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Click through for eight tips to help you master this season's biggest—and in some ways, smallest—trend, the crop top.
1. Knot a non-cropped top.
Don't feel like investing in a trend you're not sure you'll actually wear? DIY your own crop top by knotting the hem of your favorite slightly oversized tee or button-up! Click through to shop the look
2. The higher the waist, the better.
Pairing high-waisted pants, shorts or a skirt with your crop top is a good idea for multiple reasons: not only will it draw attention to your naturally narrowest point and minimize the potential for any muffin top-style spillover, but it'll also ensure that only a sliver of skin is actually on display. Click through to shop the look.
3. Opt for an oversized cut.
Ultra-fitted crop tops with sports bra-style cuts aren't for the faint of heart. If you're a crop top newbie, you'll likely feel more confident in a cut that's boxier and in a sturdy, non-clingy fabric. Try a version in leather, swingy poplin or a chunky knit. Click through to shop the look.
4. Cover up on top.
Nervous about showing skin? Throw a boyfriend-style blazer, leather moto, longline vest or cool coat (or, if you're feeling particularly bold, a pair of overalls) on over that abbreviated top. The proportion play will instantly downplay the effect of all that midriff—and make you feel a whole lot more comfortable, too. Click through to shop the look.
5. Look for a high-low hem.
By picking a cropped top that's longer at the sides and back, you'll minimize the window of skin you're actually showing off. Click through to shop the look.
6. Experiment with layers underneath.
Itching—but still a bit apprehensive—to try a fitted bustier-style crop top? Layer one over a tee, tank, silk button-up or turtleneck. The overall effect will be every bit as chic—and far less skimpy. Click through to shop the look.
7. Avoid the peep show altogether.
Guess what: crop tops don't actually have to bare your belly! There are plenty of longer options on the market; additionally, try wearing one as a lightweight layer over a spaghetti-strapped dress for some added dimension. Click through to shop the look.
8. Make it match.
By picking a coordinating set—either a printed or solid-colored crop top paired with matching shorts, pants or skirt—some of the visual attention is diverted from your exposed midriff. It'll almost feel (and look) as though you're wearing a dress or jumpsuit—seriously! Click through to shop the look.