Crop tops are one of the most divisive trends in fashion right now: Either you absolutely love them, or you hate them with every ounce of your being.
Merely mentioning the words “crop top” during StyleCaster’s weekly Twitter #stylechat (every Wednesday at 3 p.m., people!) has sparked a vicious debate over the mini-shirts, with passionate believers on both sides of the argument.
One big issue we’ve found is that lots of girls want to wear crop tops but don’t know how to do it in a chic way. We’re all in agreement that It can be a tough look to pull off, and many people are discouraged because they think they have to have Rihanna-level abs to rock the crop top successfully. But we’re here to say: It’s just not true—anyone can rock a crop top if it’s styled correctly.
To prove it, we’ve rounded up 10 street style stars who rock the look in 10 different, but equally accessible, ways. A good rule of thumb: the lower-waisted your bottoms, the longer the crop top should be, and vise versa. Click through the gallery above to see some super stylish examples of how to wear a crop top!
MORE CROP TOPS ON STYLECASTER:
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1. Show no stomach at all.
Just because it's a "crop" top doesn't mean you have to show your midriff. The days of Britney Spears circa-2001 are dead and gone. Here, fashion editor Shiona Turini shows that a crop doesn't mean you have to show your belly; paired with a chic pair of high-waisted slacks, they can look great without requiring you to show any skin.
Photo via StreetPeeper
2. Tie it up.
A really good way to test the waters to see if crop tops are for you is to take a full-length top you already have, and just tie it up. This gives you maximum control over the length of the crop, and creative freedom when it comes to how you wear it.
Photo via StreetPeeper
3. Just give a peek of your midsection.
Teasing can be a sexier way of showing off than revealing it all. If you do want to show some skin but aren't comfortable showing too much, go for a top that is only cropped in one small section, and pair it with a set of high-waisted trousers.
Photo via Elle
4. Try a patterned one.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but a patterned crop top actually detracts attention from anything else you might not want people looking at. Style blogger Natalie Joos smartly paired a statement print on top with another one on bottom, drawing attention away from her midsection.
Photo via Harpers Bazaar
5. Add some flounce.
Crop tops don't have to be super-snug. As jewelry designer Gaia Repossi shows here, a flouncy crop top is a fun take on the trend, and looks super chic with a pair of sleek black trousers and coordinating sandals.
Photo via Harper's Bazaar
6. Wear it with culottes.
One surefire way to guarantee that your crop top remains stylish and tasteful is to wear it with a pair of high-waisted culottes. This will also give you control over how much skin you show; if you want to show more, choose a shorter top, and for less, wear a longer one.
Photo via Fashionista
7. Contrast it with pops of color.
If you're still a little shy about your crop top confidence, pick one in basic colors like black and/or white, then leave the color popping to your accessories.
Photo via Gary Pepper
8. Wear it under a jacket or coat.
If you're starting to feel more comfortable in a crop top, but are still a bit iffy on certain parts of your midsection (ahem, the obliques), here's an easy and stylish solution: throw a jacket on over it. This is also a good method for wearing crop tops even during the fall months, when the nip in the air would seem to forbid it.
Photo via Sophie Mhabille
9. Wear it under overalls.
If there are two fashion items that inspire fiery debate amongst style mavens, it's crop tops and overalls; this is perhaps what makes them the perfect pair. When done right, it looks chic, and it's a great way to take a stance on both pieces.
Photo via Made With Fashion
10. Wear it with a high-waisted pant.
Perhaps the most classic way to achieve crop top mastery is to pair one with a high-waisted pant. A snugger crop top looks especially chic with a set of wide-leg trousers, but can also be propelled into a sexier look atop a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans.
Photo via We Wore What