Posted: May 29, 2014 10:00 AM
You might see the latest fashion magazine and think, "Am I too old for a crop top?" There are ways to style the modern crop top without feeling like you're in a fashion nightmare or throwback Thursday party. With the right styling choices, crop tops can even be worn in professional settings.
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Why you should try a crop top

Crop tops aren't only for 19-year-olds — or women with abs flatter than the Great Plains. Stay on trend with crop tops that don't expose much skin. Boxy shapes that graze the very top of your skirt or favorite cuffed jeans are flattering and easier to wear than you might expect. A major key to the newest crops happens before you even leave the store — try them on. You're looking for a specific fit — cropped but not too revealing — so anything too large or too small won't work with this style.

Crop tops in casual styles

Crop tops in casual styles

Paired with slim boyfriend jeans or tailored shorts, a crop top is an easy, breezy way to run errands or grab brunch with your girlfriends. The Elizabeth and James Sia Boxy Crop Tee in cantaloupe cotton pairs perfectly with faded jeans but feels a little more rock and roll with darker denim (Bloomingdale's, $95). Hit the beach with the Striped Dolman Cropped Top in midnight navy, and you'll be comfortable stopping for dinner on the way home (Aéropostale, $14).

Wear a crop top for your next date night

date night crop tops

Even just a hint of skin can be a flirty detour from your typical date night looks. The simplicity of Ella Moss's Tali Short-Sleeve Crop Top lets you wear the fashionable shape while letting accessories shine (Cusp, $88). The versatile top can be worn with slim jeans or a swingy skirt and will quickly become one of your go-to pieces this summer. You can take your cropped sweater a bit higher when it comes with a gorgeous lace underlay, like the Pinko Cropped Sweater (Farfetch, $141). Crop tops generally work best with more modest pairings, but the lace gives you the option to wear the Pinko sweater with shorter shorts because you aren't at risk of flashing your midriff.

Crop tops in the office

office wear crop tops

Office attire and crop tops don't seem to mesh, but there are ways you can bring this trend into your professional wardrobe without alerting HR about inappropriate attire. For a tailored option, try the Le Mont St. Michel® Cropped Hawaiian Tank (Madewell, $316). The muted green pattern is summery, but the shape and silk blend material will pair beautifully with a blazer for the office. Pair French Connection's Striped Crop Top with trousers for a look that melds the trendy shape with classic colors (Lord and Taylor, $98). The exposed zipper detail is another modern touch.

Things to remember when buying crop tops^

  • Fit matters — too large looks messy and too small will have you tugging at your hem all night. Try a few designers, silhouettes and lengths until you find one that hits exactly where you want.
  • Boxy is best. Wearing a fitted crop top, unless you don't plan on unbuttoning your cardigan or blazer, is a difficult look to wear after a certain age.
  • Choose the remainder of your outfit carefully. A crop top with a mini skirt means you're in danger of flashing a little too much skin.

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