Black for Summer: Rock the Crop

So, I wasn’t planning a crop top related post for my series on wearing black for summer, but then controversy erupted all over social media this week when a piece of really bad advice was shared from O, the Oprah Magazine, and the summer to #rockthecrop was born!

Skirt:  Eloquii (Available here)
Skirt:  Torrid (Available here)

Here’s what that advice from O’s Creative Director Adam Glassman looked like: 

Excerpt from O the Oprah Magazine; photo originally posted by Tamar Anitai

What??!!

Gorgeous, diverse bodies have been rocking crop tops all over social media and blogs.  Mainstream fashion magazines have featured women with non-flat stomachs wearing crop tops.

Top:  Eloquii

So, where was this advice coming from, and why is O body-shaming women?

I admit I’m not a reader of O Magazine, but I have been a long-time fan of Oprah.  She is inspirational to so many, and she is such an amazing example of the power of women, a manifestation of how hard work, drive, and a few taken opportunities can lead to great success. I admire her, which makes it all the more disappointing that a magazine bearing her name would offer such backwards advice to women.

Playing around with filters

Oprah has been so public with her own body image struggles that it is hurtful that she would allow advice to be printed in her magazine that perpetuates a negative perception regarding women’s bodies, advice that encourages women to limit their fashion options depending on body size.

A reader, no doubt interested in the crop top look, but perhaps a little anxious about trying one out, asks for advice on whether she could pull one off.  Instead of offering encouraging advice and showing ways to rock a crop top at any comfort level, the magazine decided to promote an archaic ideal that only women with flat abs should be allowed to embrace a major fashion trend.

Top:  Eloquii (Available here)

There are so many ways to wear a crop top, yes, including wearing one over a longer shirt as was the more conservative advice offered in O

Playing with Proportions

Why not offer a variety of styling options to this reader rather than the lazy, discriminatory response that was given?

Here are a few of my styling ideas because, yes,YOU can wear a crop top even if you don’t have a flat stomach, and you can look damn good doing it!!

With a suit – Whether adding a sexy touch to an androgynous look or going for a more non-traditional skirt suit, crop tops can be a great layering piece!

The Dark Side of the Sun
All White Everything

With high-waisted skirt or shorts – A high-waisted bottom is the perfect pairing for a fitted crop top, and this particular pairing is super on-trend!!  I personally love crop tops with higher-waisted bottoms because the proportion works really well for petite body types and helps create the illusion of longer legs.

Unconditional Body Beautiful – Part 4:  My Belly and Me
Midi & Crop Tops
Taking My Own Advice
Lady In Waiting
The Shorts Alternative

The No-Skin Show – You can still get the great proportions of a crop top without having to show skin.  Choose a slightly longer crop top and pair with high-waisted bottoms.  This can be a great option for work or for those of you who like the look but aren’t quite ready to venture out into showing skin. 

A Crop Top for Work?
Maximizing on Winter
Desk to Drinks
Polka Dots and Neon Pink

Loose crop – Pair with a flowy maxi skirt for an easy look, or for a sexier vibe, a loose crop top pairs well with a pencil skirt.

Smart Glamour and Body Positivity

With a bra – For those of you feeling a little more daring, pair a sheer crop top with a bra and subtly show a whole lot of skin!

Aztec Print and Fringe

There are soooo many fab ways to rock a crop top, and not one of these looks require a flat stomach!! I’m not even sure how to perceive the concept of a “flat stomach.”  When I was 97 pounds and a size zero, my stomach was not completely flat.  It was toned and taut, but it had a roundness to it.  Does that mean that even then, while working out 5-6 days a week and starving myself, I still didn’t deserve to wear a crop top? 

Screw these stupid archaic rules about what women should wear!  IF you want to wear a crop top, wear a crop top!  By the same token, if you don’t want to wear a crop top, don’t.  It’s as simple as that.

Bra:  Cacique by Lane Bryant
Necklace:  Eloquii
Clutch:  The Limited

As for me personally, I was actually a little surprised that I had shown so many crop top looks on the blog because I have actually been somewhat on the fence about crop tops.  I’m 37, and have wondered if maybe they just didn’t have a place in my life.  My stomach is probably my least favorite part of my body, and while I’m mostly at peace with it, did I really feel the need to show it off? 

More so than that, I wanted to resist the pressure to wear them just because they were trendy.

Jacket:  Eloquii (Available here)

I’m really not in love with my lower belly and usually take great stride to conceal the visible belly outline (VBO). 

In the spirit of resistance to this shitty advice from O Magazine, I decided to post a look that shows all of this off anyway. 

Shoes:  Prabal Gurung for Target
Glasses:  Valentino
Clutch:  Torrid
Ring:  Earthbound Trading Co.
Bracelet:  The Limited
Earrings:  The Limited

I admit I might not be comfortable wearing this look out and about (maybe with the jacket), but I figured why not at least acknowledge loud and clear YOU DON”T NEED A FLAT STOMACH to wear a crop top!!!  Wearing a crop top isn’t about the size or shape of your body.  It’s all about your level of confidence and personal preferences.  While I’m still personally a little self-conscious showing the VBO, this outfit also makes me feel like a modern day Pink Lady – Jan, who in the modern version of Grease (perhaps with a little style advice from Rizzo) loses the frumpy clothes and proudly flaunts her curves, VBO and all!!

At this point, my desire to wear crop tops is stronger than ever.  F*ck these stupid rules about what we are supposed to wear.  I’m ready to start a #croptoprevolution!!!

Who’s with me??

Share your crop top photos on social media using the hashtag #croptoprevolution, and let’s show O Magazine, and the rest of the body shamers just how damn good crop tops look on ALL bodies!!

Heels:  Payless

For the first skirt in other looks, see here, here, and here.
For the lace top in other looks, see here, here, and here.

For the lace-trim skirt in other looks, see here and here.
For the crop top in other looks, see here.

Author: Cassie

I'm the owner/publisher of Style Cassentials, a curvy and petite gal OBSESSED with fashion and strong believer in making clothes work for YOU! I love sharing advice on all things fashion, especially shopping and fit tips!

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