When I first saw crop tops/midriff tops/whatever you prefer pop up a year or so ago, I couldn’t help but shudder a little.
I was always a strong believer that just about anyone over the age of 12 should put the belly-baring outfits away. The 90s were great, but do we really need to bring back the daunting task of creating six-pack abs?
Not to mention just how wrong this style can go. It can definitely be tricky. I feel you need to understand how to wear it and what style is most flattering for your body type. You also can come off looking like a skank if paired incorrectly (unless this is the look you’re going for, then by all means knock yourself out).
When it comes to trends, a lot of people just blindly follow without considering their body shape. Just because something is “in fashion,” it doesn’t mean you have to wear it! It also doesn’t necessarily mean it will suit you.
I recently donned my first ever crop top for an event. I’m sure I probably ran around with one when I was 3, but as an adult this was a tentative first. Being giraffe-esq, I tend to show off my legs more than any other body part. As one of my friends said to me once, “God gave us long legs for a reason you know, Mel!” I usually try to stick with what I know.
I fell in love with this Thurley number, however, and mum gave me her stamp of approval that it did indeed look good (I know she’d be honest if it looked hideous). I liked the high-waisted pencil skirt as it only revealed a small portion of my mid-section and didn’t make me feel tacky. Being quite lanky, a high-waist suits my build because my torso is quite long and it doesn’t chop me in half. Black and white is also one of my favourite combinations (see pic).
Aside from the pre-requisite pilates toned/flat abs, I personally think this look is generally more suited to slightly pear-shaped women as they are smaller in the mid-section compared with their lower body, especially if the top is very short. This is not to say other body types can’t work it, you just have to change the proportions up a bit.
At David Jones’ Spring/Summer 2014-2015 show, Scanlan & Theodore displayed classy examples of how to wear the crop top tastefully.
S&T balanced the style with the combination of crop tops with various versions of longer and high-waisted skirts.
I also think they look great with wide-leg pants.
Michael Kors and Jill Stuart have also displayed the more elegant version of the two-piece. With Kors opting for a cover-up over the top as well, another option for the less daring.
So there are a few ways to do this look successfully IMO.
Firstly, play with the lengths. Longer skirts and pants, slightly longer tops. Whatever works for you, find out what suits you best.
For example, Ana BB (below), is a tall and very slim model (not to mention gorgeous) who can get away with a shorter crop, however, the length of the skirt is longer and quite high which still keeps it classy. I also like the sleeves version of this!
Secondly, they don’t have to be skin tight. A billowy, slightly boxier crop or short sweater can work well with pants or jeans also. I would probably steer clear of any low-slung jeans though.
Finally, layers are a great alternative for those who are not ready for the daring look. If you’re a little bit older or feel self-conscious exposing your mid-section, you can try using layering with a longer, sheer shirt underneath and crop over the top. I’ve seen people wearing this around and think it looks pretty cool! I found an image of Cher aka Alicia Silverstone from Clueless wearing this, so I am not about to argue with it.
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