How to Wear: Crop Tops

How to Wear: Crop Tops

Crop tops have been everywhere this season, from the city streets to the runways at Jill Stuart and Michael Kors. Personally, I love this springy trend. When done right, the crop top is sexy, chic, and sophisticated all at the same time. But it’s also a tough one to pull off…

If hearing the word crop top conjures up scary images of belly-baring ‘90s pop stars, you’re not alone. It’s certainly not the easiest trend to style, and it takes a somewhat daring fashion sense (not to mention a toned tummy). But pulling off the crop top doesn’t have to be so intimidating. For one thing, a crop top doesn’t automatically mean a bared bellybutton. There are plenty of ways to style a crop top so that you are showing only a demure hint of skin, and not your whole stomach.

Here are a few of my tips for wearing a crop top the right way…

How to Wear: Crop Tops

1. Play With Proportions

Like so many other styles, wearing a crop top is all about proportion play. To strike a balance with your tinier top, wear a high-waisted skirt or high-rise trousers on the bottom. That way, only a sliver of skin will be showing and you can keep this trend feeling ladylike. Definitely no low-cut jeans! (Again, this isn’t the ‘90s.) This Alice + Olivia look is right on point.

How to Wear: Crop Tops

2. Pair with a Pencil

Another key to pulling off the crop top is pairing it with a more conservative bottom. Since the pencil skirt is the epitome of sleek and sophisticated style, I love how it looks with a crop top. Think of it as ‘party on the top, business on the bottom.’

How to Wear: Crop Tops

3. Box it off

Wearing a boxy, cropped sweater might feel a little less scary than a skin-tight top. Luckily, there are so many cute styles of cropped sweaters this season. I love this one from Top Shop, with its layer of lace along the hem.

How to Wear: Crop Tops

4. Cover Up

If your tummy feels too exposed with a bare midriff, try layering an open cardigan, jacket, or blazer over your top so that only a hint of skin is showing in the front. Not only will this make you feel a little more covered up, but it’s also a great way to keep this look weather appropriate during the cooler spring months.

How to Wear: Crop Tops

5. Leave it to Layers

Want to take part in the crop top trend without showing any skin at all? As I shared in my February Style Tips post (see no. 9), I love the look of a cropped sweater with a crisp button-down shirt underneath. Flat abs or not, anyone can pull off this chic look.

There you have it! I hope these tips help you to feel a little more confident about trying out the crop top trend.

Are you going to try this daring spring style?

Let me know in the comments!

XO Lauren

Photos:, Vogue UK,  Nordstrom, With Love From Kat, Nordstrom, FashionVibe, Atlantic Pacific
Categories: Contributors, Lauren Conrad, Style Guide, Style Tips and Ideas, Wear
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  • Jessie

    I love the layering look. I have personally worn crop tops in combination with high-waisted skirts so there’s barely any skin showing.

  • Amber Naomi

    I love the sweater croptop from topshop!

  • Alma

    I am currently playing a little with this trend but i figured out it works best with jackets and cardigans for my body type

  • Maria Vargas

    Layering seems more appropriate for me since my abs aren’t that flat and the look is so chic!

  • Lauren Schroer

    Last summer crop tops & high waisted skater skirts were my go-to outfit. I’d like to try some of the styling suggestions you made here too!

  • Ghazaleh Kermaani

    LOVE CROP TOPS! I love all your ideas – I did a post recently on wearing a crop top to work! Some similar ideas.

    • Ximena Parra

      loved your blog!

      • Ghazaleh Kermaani

        Aww!! Thanks!! That made my day!

  • Ximena Parra

    Definitely will embrace this trend! crop top with high-rise trousers or a pencil skirt <3

  • Patricia Marie

    Crop tops layer great over dresses too.. Makes an old dress look new again!

  • Trichster

    So now lets give you a challenge. How to wear crop tops and be plus size. Its easy to dress a perfectly petite body. I already have a bunch of different ways to do this but Id be interested to hear yours

    • Sharon Huxford


    • Carolina

      Yes ! I am a Size 14, I would love to use a Crop Top, but I have a Little Tummy.

    • Jade Jackson

      check out this blog, she has a post on wearing crop tops. she plays with proportion and pairs them with high waists.

      just go for it, i’m going to and i certainly don’t have a little tummy :)

      • Kelsey

        Great link! She looks amazing

    • Dyllan Moses

      I’m a size 14 myself and still wear a crop top, I always pair it with high waisted jeans because it looks quite flattering and still really comfortable :)

    • Amanda Frances

      I do it by wearing super high waisted shorts and skirts, then just a sliver of my upper torso shows :)

  • Katie

    Love these tips!! I definitely like the idea of just showing a little bit of skin – like with the high-waisted bottoms, jackets, or layering.

    Here’s how I wore my cropped coral sweater from Asos –


    With the pencil skirt of course!

  • Esther & Grace

    I love the plaid skirt and cropped black top!

  • Abby

    Crop tops are my main reason for toning that tummy 😉 I so badly want to try them out!

  • Connie

    Love crop tops! This post makes me excited for spring.
    xo, Connie

  • Sharleen Hwang

    Where is that red skirt from picture #4??? So Cute!

    • Micaela Luis

      The red skirt is from H&M :-)

  • Trista

    I love crop tops!! I love pairing mine with a maxi skirt.

  • Justeen Silvaz

    So excited to try the crop top trend!! It is a bit daring for me but i want to give it a shot and these ideas are so helpful :)


  • Evania Christiana

    You are seriously and absolutely the best!
    Love your tips and the attention you give to classiness and elegance!
    We need more fashionistas/bloggers like you (:
    -Love, Evania <3

  • Ashley

    I am loving and so obsessed with crop tops lately!! Loving all of these looks and I love that plaid skirt!

    Xo Ash,
    Sincerely Miss Ash

  • Jess galfo

    I posted a similar look a few days ago!! visit to see :)


    Love the layers! Great tips!!

  • Ashley

    I really like that layered look as well as the one with the jacket.. maybe that means this style is not for me.. haha

  • Lola Jaro

    Great ideas.

  • asa

    They are all too cute. Where can I get the flats the model is wearing on #3?

  • DNA (designers+artists)

    Love the alice +olivia 2 piece.

  • Jessica

    I LOVE this new trend. So cute in every way!

  • Julie Sapphire

    Crop Tops are a bit difficult for women with bigger chest. :-(

  • Nancy

    Love that bottom black and white outfit! So cute and so wearable!

    • Phoenix V Breeze

      right?! that is a knockout look for sure!

  • Katelin

    Love crop tops. I am glad you posted this to show options for people who aren’t “crop top” ready lol including myself!

  • Audrey

    omg so pretty!! i can’t wait to get a crop top :) yay for spring!!!

  • Secretly34

    How old is too old for a crop top? I am 34 (it is a secret) & a mother of two, one of my girlfriend told me i am too old for this look. What do you think?

    • Janine Paul

      Nope! I’ll be thirty one in less than two months and I’d rock one! Thirties are not old!

  • Naaj Rona

    I love crop tops but I do t like to show any skin so I tend to wear with high waisted skirt /trousers. But I do love how Blair Eadie layered it over a white shirt. I will definitely try this look

  • Mariska

    There are a lot of girls out there who need to see this! Muffin top-alert! Love the crop top- pencil skirt combo!

  • Marianna Neal

    I love these tips! I’ve been staying away from them because, just like you said, 90s come to mind. However I really like the looks you are showing, but the one with the pencil skirt is my favorite!

  • Lee

    but there are suggestions for loose crop topsss! :(

  • Lee

    but there are no suggestions for loose crop topss! :(

  • Maria Vargas

    I’m a plus size petite with a bigger middle and was able to make the crop top work with a white crochet crop top a colorful tank and a black skirt. I’ll upload as soon as I get a chance.

  • Annie

    I’m not tall and leggy like these models (5’1″) so sometimes I worry about looking strange with a crop top – I do have one maybe I’ll try to start wearing them :)

    <3 Annie @

  • Samantha Brown

    I love this trend – all of these outfits are so cute! I didn’t think I was going to try it but after reading this I just might! Thanks for the great advice

    Sam xx – how to make the most of your twenties

  • Nicole Smith

    These tips are sooo true! Thank you for showing ladies how to properly wear crop tops.

  • Kristen

    I love a good crop top! My favorite is layering them underneath wrap dresses, especially for work.

  • brenda demith

    Where can I get that black and white skirt? love it.

  • daniela

    when your a DD and have a hour glass shape and a little tummy its quite hard to wear a crop top and cute skirt #bigboobproblems&#beinganacutalwomen

    • Tristan

      so you’re saying that every naturally thin/fit woman is not an “#anactualwoman” every size is “an actual woman”

  • casey

    I honestly think crop tops only work well on thin women with average or small boobs… otherwise you’re just showing too much

  • Faye Green

    I could wear this… if I was in my 20’s and a size 5, but I’m not, I am i my late 40’s early 50’s and a size 16. I tried on one of the crop tops in the store and tried different way and layering; it looked awful on me (stuffed sausage). I am struggling to lose 30 lbs to get into a size 10. I don’t look good in young clothing anymore.

  • AffatshionistA

    Thanks for the Fabulous suggestions. I put a link in my “I Want a Plus Size 4X Crop Top!

  • Melanie Jong

    I love this!

  • Haven

    Wish I could wear one but im a size 16! Blah..

    • Gabie Aldrich

      You can! Go to domino dollhouse,& Forever 21+. They have great crop tops that fit us size 16’s..And try layering it like she said..Don’t limit yourself style because of a size number..Have a Great weekend!

  • LookMazing

    we totally followed these tips and have done a styling video ( to style the crop top in three different looks: casual, semi-dressy, and a night out look!

  • Pirya

    the last picture is really nice

  • Jeff

    Those models are disgusting with how thin they are. Great job promoting crop tops worn by anorexic, sickly looking women.

    • Jennie

      woah man! They are who they are.. do u know each model personally? no! so watching it jeff! You don’t a damn thing about them and all them are healthy weights!

      • Jennie

        and jeff why are u on a woman website?

        • Nikki Chowdhury

          because its most likely a woman pretending to be a man so as to not look catty haha

  • sarah omg I love your tips, I wrote an article about this too but already couple days ago. Really enjoyed reading

  • Confused

    But can I wear a tight black inner and wear a crop top to hide my tummy? Or does that just look bad?

    • caitlyn

      the point of a crop top is to show your tummy, that would probably look bad

  • Lala

    I have no waist, cropped tops will look good on me only with a low waisted pant/ belt AND a blouse/ shirt underneat. Is this acceptable?



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