Cropped And Screwed
When Claw Money introduced crop tops several seasons ago, I’m going to be real. I hated. Hard. I read “belly shirts” as part of a played out 80s resurgence. I thought my thick body (I’m 5’2, a buck seventy, and a size 12) could never pull off a square shape and abbreviated cut. But after this summer’s forays into crop tops I have say to Claw: YOU WERE RIGHT AND I WAS WRONG!
It turns out that many bodies can rock crop tops if paired with the right bottoms. I don’t think this trend is about bellies at all; rather shoulders, collar bones, and hips. There’s something exciting about this relaxed silhouette; a sexiness that’s not about tight.
On the rack, these shirts seem unflattering to almost any shape other than super skinny on whom everything hangs effortlessly anyway. But on my body, there’s a beautiful movement and a new way of relating to high-waisted pants and skirts. Belting the empire is so, so tired. Because I am a short and curvy person, “oversize” all the way down ends up looking maternity on me. But loose and cropped is much hotter.
When shopping for crop tops, I look for a wider neck so that the shirt can shift back and forth, exposing a little more skin on side than the other. Many crop tops haven’t made the cut of my closet because they were TOO cropped. A little stomach showing here and there is okay; a belly button show makes me feel like elementary school. A shirt that skims over the top of my jeans or skirt is perfect. I prefer a perfect fit rather than having to layer; but I do have a cream colored, see through lace tank top I use if I’m feeling like extending the length.
I will not wear a crop top with a cap sleeve or any elastic because it cheapens the look and wrecks the proportions. Tee shirt style sleeves or winged are best. It’s important as someone with a decent rack (36C) that the shirt is actually large all over, and doesn’t smash or cling to my chest obscuring the rectangular shape. This is especially true for material that’s not cotton. Design elements I do like in collaboration with a cropped cut are: exposed back, layered fabrics (silk or mesh on cotton for example), stripes, tie-fronts.
Crop top doesn’t have to mean straight across, either. I found this ASOS shirt which epitomizes the evolution of the crop top away from 80s athleticism and toward modern lines. It’s business in the front; cropped in the back.
This shirt is straddling so many trends including see through, that sleek play off navy blue, and a suit shirt masculine look. Lately I’ve been wearing tops like this one buttoned all the way to the neck to emphasize the shoulders and this boxy cut.
In addition to Claw’s perfect-for-summer Double Scoop crop top, here are some others I like:
All Saints Cropped Button Up (only goes up to size 10, but the style is a good reference point. I found some great button up crop tops at the cheapy Necessary Clothing in Soho with both cuffed and winged sleeves. This blush colored blouse also has an awesome asymmetrical hem.)
Open Back Cropped Tank by Kill City Conspirators