I know, I know. The crop tops of the early 2000s looked super cute on flat-tummied Britney Spears types with their low rise jeans and maybe that’s still what comes to mind when I mention crop tops. If so, you may think that’s not a look you can (or want to) pull off. Well, the good news is that’s not what I’m talking about. Crop tops these days are a really great look that you CAN pull off regardless of your age or body shape since there are a multitude of different ways to wear them.

I love a good crop top. They promote a healthy body image; which if you haven’t always had, I encourage you to aim for now that you’re over 30. It helps you, it helps your kids and it helps all the other women out there who see you feeling confident in your body! Crop tops can be casual or formal and can even be worn for work, but let me break down how you can make them work for you.

Think about proportions

If you’re wearing tight fitting pants or a skirt, you can get away with a loose, flowy crop top. If your bottoms are loose, you may find your shape is lost by a loose crop top. The goal is to emphasize your womanly shape so try to give your look visual interest by keeping a distinction between top and bottom. A general rule of thumb is to keep one loose and the other fitted, but then again I hate rules in fashion. If you’ve got a loose crop top and loose pants you think looks amazing, then forget the rules and go for it!

I’m wearing the RG Crop in sequin with the Lindon skirt in black double weave

How to wear a crop top to work

Try a high-waisted pant or skirt with a cropped top that isn’t too sheer. Depending on your industry, you may be fine to show an inch of skin above the waistband (probably not your belly button, but above.) If that’s too risqué for your work, go for a top that grazes the top of the waistband or goes over it by an inch or so. That way, if you move around, you may flash a tiny bit of skin on occasion, but likely not enough to scandalize anyone ?? Crop tops don’t need to be super cropped, but to be considered “cropped,” it should be tough to tuck it in and have it stay tucked as you move around.

How about this combo? Here, Tonia wears a satin Flutter top with a high waisted Twiss&Weber pant for a classy work look.

Flutter top in chartreuse satin

How to wear a crop top for a night out

For a night out, you can get away with something a little sexier. Try a crop top that’s a little sheer or lace or go for that top that shows the inch of skin you didn’t feel comfortable with for work. I like to pair my lace RG Crop with a high waisted skirt like the Oma Vera or Lindon skirt. If you choose a lace top like this one, make sure you’re wearing either:

  1. a nude bra to match your skin tone and disappear under the top
  2. a light cami tucked in or left loose for more coverage (this look may even work for business) or,
  3. a cute bra with enough coverage that you don’t mind showing off for a sexier look.

Brandi wears the RG Crop in black lace with the Alys Vere skirt in black double weave

Laura wears the RG Crop in white lace with the Lindon skirt in navy double weave (Blue dresses are by Rebecca Rowe and Twiss&Weber respectively)

How to wear a crop top on a casual weekend outing

For the weekend, you can get away with almost whatever look you want. It’s the weekend! Enjoy it! I love to wear a cropped tee with my casual high waisted Tucks pants (I chopped this baggy tee’s sleeves and hem off, scooped out the neckline and just let it all curl.) High waisted jeans are super cute with a cropped tank or tee or try a fitted tank with a cropped baggy sweater on top to give that effortless layered look celebs often choose.

Flowy knit Faye jacket in charcoal, cropped black tee and knit high-waisted Tucks pant with cuff

Molly wears a Twiss&Weber romper with the RG Crop in navy lace as a topper

How to wear a crop top as a layering piece for a formal occasion

Finally, have you ever worn a layering piece to a fancy event like a wedding? I love my lace RG crop worn over a thin-strapped dress or jumpsuit with a pair of fabulous heels. My cropped Betty jacket is another great option for a cute way to cover up a little while keeping the layering light and the overall look sexy.

Molly wears the RG Crop over a black Twiss&Weber Meg dress

 

Here, I’m wearing the Betty cropped jacket over the Jacquie Jumpsuit

However you choose to wear your crop top, don’t let memories of flat-abbed young starlets in low-rise jeans scare you out of trying. Give it a go! Ease into it by throwing a jacket or unbuttoned sweater over it so you don’t show more skin than you’re comfortable with right away. The more you do it, the easier it’ll be!

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Stephanie Davis Designs

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada