When crop tops started to eke their way back onto the scene after a long (and largely welcome) absence, my sartorial curmudgeon self groaned and rolled her eyes. However my inner five-year-old jumped up and down just as she did at Kmart circa 1987, when crop tops were all the rage and she desperately wanted one to wear with the white fringe cowboy boots on display in aisle 12. Alas, neither the cut-off Mickey Mouse tee nor the boots ever made their way into my wardrobe—hence the lingering desire to wear what my mom dismissed as a 'belly-hanging shirt' all those years ago.
So I decided to seize this opportunity to listen to my inner child and find a way to make the crop top work for grown-up, fashion risk-averse Anne. And not surprisingly, it's all about fit and material. In my case, a drapey open weave sweatshirt hangs just to my navel, providing plenty of movement and preventing that boxy, bosomy effect to which we busty gals can be so prone. The uneven hem of the top also helps to create a more flattering line since it doesn't just chop me straight in half.
The heathered cotton and rolled sleeves complement the top's sporty vibe, while a monochromatic palette and slim, high-waisted knit pencil skirt lend polish. And while they're no white fringe cowboy boots, black ankle booties do finish the look with their air of minimalist sophistication. After all, it's the shapes that are interesting here, so everything else should remain as simple as possible. Unless someone has a cropped Mickey tee I can borrow—in which case all bets are off.
P.S. Find more style inspiration on my Outfit Inspiration Pinterest Board! Outfit Details: Cropped Sweatshirt, Lauren Manoogian. Pencil Skirt, Raquel Allegra (no longer available but Splendid has a similar charcoal pencil skirt). Leather Booties, Freda Salvador. Brass Necklace, Iacoli and McAllister. Oliver Peoples Sunglasses. Photos: Bryan Dale.