Crop tops are the fashion equivalent of learning how to drive: it’s scary at first but with a little practice, you’ll feel confident enough to try it on your own. Rather than look to celebs like Diane Kruger or models with enviably toned tummies, we elicited the help of Karla Deras, the blogger and crop top-wearing champion behind Karla’s Closet.
A Real Girl's Guide To Crop Tops
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Deras’ taut abs are no joke either, but she knows exactly how to flaunt a bare midriff in a tasteful, stylish, and wearable way even when you’re not on a red carpet or runway. Read on for her crop top commandments and five fail-proof ways of wearing the trend.
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If you’re heading to dinner and drinks with your guy, a bandeau top is handy for amping up the flirtation factor. “A simple bandeau and body-hugging pencil skirt is the perfect date outfit,” Deras says. “Black bandeaus are so versatile and can pretty much be worn with anything.”
She’s Wearing: Braza Comfy Tube Seamless Tube Top ($9); J.Crew No.2 Pencil Skirt In Dot Brocade ($148).
Similar Essentials: American Apparel Ottoman Rib Tube Top ($22) in Black; ASOS Pencil Skirt with Blocking Panels ($15) in Blue/Black; Topshop Ratchet Block Strappy Heels ($100).
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Girls' Night Out
Don’t own a crop top? No problem! Just knot the front of a cotton tee and pair it with a high-waisted skirt for a night out with friends. “Usually whenever I can't find anything to wear, I knot one of my favorite t-shirts and slip into a pencil skirt,” Deras says.
She’s Wearing: Super 49er Aviator Sunglasses ($319, available in Dark Green); American Apparel t-shirt; Kelly Wearstler skirt; Roman Luxe Python Enamel Kite Cocktail Ring ($60); Givenchy shoes.
Similar Essentials: Topshop Basic Short Sleeve Crop Top ($10); A Wear Midi Check Print Tube Skirt ($20); New Look Pompeii Gladiator Heeled Sandals ($48).
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If you work at a place with a relaxed dress code, or simply want to try a dressier crop top outfit, opt for more coverage with a long-sleeved top and high-waisted trousers. “The combination of a tiny tee and super high-waisted trousers works as an office look, if you ask me!” Deras says.
She’s Wearing: Topshop Polo Neck Long Sleeve Crop ($12); Dolce & Gabbana pants; Balenciaga clutch; vintage jewelry.
Similar Essentials: ASOS 90’s Crop Top with Long Sleeve ($17); Sass & Bide The Wind Blows Wide Leg Pant ($350).
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For luxe, off-duty style--ideal for Sunday brunch--try a soft, slightly abbreviated pullover with low-slung pants. “This sweater is a little less cropped than the rest of my tops, so I wore it with slinky low-cut trousers to show a bit more skin,” Deras says.
She’s Wearing: ASOS Cropped Rib Detail Sweater ($59) in Cream; Rebecca Taylor Pleated Trousers ($350); vintage jewelry.
Similar Essentials: Topshop Knitted Fluffy Crop Jumper ($68) in Cream; T by Alexander Wang Shiny Crepe Peg Trousers ($110).
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“I love the idea of a short boxy tee paired with boyish cargo pants and heels,” Deras explains. Make this outfit your go-to weekend look on a hot summer’s day, when it’s totally appropriate to bare your bellybutton.
She’s Wearing: Spitfire sunglasses; Topshop t-shirt; vintage cargo pants; Kimberly McDonald jewelry; Gucci Ursula Ankle-Strap High Heel Sandals ($950).
Similar Essentials: Vera Moda Crop Tee ($14); Zara Cargo Trousers With Pockets ($60); Jeffrey Campbell Blakely Heel in Grey Suede ($128).