Can a crop top ever look professional? Here are three reasons why I think it can
A crop top can be flattering, sophisticated, and no, it doesn’t need to involve baring an inch of flesh. Can a crop top look professional? Let Niamh O’Donoghue explain
Crop tops are hot weather go-tos that have been reinterpreted in every era. From Jane Birkin to Carrie Bradshaw and The Spice Girls, the crop top has decades’ worth of history, though most would associate it with noughties nostalgia. As with much clothing from that era, crop tops have been making appearances on catwalks across the world from designers Giambattista Valli, Versace, Emilio De La Morena and Chanel, to name a few.
Despite being portrayed as party-girl attire in the past, I’m making a case for crop tops to be considered as part of your professional AW18 look. In fact, if you’re petite or curvy or have a shorter-than-average torso, you might actually find that crop tops work better for you. A shorter hemline can give the appearance of a long, sleek silhouette. If that is what floats your boat. With crop tops, it’s all just a matter of how you style them.
Temperly SS18 catwalk. Source: Jason Llyod Evans
Versace SS18 catwalk. Source: Jason Llyod Evans
Cropped denim jacket by Off-White, €549.30 at brownsfashion.com, colour-block ribbed dress, €39.95 at zara.com, blue crush choker, €103.32 at roxanneassoulin.com, crystal embellished satin platform sandals by Miu Miu, €750 at net-a-porter.com
Layer it up
Contrary to popular belief, the sole purpose of a crop top is not to expose the midriff (shock/horror). Take this checked crop top below: on first appearances, it appears to show a lot of skin, revealing both bare shoulders AND a bare midriff. But layering a simple white shirt beneath is a grown-up way of channelling Clueless’ Cher Horowitz, while remaining appropriate for water cooler chat. The subtle check print is a good way of incorporating suited style into your work-drobe too, without going full-on three-piece.
Checked crop top, €12.99 at zara.com, Erin white shirt, €100.23 at hobbs.co.uk, belted peg trousers, €46 at topshop.com, khaki slingback shoes, €115 at uterque.com, tortoiseshell earrings, €75 at uterque.com
Cropped colour-block cotton-piqué top by Carven, €195 at net-a-porter.com, checked high-rise cotton-blend trouser by Stella McCartney, €324 at matchesfashion.com, Gloria two-part court shoes, €76, red circle drop earrings, €13 both at topshop.com, net bag, €9.99 at mango.com
Crop tops don’t have to be tight and extra short. Flowing, oversized crop tops that swing and sit comfortably on the body are a dream to wear. Inspired by polo shirts, this style by Carven is made from cotton-piqué in a flowy trapeze silhouette and trimmed with a striped collar and cuffs. Avoid unwanted mid-section escape by pairing with super high-waist jeans. I love this pair by Stella McCartney: the subtle blue check brings out the vibrancy in the top. A mid-heel by Topshop will sleek-line your silhouette further and give the appearance of additional height (if you’re vertically challenged, like me).