With spring around the corner, many of our favorite trends are gearing up for triumphant returns this season. One of the repeats, the crop top, spurs an on-again off-again relationship with most, dependent upon our daily food consumption, exercise, or mood. Recently, we’ve witnessed a round of debates via social media taking the pragmatic stance that crop tops are limited to a certain age, and even more so a particular body type. As fashion knows no rules in our opinion, we headed to Belk Galleria Dallas to chat crop tops and more with Belk’s Personal Shopper and Stylist, Charmaine Marshall.
Still fueled by the ongoing digital debate on who can sport the trend, we tackled the issue head on to prove once and for all that fashion is merely a matter of interpretation. Thinking colorfully outside of the box for spring, Marshall (pictured above) created five crop top looks exclusively for DFW Style Daily, proving once and for all that the trend can work for any age, for any body type, and for any occasion. So put the ab blaster away and read on as we put the crop top deliberation to rest:
1) Crop Top In Your 20’s
The more socially accepted out of the age brackets, donning a crop top in your 20’s is more favored among the debaters for this trend. When noting the distinction for this age group, Marshall created a 20’s-inspired look (pictured above) and notes, “[This look] is very fun, and the crop top is going to be a little bit shorter for the 20-year-old, and baring more midriff. Design aesthetic is important as well, as it gives off a more youthful appearance.”
2) Crop Top In Your 30’s
Moving up the age spectrum, the trend is still wearable but fashioned appropriately by lowering the length of the crop top and taking note of just how much skin is revealed. “The crop top should be a little bit more conservative in your 30’s,” Marshall advises. “As women get older, they get more conscious of their bodies. Some may have had children and may be self-conscious of their mid-section area. With this look (pictured above), it is actually a one-piece dress illusioned with the crop top effect.”
The noted fashion expert goes even further on transitioning the look into office appropriate attire. “Although the look is sleeveless, you can still throw a jacket on later to enhance the look for the office but still show the trendy crop top [faux] appearance.”
3) Crop Top In Your 40’s
“In their 40’s, women are still self-conscious about their midriffs,” Marshall says. “Women in this group are still able to get in on the trend. Pairing the crop top with a sporty pant and fun accessories (pictured above) allows this type of woman to still run around with the kids and look on trend. Additionally, choosing a crop top with a sleeve is definitely an option, since the 40 plus group may get a little more conscious of their arms.”
4) Crop Tops for the Curvy Body
Whether you have a curvy body type or a boyish figure, the trend transcends it all. As we’ve learned from the examples above, it’s all about interpretation. For Marshall, creating a crop top look for the stylishly curvy woman was easy. “Curvy girls can get in on the trend by pairing a high crop top with a high-waisted skirt or pant. Even pairing the top with a flared pant or a flared skirt will exaggerate the effect and make the crop top trend appropriate for today’s woman.” If the peek-a-boo skin effect is at issue, Marshall suggests adding a thin cami underneath to limit the amount of skin exposure.
5) Crop Tops for Cocktail Occasions
While many would shun the crop top for dressier and even cocktail occasions, Marshall proves once again that it’s all about stepping gracefully outside the box. “Crop tops for cocktail occasions are okay as long as they don’t show skin – especially if it’s for an office event with co-workers. You want to be more conscious of what you are wearing to these type of events especially if the bosses and higher-ups are in attendance.”
Marshall takes it a step further by adding, “It really depends on the function. If it’s a beach party, you may want to have more fun with it, but if it’s more formal with business colleagues, then you will want to be more conservative by wearing a high-rise skirt and a crop top that doesn’t show flesh. The flesh that is showing will be emphasized on the arms, which is more conservative and appropriate.”
Images credit Esther Huynh Photography for DFW Style Daily.