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Wednesday, March 26th 2014

Ask Shopbop: How to Wear a Crop Top

Madeline is a longtime fan of crop tops, but this bold combo was new for her: “I never would have guessed to pair a striped crop with this high-waisted, printed skirt, but I love it!”
On the right: JOA crop top, Blank Denim jacket, IRO booties, Tory Burch ring. On Madeline: Alice + Olivia top, Clover Canyon skirt, Joie jacket, IRO booties, Kenneth Jay Lane necklace.

Crop tops, which continue to trend strongly for spring, can be tricky to style. After a long winter of layers, it can be intimidating to show off a sliver of stomach. But with a few smart tips, crop tops can inject a bit of unexpected playfulness into your usual repertoire.

A balanced silhouette is key to pulling off this look—think a flirty circle skirt with a fitted style, or a sleek pencil skirt with a looser top. In the same vein, ladylike bottoms work well to counter the naturally sexy vibe of crop tops.

Showing off a swath of midriff can be nerve-wracking, even for those with a perfect six-pack. To keep the show of skin to a comfortable level, try high-rise jeans or a matched set with high-waisted shorts—they have a great retro-modern feel. Throwing on a menswear-inspired blazer also ups the comfort factor. Pair it with loose trousers, snazzy flats, and a cool hat.

High-rise jeans are new for Libby, but she loves how they make her sporty  jersey work-appropriate.
On Libby: T by Alexander Wang top, BLK DNM jeans, Mc Q – Alexander McQueen booties, Giles & Brother bracelet. On the left: Lovers + Friends tee, ANINE BING pants, Rag & Bone booties, DANNIJO bracelet.

Keeping your setting in mind will also help drive the direction of your styling. An ab-baring style is easy for girls’ night out, but crop tops for the workplace are touch and go. (Shopbop notwithstanding!) Even in a casual office, I suggest working in some professional accessories and sharp, 9-to-5 tailoring to set the right tone.


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