Crop tops exemplify fashion resilience. Case in point: They majorly worked it out in the 1980s cult classic Flashdance; they showed off Madonna’s washboard abs time and time again; and they regularly clothed (we use the term loosely) our favorite teen idols Britney, Christina, and the Spice Girls. Then they disappeared for a while, probably off to vacation in Tulum like the rest of the world.
But now, the crop top is back.
When the sea of crop tops initially reappeared, we wondered: Did a perpetrator come in and hack off the bottoms of every shirt in this store? Isn’t it too revealing to show so much skin? We felt slightly aghast, a little shy, but all the while: curious. Could we pull off this trend, too?
But during its time on the sidelines, crop tops evolved in a major way. They laid their former aerobics and teenybopper ties to rest and grew up to become a chic fashion staple. Here are 14 ways that may sway you to the cropped side—or if you’re already here, convince you to stay.
Since the hem of your top is cut short, add height to the waist of your bottoms so only a coy glimpse of skin is on display.
image via Framboise Fashion
Opt for a Bright Midi
A voluminous midi in a vivid color steals attention away from the crop top and any visible skin.
Take Baby Steps
If you’d rather stay on the more modest end of crop tops, look for one made of a thicker, sweater material and/or one with a slightly longer length.
image via Born Lippy
Tack on Sleeves
Another more modest route is a crop top with long sleeves, which also adds a sense of balance to the shorter top.
image via Hallie Daily
Crop tops don’t need to be skintight! One with a baggier fit might decrease any crop top induced nervousness.
image via A Little Dash of Darling
A Temporary Tie-Up
Testing the waters? Grab a top you already own, and give it a DIY crop by tying it up.
image via Collage Vintage
Fake It with a Faux-Crop
Some tops are simply a teensy bit shorter in length, but not quite a true crop top. Those don’t show skin all the time—only when your arms are raised.
image via Creators of Desire
Swing High, then Low
A crop top that is short in the front but longer in the back enables more coverage for the crop shy.
Pull on Culottes
Another daring fashion trend, culottes class up the crop top with their loose silhouette.
image via Girl with Curves
Matching separates are as darling as can be, which makes the crop top much more ladylike.
image via A Pair & a Spare
Play Hide and Seek
Not comfortable with exposing your stomach? Only the sides of your upper body will peek through when pairing your crop top with overalls!
image via Ring my Bell
Layer ‘Em Up
No need to retire your crop tops come cold weather—layer them over longer tops for an effortless, relaxed look.
image via Peace Love Shea
Not Quite 9-5
The addition of a no-nonsense and sophisticated blazer elevates the crop top just enough.
image via Crimenes de la Moda
Make a Full-Length Scene
A ground-skimming skirt in a deep jewel tone is clearly the star of the show, while the crop top is the perfect supporting cast member.
image via Happily Grey