Over the past few seasons crop tops have made a come back in a big way.
That being said, most fashionistas are a little confused on the best way to wear this ultra-feminine flirty piece in a flattering way. The first step is to understand the different types of crop tops available. Next, after you choose the type that works best for you, understand how and where you can wear each type with effortless appeal.
Bandeau Crop Top
Think of the top of a bandeau style bikini and you understand what you’ll be wearing here. This is the most exposed type of crop top and not for the faint of heart if worn alone! For the more demure fashionista, this is a great crop top to layer over or under another shirt. Definitely more on the side of casual, wear a bandeau style crop top over a fitted v-neck tee shirt with boyfriend jeans for an eye-catching take on casual. Keep the jeans either in a light or gray wash and make sure the tee is a v-neck & white. Coordinate the shoes to the color or pattern of the bandeau crop top, pair with messy beach wave styled hair, and you have a “I woke up like this” fabulous yet casual look that’s sure to turn heads.
Blouse Crop Top
This type of crop top is a button-up style and may be long sleeve. It looks most like a blouse cut in half and may be semi-sheer. Wear a blouse crop top if you want to layer a fitted cami underneath. The material for this type of crop top is usually:
- chiffon, or
- silk satin.
If you want to wear this in a hipster style–pair with black leather or linen culottes (knee-shorts), dark round sunglasses, black brimmed hat and a red lip. If something more sophisticated is your thing, layer a blouse crop top over a spaghetti strap fitted (not tight!) satin dress. Contrasting colors like a peach blouse over a royal blue dress will be fascinating and memorable.
Bra Crop Top
Think of Madonna in the early 90’s wearing the pointy Jean-Paul Gaultier bras and lingerie on stage and you pretty much have a good idea of what this crop top is. It’s the type most closely aligned with undergarments and usually comes with removable straps so it can be worn as a bustier. This is definitely an evening wear style of crop top that’s best left for wearing under a chic blazer with a pantsuit to make a strong feminine statement. You can also wear a bra crop top with skinny jeans or skirt for a night at the club.
Embellished Crop Top
This is a crop top that has one of the following features:
These types of crop tops are usually for evening events and are best worn with basics such as black pants, dark denim jeans, or a-line skirts. Embellished crop tops are the focal point of your outfit so keep accessories to a minimum.
Fishnet Crop Top
This is strictly a layering piece over a solid top or crop top. Because of how scant this type of crop top is, it’s best worn out to clubs or other forms of nightlife entertainment.
Peplum Crop Top
If you’re thinking of a way to make the crop top softer and more feminine, then a peplum crop top is the way to go! This type of crop top features a ruffled edge at the bottom that softens the overall look of the piece. One of the most inventive and sophisticated ways to wear a crop top is in the form of a peplum crop top tucked into a high-wasted skirt. Done right, this pairing is sophisticated enough to wear to the office! Just finish the look by adding a great blazer, pumps, and a chic clutch.
Print Crop Top
This is the chameleon of crop tops as it’s the most versatile! The print and fabric that print is on will determine if this is a crop top for casual occasions or special events. To keep it casual, go for one with sleeves and a slouchy or oversized collar. Finish the look by pairing with a high-waisted short or skirt.
Sleeveless/Tank Style Crop Top
If you want casual or easy layers then this is the crop top for you. This type of crop top is usually made of a soft knit material such as jersey knit, cotton blend, or modal. Since no one’s body is perfect (even if you are in great shape) go for a weightier tank style top so it will stay in place and mold to your body in the most flattering way. Use a sleeveless casual crop top for layering over a longer sleeve fitted top or under a button-style shirt.
For cooler weather, try a turtleneck sleeveless crop top paired with menswear inspired trousers and heels. This mix of masculine and feminine is striking and very chic in an upscale casual look.
Sweatshirt Crop Top
For a totally irreverent trend that is so much fun to play with in spring and fall, go for the sweatshirt crop top! I love this style of crop top because it represents two totally opposing things in one. The sweatshirt, which is meant to keep you warn is mixed with a crop top, which exposes skin and is intended to cool you off. Wear in temperate weather and pair with basics such as jeans and ballet flats.
Now you are the queen of the crop (pun totally intended:)
How do you feel about crop tops?
Are they something you would try adding to your wardrobe or something you’d avoid at all costs?