Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On The Crop Top–Even in Your 40s

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Here’s the thing. Crop tops are fundamentally flattering for all body types–especially when you use them to balance proportions out or highlight your favorite body parts. I know that sounds a  bit daunting, and if you survived the 90s by only showing the tiniest glimpse of belly just above your low-waisted bootcut jeans, you might feel a bit reluctant to return to those days in the current era. I’m here to tell you as a first-time crop top wearer in her forties, there ain’t nothing to be afraid of and even the New York Times agrees–you can wear a crop top to the office

There really are only two simple rules for bearing your belly in your 40s: 

  1. Wear what makes you feel confident and comfortable. 
  2. Balance proportions and skin exposure for the best look. 

Here’s one way I like to go about it: pair a fitted crop with a large blazer and skinny jeans (yes, I know…skinny jeans).

We’ve collected the four most flattering cropped shirts that are well-worth trying, because you will look cute in all of them. To prove it, we even tried them on ourselves. And while they all genuinely look amazing on, the third one on the list is probably the most “wearable.”

1. The Cropped But Not

We wrote about this t-shirt a while ago, but it’s worth mentioning again here. If you’re just dipping your toe into the crop top waters once again, this is the perfect version to do it in. With the right amount of arm coverage, a drape that doesn’t leave our boobs looking like mounds, and just a peak-a-boo of belly, it’s the right option for your first foray into the short shirt revolution.

Here you can see it on our editor-in-chief, Audie.

Price: $38

buy on free people

2. The Flattering High-Neck Crop

Full disclosure, I have this top in three different colors and I wear it a lot to professional events. It’s great with a pair of flattering high-waisted pants, like these and a blazer.

Here’s a photo of me wearing it out in Las Vegas.

Price: $68

BUY ON reformation

3. The Office Appropriate Crop

We’ve long been a fan of Everlane’s products, but we found the perfect button-down shirt for those of us with larger arms, and the desire for a shorter silhouette. 

We also like to wear it as an outer layer with a stretchy tank and our favorite jeans

Price: $85

BUY ON everlane

4. The Athletic Crop

Athleta’s PowerVita fabric is a personal favorite as it sucks you in in all the right spots, while still being breathable and comfortable. I rock these tops on the regular when I teach yoga or for my own workout sessions. There’s also a long sleeve Exhilarate version if you don’t want to bear it all, and it comes in sizes up to DD.

And here I am wearing it as part of a set.

Price: $59

buy on athleta

Oh, and if any of these appeal to you–be sure to pair them with our favorite jeans or pants for the perfect look. You can also throw any of these under a cropped sweater like this one or the perfect jean jacket.

Abigail Bassett

Abigail Bassett is an award-winning journalist, writer, on-air talent, and television producer with more than two decades of diverse media experience. A winner of numerous awards, including two Emmys, she’s covered everything from health and wellness, beauty, global trends, and travel to breaking news and worldwide events for top-tier outlets all over the world. 

You can find more of her articles here.

At The Candidly, we try a lot of stuff so you don’t have to. We only recommend things we truly love, and that we think you’ll love, too. All products are chosen independently by our creative team, and all details reflect the price and availability of products at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to, The Candidly may earn a commission.

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Abigail Bassett is a full-time freelance journalist, content creator, and television, video, and podcast host whose work has appeared in publications like TechCrunch, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Fortune, Motor Trend, Shondaland, Money Magazine, and on CNN. Her passion is telling unique stories that change the way we see, interact with, and relate to the world. She is also a Yoga Alliance Registered 500-hour yoga teacher.

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