Where do you stand on crop tops? Have you fully embraced, baring your belly to all (in this spring chill – how brave), or are you slightly reticent?
There’s been a bit of a sea change in fashion of late, in which the bodycon micro-dresses have given way to a slightly more modest look. It’s more covered up and seemingly prim, but not altogether nun-like. Taking the place of show-off thighs and bodycon dresses are more subtle glimpses of skin, from sheer, gauzy fabrics to peekaboo cutouts and midriff-baring tops. While the big midriff story comes from designers like Marc Jacobs (who showed bare ribs at Louis Vuitton) and celebs like Rihanna who will flash her abs at any given moment, there are ways to make the crop top look pretty, polished and far from clubby.
Helping things along is the high waist skirt or trouser that rests above the natural waistline, thus avoiding any hope of belly-button flashing. I think the more tailored and dressy the bottoms, the better this looks. And to accompany them, what I call the demi-crop top. The aim being to expose a slice of skin when you move around, but otherwise to be chicly covered, hence the top hovering just above the waistband of the skirt.
Even better? Make your demi-crop top a tailored one, whether a sleeveless shell top, a long-sleeved graphic-stripe one or even a retro-style jacket to go with a matching slim skirt. Fabric-wise, look for stiff cotton, wool or even tailored lace – à la the Stella McCartney shirt I’ve been coveting. And if all that still feels too far out of your comfort zone, then pop a slightly longer sheer singlet top underneath and let it poke through. Voila, a sophisticated take on the crop top, suitable for work and play. Browse women's tops on eBay.