Crop tops are a thing this spring. Yes, you heard that right. Belly button shirt. I refuse to call them bralettes, because I’m way past the age – and figure – where showing off underwear is an appealing proposition.
You don’t need a degree in psychology to see where this trend came from. Tired of wearing out joggers and sweatshirts, designers have become skittish at the prospect of showing off our bodies again.
The spring / summer runways, from Tom Ford to Emilia Wickstead, were awesome. And now High Street has picked up the look with enthusiasm.
If you are among the (I suspect extremely narrow) ranks of women who love their waists, you can stop reading now. Wear your crop top with whatever you want, and when you feel like it (maybe not at a funeral or a job interview …).
However, if you like the idea of the trend but feel the need to bring in a little modesty, stick with me. First, keep your skirt or pants a high waist. If the crop is shedding whatever you’re wearing, you’re only showing meat when you reach for something tall on a shelf. For inspiration, look at Topshop’s denim design (second from left).
Anna Pursglove shared tips on how to style crop tops while getting in style this spring. (Jacket, £ 145, and skirt, £ 155, reiss.com; crop top, £ 12.99, hm.com; shoes, £ 195, russelland bromley.co.uk)
Now think about what is happening in your crop. The more texture this layer has, the less thin your top will appear.
Try Reiss’s white denim jacket (far left), or Cos’s cardie and crop outfit (third from right), which is reminiscent of actress Katie Holmes’ iconic cashmere bra and cardie combo. This caused a sensation in 2019, when Katie (a mom in her 40s) proved that the crop could certainly be stylish.
Long sleeves balance a crop top, so try wearing yours with a trench coat. Pair this look with a maxi skirt or wide-leg pants, though, or you risk straying into Flasher-Mac territory.
There will be some of you who are not willing to expose a diaphragm, and there are options for you too. Wear a strappy dress that shows a bit of plunging neckline with a high-cropped sweater, or even with your crop top itself.
On the runway of Simone Rocha, a crop top was worn over a shirt. I can’t think of a way to wear this without giving my teenage kids something to laugh about forever. But if your family is more forgiving than mine, give it a try.
It’s spring, the nation is coming out of lockdown, and you have every right to throw fashion caution to the wind.
Crop top, £ 22.99, Topshop at asos.com; pants, £ 49.99, mango.com; heels, £ 80, aldoshoes.co.uk
Blazer, £ 69.99, crop top, £ 19.99 and pants, £ 29.99, mango.com; heels, £ 139, kurtgeiger.com
Knit, £ 36, warehouse fashion.com; bralette, £ 3.99, newlook.com; skirt, £ 150, meandem.com; mules, £ 139, kurt geiger.com
Cardie, £ 34.50, and bralette, £ 19.50, cos stores.com; jeans, £ 59.95, max duttu.com; heels, £ 75, dune london.com
Shirt, £ 95, with nothing underneath. Com; bralette, £ 66, revolve.com; jeans, £ 75, french connection.com; heels, £ 80, aldo shoes.co.uk
Blazer, £ 250, reissue. com; bralette, £ 26, river island. com; skirt, £ 44, warehouse fashion.com