Crop tops are a thing this spring. Yes, you heard that right. Crop tops. I refuse to call them bralettes, as I am way past the age — and figure — where exposing underwear is an attractive proposition.
You don’t need a psychology degree to see where this trend came from. Fed up with churning out joggers and sweatshirts, designers have got skittish at the prospect of showing off our bodies again.
The spring/summer catwalks, from Tom Ford to Emilia Wickstead, were crop-top crazy. And now the High Street has picked up the look with gusto.
If you are among the (I suspect extremely limited) ranks of women who adore their waistlines, you can stop reading now. Wear your crop top with whatever you please, and whenever the mood takes you (just maybe not at a funeral, or a job interview…).
If, however, you like the idea of the trend, but feel the need to inject a bit of modesty, stay with me. First, keep your skirt or trousers high-waisted. If the crop grazes whatever else you’re wearing then you’ll only expose flesh if you reach for something high up on a shelf. Look to the denim design by Topshop (second from left) for inspiration.
Anna Pursglove has shared tips on styling crop tops as they come into style this spring. (Jacket, £145, and skirt, £155, reiss.com; crop top, £12.99, hm.com; shoes, £195, russelland bromley.co.uk)
Now think about what is going over your crop. The more structure this layer has, the less flimsy your top will appear.
Try Reiss’s white denim jacket (far left), or Cos’s cardie and crop outfit (third from right), which is reminiscent of actress Katie Holmes’s iconic cashmere bra and cardie combo. This caused a sensation in 2019, when Katie (a mother in her 40s) proved the crop could definitely be classy.
Long sleeves balance out a crop top, so try wearing yours with a trench. Do pair this look with a maxi skirt or wide-leg trousers, though, or you’ll risk straying into flasher-Mac territory.
There will be those among you who aren’t prepared to expose any midriff, and there are options for you, too. Wear a strappy dress that exposes a bit of decolletage with a high-cropped jumper, or even with your crop top itself.
Simone Rocha’s catwalk featured a crop top worn over a shirt. I can’t think of a way of wearing this without giving my teenage children something to laugh about for eternity. But if your family are more forgiving than mine, give it a go.
It’s spring, the nation is emerging from lockdown, and you have every right to throw fashion caution to the wind.
Crop top, £22.99, Topshop at asos.com; trousers, £49.99, mango.com; heels, £80, aldoshoes.co.uk
Blazer, £69.99, crop top, £19.99, and trousers, £29.99, mango.com; heels, £139, kurtgeiger.com
Knit, £36, warehouse fashion.com; bralette, £3.99, newlook.com; skirt, £150, meandem.com; mules, £139, kurt geiger.com
Cardie, £34.50, and bralette, £19.50, cos stores.com; jeans, £59.95, massimo dutti.com; heels, £75, dune london.com
Shirt, £95, withnothing underneath.com; bralette, £66, revolve.com; jeans, £75, french connection.com; heels, £80, aldo shoes.co.uk
Blazer, £250, reiss. com; bralette, £26, riverisland. com; skirt, £44, warehouse fashion.com