button down or a sleeveless option. It’s also a great way to repurpose any of your crops for a more conservative event. Depending on the crop, this can also work for the office, if you turn the sexy quotient down.
7) Top it all off with simple hair and makeup.
Since you’ve gone big on the outfit, save the smoky eye for later. You’ll keep the effortless part of the equation intact and no one will think you’re trying too hard.
FLORAL CROP TOP | TURQUOISE PENCIL SKIRT | GOLD CLUTCH (SOLD OUT – SIMILAR GOLD LOEFFLER RANDALL STYLES HERE AND HERE) | 70S SANDALS (30% OFF – ALSO AVAILABLE HERE) | WIDE CUFF BRACELET (SOLD OUT – SIMILAR HERE) | BLUE GLASSES (OLD – FIND OTHER AMAZING OPTIONS HERE) | NAIL POLISH (GARGANTUAN GREEN GRAPE)
Photos by Mike Avery