Crop Tops: 4 Clever Ways to Wear Crops + Tips by Body Type

Woman wearing crop top

Crop tops are having another moment — and it’s no surprise. The top has long been a favorite of stylish women who crave something cute, comfortable, and cool for balmy spring and summer days. In truth, the short top doesn’t spend much time out of style. Well, except for a minute in the late-2000s when we all tired of seeing celebs wear crops with low-rise pants. Ick.

But every classic garment endures its low points and the crop is no different. Iterations of the look were popular back in the 1950s and ‘60s, and these tops have only gotten more versatile and wearable in the decades since.

There are many ways to wear crop tops, and most don’t involve baring miles of your abs. Here are four inspiring crop top outfits, plus some styling hacks to make this look work for your body type.

4 Inspiring Crop Top Outfits

Layer under a blazer

Not everyone wants to wear a crop top that shows bare skin from all angles. One way around that is to top it off with a casual blazer to complement the top’s low-key vibe. @ohhey_itsniko shows how to accomplish that by pairing hers with skinny jeans a pair of over-the-knee boots.

2. Pair it with high-waisted bottoms

If you want to bridge the gap between the top and the bottom, try a crop top that just skims the waist of a pair of high-waisted shorts or pants. Opt for something with a wider leg to add balance. @annmeiann wears her classy white crop top with chic red shorts for a look that’s totally pulled together.

3. Opt for structured fabric

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of great crop t-shirts when you’re at the mall or shopping online. But those tops made with light, airy fabrics are likely to float away whenever you’re in motion. Those are perfect to wear at the beach over a bikini top or bralette — but you’ll appreciate something more solid when you’re going about your everyday routine.

Woman wearing yellow crop top
Cabo Crop Top, $46.20, Planet Blue

The bold Cabo Crop Top makes an outfit out of your favorite jeans with its eye-catching color and eyelet design. Cap sleeves and a stretchy, crochet fabric give this top a specific shape that you won’t have to rearrange constantly. Close-fitting knit crop tops have the same effect, too.

4. Go for long sleeves

Long sleeved crop top
Dress Forum Crop Top, $22.73, Nordstrom Rack

Long-sleeve crop tops are both flattering and chic. This tie-front style by Dress Forum features a lovely loose fit that knots in front for the right amount of shape. Plus it’s dressy enough to convert your basic denim-and-top ensembles into something special.

Crop Tops by Body Type

Athletic

For the office, choose a crop that lands at the vertical center of your rib cage — the smallest part of your waist — and pair it with a high-waisted, knee-length skirt and heels. For more casual settings, go ahead show more skin. At night, you can pull this off without being trashy by choosing darker colors. During the day, try a cotton or linen crop top in a slouchier, boxier cut that hits above your belly button. Wear it with high-waisted denim, and finish the look with sandals or wedges.

Curvy

Curvy girls look fabulous in a crop that lands at the natural waist, just a bit longer than the athletic girl’s optimal length. Lean towards more sophisticated materials like silk, but make sure your tops are structured enough to provide support and definition to your chest. Add a knee-length skirt or slacks that also reach your natural waist. Anchor your ensemble with heels or heeled booties to add height to your frame. You can also play around with a high or boat neckline, paired with a high-waisted maxi skirt. This outfit has a beautiful, breezy, casual look.

Petite

Boxier crop tops will overwhelm your small stature, so choose a fitted piece that’s specifically designed for petites. Look for a top that has structure and texture, so it doesn’t resemble a sports bra. Pair it with paperbag waist pants and sandals.

Over 50

Don’t doubt for a second that you can pull off a short top — even if you prefer to keep your bareness to a minimum. Try a long-sleeve crop, paired with high-waisted bottoms with a looser fit. Steer clear of palazzo pants and go for a more structured trouser. This combo will emphasis your waist and look classy at the same time. Add mules and you’re good to go.

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    Tanya

    Tanya is a seasoned journalist based in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Specializing in fashion, beauty, and travel, she loves to explore new places, read as much as possible, and scour the web for fabulous finds — all in the name of research, of course.

    Blog Comments

    Under Rule 1: “It doesn’t have to bear skin.” Uh, growl. I hope you meant “bare” skin. I don’t want to bear it either. I’ve got the abs for it but this trend isn’t one I will be following. It is a big no-no for any professional setting I can think of, and not really anything I’d be comfortable in “off hours.” Hope it passes quickly.

    thanks for catching the error!

    Accademia di Moda

    We can’t wait to rock our cropped rashguard this Summer! It’s a great way to incorporate this style!

    Cool outfits, going to buy the favorite one my girl friend.

    Very Very Awesome Pics.

    Great trends to look out in summer

    Cool outfits!!

    Loving this post! I have always been a fan of crop tops, so I think these outfit ideas are perfect.

    Marissa~
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Catherine

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