Cropped tops are everywhere this Summer. While it may seem like a trend reserved only for thin teenagers or college students, there is a way to wear them that doesn’t require six-pack abs. I know it’s hard to believe, but you don’t have to expose your stomach and it can even be worn in a professional environment if styled appropriately. I’ll start off describing the trend that teenagers/younger crowd is wearing and then move into how to translate this into professional setting.
Cropped Top Background
Short, cropped tops were trendy in the 80s and 90s but this time around the vibe is slightly different, arguably more sophisticated, and it’s a variation on cut-out styles being seen on tops/dresses. For those of you who are comfortable baring skin, it’s less about exposing the belly button and more about showing a hint of skin right below your bust and above your natural waist. This is the smallest part of a women and when emphasized, makes you look thinner – In fact it’s the whole idea behind the popular Fatkini (below on right).
But in order to make this a work-appropriate, everyday look, we’ll clearly need to avoid exposing any skin. The beauty of this trend is that it greatly extends the leg line by visually lifting your waist. You’ll can look taller and leaner. Below I’ll explain how to wear this trend in a sophisticated, office-appropriate way.
How to wear cropped tops in the office:
- Choose higher quality fabric – No t-shirts or cheap looking polyester. You’ll want to go with polyblends, silk, or woven options.
- Wear a tucked in tank top underneath – Preferably with the same color as your top. This way you’ll feel comfortable if you need to reach for something or raise your hand. You don’t want to be worried about inappropriate flash of your stomach!
- Wear with a high-waisted skirt – The examples below give you an idea of how to pull this off but note that the first 2 are slightly too short. You would want no skin exposed but the type of material and the styles are professional. In the bottom 2 examples, Wendy from Wendy’s Lookbook does a superb job of styling a cropped top and skirt in a classy way and Leighton Meester looks office-ready.
- Wear with high-waisted pants – With pants you’ll want to either wear skinny, form-fitting pants, a thin belt, or tight waist line. This is critical to keeping the look flattering and not too bulky at the waist. Below you’ll see 3 examples with the left-most look being the most trendy – skin exposure and slouchy trousers. Again, you wouldn’t want to bare your midriff but this gives you an idea of the styling.
My verdict: I love this trend when worn in a sophisticated way but it can be really hard to get right. The details matter and you may need to buy a skirt or pants specifically to match your top. The exact length is so important. Whether or not I try this trend really depends on whether the pieces come together nicely! What do you think?