Crops tops may sound daunting to wear but they're much easier to style out than you think. A common misconception is that they expose your tummy when they actually sit around the higher midriff zone where your ribs end. There's no denying that from the city streets to runway, bare midriffs are everywhere; and the key to getting a crop top right is layering and levelling out your proportions... Here's how:
Top: £205, Faith Connexion, www.net-a-porter.com
I'd wear with... Black, high waisted culottes just as Net-a-Porter has done, this way only your rib cage is on show. The culottes balance out the proportion and keeps it's sexy rather than trashy. Pair with a simple pair of black slip on flats for the day (Ancient Greek do the best!) and solid black sunglasses. Results of the all black loot? Super chic yet still cool.
Top: £170, MSGM, www.matchesfashion.com
I'd wear with... Either wide or straight leg trousers and a point heel for the evening. A smarter cropped top (always look at the structure of the top) in silks or satin are immediately more sophisticated. Just add an overized blazer for cooler spin on night-time layering (See Outnet and Cos for the best).
Top: £165, Awake, www.thecorner.com
I'd wear with... My grey, tailored trousers from Sportmax (mix up your sports and tailored pieces) and my new burgundy brogues from Tods. In summer, wear with city shorts (keep these slighty loose and tailored). This casual and ever-so-slightly oversized crop top is perfect for those who want to avoid obvious midriff showing...
The Matching Set
Top: £405, Awake, www.brownsfashion.com
I'd wear with... The matching skirt as seen above with lace up brogues, but when it's hot enough with my Zeus and Dione sandals in olive green (nothing too chunky as the matching set does enough). Make sure your matching skirt is high waisted and covers your tummy; you only want your rib cage on show, not your belly button. If you don't do matchy matchy then try high waisted jeans (please - nothing too tight as you want to balance out the proporation and how much is on show). Paige Denim do some great ones.
Top, £63, Marni, www.outnet.com
I'd wear with... Either my Theory silk, striped, wide leg trousers or Marni printed skirt (nothing above the knee). This is great for summer but if you need/want to wear now, just layer with a crisp, white shirt and don't tuck in. Also leave the last one or two buttons undone so it creates a good shape.
The key rules for wearing a crop top are:
1. High waisted skirts, trousers, jeans or shorts are your friends and will stop you from showing off too much flesh
2. Be sure to choose styles that highlight the rib cage - not the belly button!
3. Work hard to balance your proportions
4. Style with classic and sophisticated pieces — oversized trenches or blazers are a must!