The Real Girl's Guide To Wearing A Crop Top

Anyone can wear a crop top. Don’t believe us? Click through and see.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    The abbreviated number strikes fear into the hearts of many (including mine), but in the spirit of testing out every trend, I knew I couldn’t sit this one out. My mission? Find two ways to wear a crop top so that you feel confident without a second thought about hitting the gym. Read on for my tips on how to execute the look with ease, sans any sucking in.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Unless you have the abs of a Tracy Anderson or the self-confidence of a Tracy Flick, you might balk at the idea of wearing a crop top. But when paired with a high-waisted skirt or pants, the look feels a lot more approachable. If the sliver of skin still feels like too much, add a blazer on top so the window of visible stomach is even smaller. This way, the effect is almost more like a subtle cut-out, rather than baring your entire mid-section.

    ​What I Wore: Nasty Gal Rapid Motion Bustier ($48); Loft Petite Matte Stretch Twill Open Blazer ($118) in Black; A.L.C. Striped Knit Campbell Skirt ($395, available in black and white); Guess Lamber Lucite Chunky Heel Slides ($110) in White Leather; Anya Hindmarch Duke Clutch ($1,995) in Shagreen In Clementine; Westward Leaning Wintermute N°10.5 Mirror Sunglasses ($210) in Shiny Black and Matte; Jennifer Fisher x Stop It Right Now Ring ($100) in Yellow Gold; Jennifer Fisher Oversized Curb Chain Cuff ($1,085); Jennifer Fisher Single Medium Safety Pin Earring ($400); Jennifer Fisher XL Double Nail Cuff ($1,230); Kathleeen Whitaker Small Dot Earring ($40).

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    When picking a bag, resist going for a matchy-matchy look, and try selecting a contrasting color to make your outfit feel more dynamic. Tip: to find the ideal shade, use a color wheel to locate the hue opposite one of the main colors in your outfit. For example, orange is across from blue and green, so I knew the tangerine clutch would pair well with my striped skirt.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Lest the inherently edgy crop top feel too tame when paired with a pencil skirt and blazer, I added a hint of punk via safety pin earrings.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    From behind, my outfit looks completely conservative, yet when I turn around, the peek of skin adds a bold touch.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    A wooden heel feels in step with the spring season.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon
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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    For those who feel uncomfortable baring any part of their midsection, there’s an easy solution: layer a t-shirt underneath the bustier. The ‘90s-inspired look is perfect for a more casual ensemble and feels like a fashion-forward interpretation of the trend. Case in point: street style darling, Taylor Tomasi-Hill, is a fan of the styling trick.

    ​What I Wore: Nasty Gal Rapid Motion Bustier ($48); Rag & Bone Genesis V-Neck ($125) in Bright White; Levi’s 501 Jeans ($122) in Slash; IRO Ashville Leather Biker Jacket ($1,274); Cole Haan Bowdin Small Backpack ($278) in Black; Belle by Sigerson Morrison Eris Mules ($225) in Black; Westward Leaning Mercury Seven N°3.3 Sunglasses ($210) in Aluminum; The 2Bandits North Star Ring ($98) in Antique Silver; Valentina Kova Sasha Glauka Necklace ($372) in Sterling Silver; Rue Gembon Paige Necklace ($45) in Silver.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    Whenever I’m accessorizing an edgier look, I usually opt for layering silver jewelry, as it lends a cool-girl quality to the outfit.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    With any piece you’re feeling unsure about, it helps to take along a cover-up, like my blush-colored biker jacket, that you can throw on to take the spotlight off the daring crop top. This way, the trend is just part of the overall look, not the main event.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    After much trial and error, I found the ideal white t-shirt has a slightly looser fit, but is still tight enough that it skims the body. The neckline should also be a scoop or a v-neck—crew necks need not apply! Lastly, roll up the sleeves for a lived-in look.

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    PHOTO: Pepe Leon

    If you haven’t heard, mules are totally having a moment. The best part? They pair just as well with slouchy denim in an off-duty outfit like the one I’m wearing, as they do with a polished midi skirt for the office.

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    More crop top inspiration, right this way.

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    PHOTO: Fashion Vibe

    A crop top plus a circle skirt make a particularly girly pairing. Finish the look with moto boots for a touch of edge.

    Photo courtesy of Fashion Vibe

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    PHOTO: Karla's Closet

    A halter-style top will lend a ‘90s vibe to your ensemble.

    Photo courtesy of Karla's Closet

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    PHOTO: Gary Pepper Girl

    High-waisted pencil skirts and cropped bra tops are a match made in style heaven.

    Photo courtesy of Gary Pepper 

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    PHOTO: Hanneli

    Go minimalist with a simple black crop top and high-waisted skirt. 

    Image courtesy of Hanneli

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    PHOTO: Kenzas

    A sweater with a curved hem (short in front and longer on the sides) is a genius way to limit the section of visible midsection.

    ​Photo courtesy of Kenzas

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    PHOTO: Style Scrapbook

    For those who shy away from showing skin, opt for a crisp button-down underneath your top.

    Photo courtesy of Style Scrapbook

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    PHOTO: The Blonde Salad

    Don’t let frigid temperatures keep you from working a crop top, just finish the look with a full-length coat and beanie.

    You've seen the look on the street, now check out how celebs are wearing crop tops on the red carpet.

    ​Photo courtesy of The Blonde Salad

Shop this Story
Rapid Motion Bustier

Rapid Motion Bustier

Nasty Gal, $48
SHOP
Petite Matte Stretch Twill Open Blazer

Petite Matte Stretch Twill Open Blazer

LOFT, $118
SHOP
Striped Knit Campbell Skirt

Striped Knit Campbell Skirt

A.L.C., $395
SHOP
Duke Clutch

Duke Clutch

Anya Hindmarch, $1995
SHOP
Lamber Lucite Chunky Heel Slides

Lamber Lucite Chunky Heel Slides

Guess, $110
SHOP
Wintermute N°10.5 Mirror

Wintermute N°10.5 Mirror

Westward Leaning, $210
SHOP
Ring

Ring

Jennifer Fisher x Stop It Right Now, $100
SHOP
Gold-Plated Chain-Link Cuff

Gold-Plated Chain-Link Cuff

Jennifer Fisher, $895
SHOP
XL Double Nail Cuff

XL Double Nail Cuff

Jennifer Fisher, $1230
SHOP
Small Dot Earring

Small Dot Earring

Kathleeen Whitaker, $40
SHOP
Ashville Leather Biker Jacket

Ashville Leather Biker Jacket

IRO, $1274
SHOP
501 Jeans

501 Jeans

Levi’s, $122
SHOP
Genesis V-Neck

Genesis V-Neck

Rag & Bone, $125
SHOP
Bowdin Small Backpack

Bowdin Small Backpack

Cole Haan, $278
SHOP
North Star Ring

North Star Ring

The 2Bandits, $98
SHOP
Eris Mules

Eris Mules

Belle by Sigerson Morrison, $225
SHOP
Mercury Seven N°3.3 Sunglasses

Mercury Seven N°3.3 Sunglasses

Westward Leaning, $210
SHOP
Sasha Glauka Necklace

Sasha Glauka Necklace

Valentina Kova, $372
SHOP
Paige Necklace

Paige Necklace

Rue Gembon, $45
SHOP
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