We don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that there's a certain item that is probably the most anxiety-enducing summer wardrobe staple. Of course, we're talking about the midriff-baring top. Although they’re very on-trend and don’t seem to be going anywhere—partly due to Kim Kardashian’s unmatchable skill at making them look accessible to everyone—many a woman (understandably) has an undeniable hesitation that they just won’t work for her body type.
We’re here to squash those fears before they can really take root. Contrary to what many of us think, this particular type of top is actually one of the most flattering summer pieces you can choose, because they draw the eye to the thinnest part of pretty much every woman’s body: The area right at the middle of the ribcage, between the breasts and the waist. Whether you're long and lean, fit and trim, or pear-shaped and curvy, there’s a way for you to wear one.
Read on for tips on how each and every body type can really rock a this top...
If you’re tall and thin, one thing is key: don’t fear the print. Try a crop top with a bright and colourful motif, and pair it with a midi-length skirt to streamline the eye from head-to-toe. Also reach for a skirt that’s one solid colour, preferably black or another neutral—it has the magical double effect of minimising height without making you look short, per se. You’ll still look long and lean without looking too much so.
Wearing: Christopher Kane crop top
Christopher Kane Floral-Print Organza Blouse ($278)
Head’s up, plus-size ladies! If you think you can’t wear a crop top, you are tragically mistaken. As shown by wildly popular plus-size blogger Gabi Fresh, a crop top is a stylish addition to any plus-size gal’s summer wardrobe. The key: pair a short-to-midi length cropper with a high-waist skirt, so only a relatively modest sliver of skin is showing. We also love how Fresh added a contrasting white vest, further drawing the eye to her midline for an extra slimming effect.
If you’re wider up top and a bit narrower at the hips, a halter crop top is the way to go. The diagonal lines created by the halter at either shoulder will draw the eye to your center neck area, having a thinning impact. Blogger Karla Deras illustrates that this concept works best with a voluminous skirt, which adds volume to your narrow hip area and helps to further slim your shoulders.
If anyone has shown the world that curvy girls can (and should) wear crop tops, it’s Kim Kardashian. She’s walking proof that a crop top really is the perfect way to show off your assets, curvy ladies. The best tactic: a crop top that hits right at your true waist, paired with a body-con pencil skirt that hits just below your knees.
If you’ve got ample bosom to go around, then you might want to try a sneaky little trick we first saw worn to perfection on Danish blogger Pernille Teisbaek: wear one over a blouse! She opted for a classic white button-down under a black bustier, but you can really go with any combination. Pair the set with a pair of comfy boyfriend jeans, a great black sandal, and you’re good to go.
If anyone is the poster child for petite women, it’s Russian editor Miroslava Duma. If you’re a bit on the shorter side, reach for a crop top that has a bit of a lifted hem at the center, like Duma’s, to give the illusion of longer legs. Style it with a pair of slacks with a vertical stripe down the sides, and finish off the look with a pair of daringly high heels.
On Duma: Delpozo crop top
If you’re narrower up top and a bit wider at the hip, try this: A lighter colour (like white) up top will make your upper half just a smidge more expansive, so you don’t appear bottom-heavy, and a pair of high-waist jeans will minimise your waist even more, as well as your hips. Throw a blazer over your shoulders for an added layer of minimalism.
On Chiara: Zara crop top
If you’re kind of a gym rat, or if your body is just naturally athletic-looking (lucky), then you can’t really go wrong in the crop top category. But for maximum chicness, you’ll look best in a crop that’s more of a midi-length than a true, right-under-the-bra cut. Blogger Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad exemplifies what we mean.
On Ferragni: Clover Canyon crop top