Wear It Here, Wear It There, Wear Your Crop Tops Everywhere

It’s spring! I’m already getting used to seeing the sun when I open my eyes in the morning and I’ve almost forgotten what the depths of Seasonal Affective Disorder feel like, so I’d say it’s going well. Plus, this is the start of my favorite season: #CropTopSeason.

If you need me between now and late fall, you can find me poolside, roadside, on the metro, at work, laying in the bench in my bay window, and drunkenly walking home from happy hour in the same silhouette: a crop top and high-waisted bottoms. (Those could be lounge pants, denim shorts, or white cotton bloomers with embroidered daisies on them, just for the record.) It’s a good life, y’all, and I’m hoping you’re gonna get on board the midriff train with me sooner rather than later for the sake of all of our Instagram accounts.

Take a cue from any of the beauties in here to figure out how to wear your crop top whenever, wherever. As an added bonus, I went and found you a bunch of crop tops that would work with these looks, and when you buy ’em, Autostraddle gets a kickback. Everyone wins! And nobody’s wearing a full-length shirt! All is about to be right with the world.



Whether you hit up a fancy art museum or wander the local gallery, you can’t go wrong with some loose-fit linen pants and an elegant crop top. Also, I wear outfits like this to work pretty much all the time because that’s how power bitches roll.


Black Lace Crop Top | Bella Red Lace Crop Top | White Floral Lace Crop Top | Cold Shoulder Crop Top

Music Festivals & Other Outdoor Sports


This is an outfit that deserves its moment in the sun, y’know? Next time you’re headed outdoors, throw a crop top on with some cutoffs and a classic pair of sunglasses and pretend you’re Lydia for a second. Go ahead. We all do this. Right?


Southwestern Print Crop Top | Ribbed Knit Crop Top | White Vest Crop Top

Brunch / Lunch / Cocktail Hour


Wearing just a dress or a skirt and top combo to brunch is so last summer. This time around, head out to that bar patio in a slim-fit crop top and a pencil skirt to prove you’re just as saucy as you are sassy. Oh, and also because you’ll look fly as fuck.


Lace Sleeve Crop Top | Adjustable Spaghetti Strap Crop Top | Striped Short-Sleeve Crop Top

Running Errands of a Fashionable Sort


Casually throwing on a crop top communicates an effortless, no-fucks-given sense of chic that everyone else in the grocery store is totally going to hate you for, in the good way. People will be all, do you think you’re like a model or something? And you’ll be all, shut the fuck before I embarrass you.


Embroidery Print Swing Top | Tie-Front Lace Crop Top | Chiffon Cropped Cami | Boxy Crop Top

Cleaning the Haus


Um, okay, this is me, totally drunk, literally cleaning my house in preparation for a party. I wore a loose-fit crop top with leggings to brunch because leggings are pants and I went with a sports bra that day so that when said loose-fit crop top inevitably fell of my shoulder, things wouldn’t be scandalous. I put on that big blue ring because I like to pretend I never left LA after I bought it. The best part of this outfit, hands-down, was that it took me from Presentable to Passed The Fuck Out without ever losing its edge.

Cleaning Haus

Heathered Boxy Crop Top | Striped Crop TopRibbed Crop Top

Garden Party


Floral crop tops were made for afternoons in the garden potentially sipping tea next to a babbling brook. Also, they’re the best.


Boxy Tropical Crop Top | Fitted Stretch Floral Crop Top | Lay of the Island Top | Tropical Print Crop Top

Up All Night


If there’s ever been an appropriate time to wear less clothing, it’s when you’re entering a bar so hot with human body heat that the humidity comes close to knocking you out. Crop tops generally transition well from day to night, especially if you change them up by adding or removing layers or changing your bottoms. But for the most dance-filled, boozy, Ke$ha-inspired nights, you’ll want something super special, like maybe a crop top made entirely of crossing straps of fabric, or one that shimmers a little too much to ever see the sun, or, y’know, one that shows more skin than it covers up on average.

Night Out

Sexy Spaghetti Strap Pink Crop Top | Cross-Band Shiny Crop Top | Bling Bling Gold Crop TopBackless Crop Top

Anytime You Would Normally Wear a Screen-Print Tee


Hey, it’s your life. I’m not here to tell you that you should wear screen-printed crop tops while you play video games, go to the movies, carouse around your childhood hometown, or dance in the dark. But I’m definitely not telling you not to.

Screen Print

Alice’s Adventures Crop TopMerci Crop Top | Catnipped Crop Top | Stay Cute Crop TopPineapple Printed Crop Top

Okay, now it’s your turn to show me how you wear your crop tops and also which ones you’re currently drooling over in the comments!

Carmen is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. , host of Bitch Media's POPAGANDA podcast and co-founder and Contributing Editor at Argot magazine. She previously served as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director at Autostraddle. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 927 articles for us.


  1. My bod is like 70% torso so crop tops make me look like a giraffe wearing a lampshade. The last time the fashion pendulum swung this way I spent a good five years never being able to find shirts that were long enough for me, so hopefully that doesn’t happen again.

    Sorry to rain on the crop-top-parade. You all look very cute in yours I’m sure. *giraffe-lumbers away*

  2. The first crop top I bought was for New Year’s Eve. It’s made entirely out of rainbow sequins. I love it and am forever seeking new opportunities to bust it out. I also recently got a couple more casual options from a thrift store, and I’ve started tying off my sleeveless button up shirts to make them crop. I’m still occasionally self-conscious when I’m out and about with my tummy out, but mostly it feels great.

  3. Honestly I would love the links to some of the shorts featured with the crop tops. They are as cute as the shirts! Especially the distressed black pair with the large western belt paired with the white ribbed shirt. And the striped one the model in the “Running Errands of a Fashionable Sort” paragraph is wearing. :)

  4. The way I want to wear a crop top is in the manner of the crop tops worn by American football players during off season practice, but with a sports bra and maybe the collar cut Flashdance style.
    Part of me wants to wear basketball shorts too because it would subvert/fuck with the fact my torso is shapped like a “Classical” Venus statue. However I know showing that much skin would freak me the fuck out in non-dancing situation so I’d probably end up wearing some old school Dickies that come up to my natural waist. Probably with one of my “man belts” and undoubtedly with tactical boots.

    *I cannot find a good reference image for the cropped shirts I’m talking about but those of you who live in American football country or have watched some football movies know what I’m talking about right? Not the newfangled netted ones but the glorified gym shirt that get cut practically in 1/3.

  5. Hey all, I am weirded out because I love crop tops and I bought some yesterday, but I have recently lost a lot a lot of weight and have gone from being a curvy lady to being almost androgynous in body shape, and all down to some unhealthy lack of eating habits. I’m trying to put weight back on and I’m aware that I look kinda skeletal compared to how I used to, but I am really just fighting to reclaim my body so I can recognise myself in the mirror, but a close friend worried and said after I showed them the new tops yesterday that they thought I was unhappy with being so thin and thus why am I showing off/exaggerating my thinness? Is it appropriate to wear crop tops or skimpy clothing if you are thinner than you’d like to be? I’m not sure if its a bad idea, I didn’t think that I was showing of my skeletal frame, just that I was exaggerating my femininity with crop tops and high waisted skirts, so confused..

    • you do you, abi. you do you. if you wanna wear a crop top and take back your body with all of your complex feelings toward it, then damn it, do that. and tell everyone else to just back the fuck off.

      i bet you look great, ps! like, in your crop top but also every day.

    • I second this! I have a long torso, so all “high waist” jeans I’ve tried are more like mid rise on me. If anyone can send me a link to major high rise, super skinny but thick fabric jeans (I have enough leggings in my life, and some occasions call for no visible labia) I’d be supes thankful. Like I’d make you cookies.

  6. OK, so I have been wearing crop tops for a long time now. I love, love, love how they make me feel and how I look. Mine are short, really short, and I wear them with skirts that sit low, low, low. I always wear dangling belly button rings and most always add a belly chain of some kind. My skirts are slit wide and high… most all the way up these days. And I always wear a pair of sexy thin strap high heel or flat sandals. Sometimes, I go out barefoot with just “barefoot sandals” or an anklet and toe rings. I dress like this always these days… no matter where I go what I’m doing or who I’m seeing. I don’t wear panties and I don’t wear bras… and with today’s sheer, mesh and lace fabrics… well you get the idea.

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