Team Autostraddle Shows You How To Stop, Drop and Crop It

Summertime: a season of combating sweaty patches and figuring out if you should turn all of your jeans into cutoffs. An easy cool down option? CROP TOPS. Now, now, I know all of us aren’t used to showing a little mid-torso epidermis but hear me out. Pickin’ up where Carmen left off, a bunch of Autostraddle staffers felt the breeze to reaffirm that crop tops can be worn by any one with a bod. We’ve even provided a plethora of cropped options for your perusal. Enjoy, and show off your cute belly!

Lydia, Fashion/Style Editor

lydia crop edited

My crops tend to kind of end up being cheaters — they’re typically only a sliver of skin (blame my short torso) but I love them any which way. Usually, I’ll wear my cropped tops with skirts, but this year I am branching out to shorts ‘n’ jeans. Can’t stop, won’t stop, #tombabes for life. Who gon’ stop me?

Carmen, Straddleverse & Feminism Editor

carmen crop

I am a short human, and crop tops can sometimes run long on me or hit right at the waist so if I pair them with mid- or high-rise pants, they basically just make me appear to be a normal height. This is a huge boon to me, because I’m a big fan of pairing them with long pants. It’s a nice equalizer: my crop tops are usually loose or unstructured, so wearing them with jeggings can add a nice balance to my silhouette; my crop tops also lean femme-of-center, so pairing them with some basic denim accoutrements makes me feel like I’ve got more of a tomboy vibe going on.

Anna, Saturday Morning Cartoons

anna crop

anna trial

It took me a while to gather the courage to wear crop tops. I was worried I wouldn’t be read as genderqueer while wearing them — which is just utter foolishness and thank god I got over it. Wearing crops has become the perfect clothing item to express myself. I pick crop tops that are long enough to cover my binder or are tight enough to act like a binder, which is key for me feeling comfortable. I usually layer them with an overshirt or jacket and a hat too. My clothes tend to be on the weird/flashy/loud side and my crop tops reflect that aesthetic.

Robin, Contributing Editor

I’m making my Beaker Muppet face because it’s almost spring and, therefore, cold & overcast in the Bay Area.

I’m making my Beaker Muppet face because it’s almost spring and, therefore, cold & overcast in the Bay Area.

I used to be that kid in high school who always wore hoodies and jeans, even during summer in the South. I didn’t necessarily feel bad about my body, but I also didn’t feel comfortable in it — I mostly just wanted to disappear and exist as a disembodied personality. Now I’m at a place where not only am I confident enough with my corporeal existence to care about what I’m wearing, I’ve discovered that I also…prefer to wear as little clothing as the weather allows. Enter, loose-fitting crop tops. Airy enough for me to feel free and unfettered, top enough for me to be allowed in gas stations and other fine establishments. I’ve also got a weirdly long torso for my body, and I think crop tops are perfect for breaking that up. I’m a simple patterns & textures kind of lady-dandy, and that extends to my crop tops, too.

Audrey, Contributing Editor

audrey crop top
I’ve been wearing a lot of button downs lately because they feel comfortable when the line between tomboy femme and soft butch gets blurry under my skin. I have also recently decided to celebrate my stomach more, because I am alive, ya know! Enter the button down crop top. The top pictured was one I swiped from a friend who had it in her Goodwill pile many years ago. I decided to give it new life by cutting it in half and sewing on a new hem. Voila! Unfortunately the only collared, button-down crop tops I found for sale on the internet were too tacky even for me to love. We shall have to help each other sew the revolution.

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Lydia O

Lydia Okello is a feminist, body positive, queer personal style blogger. On her website Style is Style, she showcases her panache for bright colors and power clashing. When she isn't pawing over Samantha Pleet collections on Tumblr, she's dreaming about havin' a kitten of her own one day. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr and on her personal blog.

Lydia has written 64 articles for us.


  1. Currently I am too self conscious to wear crop tops because of a big ugly surgical scar, but I’m hoping by the next time this trend rolls around I will be totally confident and fine.

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  2. i love love love this so much! ahhhhh we are so cute! audrey, petition for a piece in which you show me how to cut, hem, and embellish a cropped button-down.

  3. I can’t get down with crop tops. First of all, I’m short and I like longer shirts to layer under jackets, vests (insert top layer here) Second, I don’t want ladies to cream their panties when they see my solid 4 pack. Leave something to the imagination.

  4. Kinda jealous of all these cuties! I have a post-baby belly that will probably never be able to pull off a crop top. Work it, y’all!

  5. After a year of resistance, I am on Team Crop Top—just had to get on board with the whole higher-waisted jeans and skirts to go with them.

    Also, those stretchy 6 dollar miniskirts from H&M? I layer them under my crop tops when I have to go somewhere and not show my midriff.

  6. Y’all look so cute! But, I was really hoping I would see someone of my size :(

    Can we get a curvy babes edition?

    • Hi! I’m glad you like our crop tops :)

      I’m anywhere from a size 12-16 US (definitely size 16 pants), so it stings a little to hear that you don’t feel as though there is curvy representation here.

      Although it’s not a photo essay, perhaps you saw Mari’s recent piece about summer clothing?

      Showin’ a little (or a lot) of skin is up to the individual, and this crop top post serves as a tiny slice of that notion. We always welcome suggestions and pitches, so if ever you feel you are not seeing what you would like to see in this space, these are excellent places to further reach out to us!

        • I wasted so much time looking the mirror and nah jane is correct you are SO WRONG.

          Don’t feel bad about causing me to waste time tho because my one crop top is DIY thang from Katrita days when were cray and I needed a head band more than I needed an undershirt to cover my belly, so it looks like something outta Fury Road. And with my bod wearing it looks it like a Venus statue and Furiosa had grrl power gaybies.

        • Looked into the mirror while wearing my super short crop top and LET ME TELL YOU it was hard to leave that mirror because I was looking so DAMN GOOD.

    • In case you misread, the motto ’round here is “You Do You”, not “You Do Y.”

  7. I have 4 black crop tops and each serves a function:

    Black lace short sleeved crop top: Sensual and when I’m attending something a little fancy.

    Black short sleeved crop top: Casual and usually paired with black joggers and creepers.

    Black slight turtle neck sleeveless crop top: I tend to dress this cup with triangle gold necklace usually worn with pants.

    Black re purposed 90s metal band t-shirt crop top: Super Casual usually paired with high waist jeans or pants with sneakers or creepers.

    I love my crop tops!

  8. Crop tops are the best. Plus, almost any shirt can be made into a crop top (crop top=better).

  9. Pro crop tops for everyone. I like to imagine that I either am, or at least am as cute as, Taylor Swift when I wear them.

  10. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to attempt this trend. Perhaps AS should design a crop top, I might be more inclined to partake then.

  11. This weekend was Leslympics/Lezathlon in LA, and I cut my team shirt into a crop top and I was so glad. I thought of AS while I was doing it and was extra proud of myself. A++++ crop top evangelism.

  12. the crop top fad has been a blessing for me as a skinny 5’10 person who finds most shirts for normal people, after being washed, become too short and too boxy for my frame. BUT THAT’S WHAT CROP TOPS ARE, THEY’RE SHORT AND BOXY!


    • this trend works in my favor in the opposite direction… tops that are full length on my short short SHORT torso. #fashun

  13. I’m not self conscious. I’ve been blessed with my waist being the smallest part of me, *if* you subscribe to that aethestic, I’m just not into crops. They’ve never felt classy to me. There are the rare cases of pencil/a line skirts and crops that make me feel differently, like the way TSwift wears crops, but nine times out of ten no. I think I just bend more conservative in dress.

    • In the early 1960’s they had these fitted crop tops with darting ect that were made with matching capri pants that I’ve always found to be kinda classy.
      There’s a lady wearing green one in this clip

      I’ve seen ones in black and white photos and girl group pictures that were much fancier in fabric choice with beading on the hem but my google searches just bring up the sometimes ruffled beachwear crop top of the late 50’s early 60’s and some strange strange bohemian mod wear that is maybe cultural appropriation.

    • I feel the same way, and have never not felt awkward wearing one (even back the last time they were in fashion). But I am glad they exist for those who wish to rock their midriffs.

  14. Crop tops are just not my jam, despite the fact that I really hate wearing shirts and my summer style is essentially board shorts+sports bra (unless there are mosquitos in which case I guess I’ll wear a shirt or something).

    But y’all are rocking the crop tops and I’m glad this is a thing because you guys are wearing it so well and look great.

  15. adorable!
    I don’t know if crop tops are for me, but I just got a top from a friend that is a drapey open back, which is maybe a cousin to a crop top? I’ve been wearing it with pencil skirts. Gabi Fresh and Mary Lambert have been featuring crop tops lately, which is super cute, for everybody who was wishing to see thick babes in crop tops.


  17. 1. Anna your crop top choices have given me new life.

    2. I can attest to the glorious sewn revolution that is Audrey’s button-down crop tops. She played a house show in that thing and every person there was in love.


  18. Your torso is too long? Too short? NO SUCH THING. You people are YOU. Wear your crop tops as you please, beautiful people!!!!

  19. im glad weve seemed to collectively agree that this is the summer of cropping all the tops and giving out bellies a lil smooch just to say i love you. i think ive cut every t-shirt i’ve got into a crop top at this point, and i’ll never regret it

  20. @Anna, where did you get the crop top that you’re wearing in your photo? It’s so cute. :) I’d love to see a plus-size edition for this article as well!

    • HI! I got it at an alternative comic convention in Chicago! I sadly cannot remember the artists name right now. I do a lot of clothes shopping at indie comic conventions!

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