I want to be upfront about something: When crop tops came back as a thing, I was not pleased.
I was already well into my mid-twenties, meaning I was (in my opinion) about half a decade too old to bare my belly anywhere but at the pool.
I know that sounds ageist. And maybe it is. But, to be real, I was mostly just uncomfortable with the idea of anyone walking around with their belly out. THIS ISN’T A CHRISTINA AGUILERA VIDEO CIRCA 1999.
But then…then I saw a reality show where a woman wore a crop top with a high-waisted full skirt. And DANG if I didn’t think it was the cutest thing I had ever seen — even if I could see her belly button.
What I’m saying is, I’ve come around a bit to the idea. I guess. I’m trying to be open minded. I’m not trying to be all let-me-tell-you-what-you-can-wear-because-I-say-so. But while even I am guilty of wearing a belly-baring crop top in recent memory (only twice, I swear!), the fact remains that a top that’s cropped is not always going to be appropriate for whatever you’ve got going on that day, especially now that the weather is (finally) cooling down.
So what’s a girl to do if she falls for a top that her parents wouldn’t approve of? (Come on; you know crop tops are the bad boys of women’s wear.) Or, more likely, she’s worried about catching a chill? Here are three ways to wear your crop top this fall.
By turning your maxi skirt into a tea-length number
I have this coral-colored maxi skirts that, to be honest, is a bit too long. The bottom tends to drag on the ground when I wear it with flats, which means I don’t wear it that often.
I also have this striped crop top I bought for a party years ago. I think you see where I’m going with this.
Yes, my first tip is: Hike up that skirt! It helps that this skirt has an elastic waistline, so I can wear it on different parts of my torso. If you’re feeling bolder, you could even pull down the skirt to flash an inch or two of skin (the scandal!) — the demure skirt length will keep the whole look in check.
Gratuitous Viv pic!
By layering it over a maxi dress
Maxi dresses are another style staple that tend to get shut away in the closet when temperatures dip. But that’s no reason why you can’t keep wearing them in the fall — you just need the right accoutrements to warm up the look.
Cue the perfect maxi topper: the floaty crop top. This light blue top of mine is almost a regular length shirt, but the loose hem means you tummy could be flashed if the right breeze comes along. By layering a maxi under it, both pieces are instantly seasonally appropriate.
By wearing it with a high-waisted pencil skirt
The same way I love high-low fashion combos, I love the idea of pairing something a bit risque with something super modest (see the aforementioned crop top with the ladylike skirt on the reality show). This is my version of that. I bought both these pieces at Nordstrom Rack, but the skirt actually started out as a regular pencil skirt. The store only had one size left, and it was about two sizes to big for me. Fortunately, they offered super reasonable tailoring, and, in a flash of inspiration, I decided to have them turn it into a high-waisted midi-length pencil skirt that would pair perfectly with this shirt. The best part? No crunches required.
Be honest: Do you love the crop — or love to hate it? If you’re a crop owner, how do you wear yours when it gets colder?