Repeller or Propeller: The Cropped Top

Leandra Medine | June 9, 2011

Written for Refinery 29, peep the full version here

Cropped tops are no new trend but there’s something to be said about their staying power. Seasons after an 80s revival have finally been killed off again, the short shirts don’t seem to be letting go. The universe is obviously trying to maintain a little bit o’Cyndi Lauper in all of us, and I’ll take it. This then though begs the impending question: is the boxy but midriff baring silhouette a repeller or propeller? Who will I go to prom with? Does a bear shit in the woods?

Below, find three ways to harvest the crop, and then deliberate for yourself.

photos byNaomi Shon 

1. As a stand alone

crop top: Tibi, jeans: Joe’s Jeans, shoes: Giuseppe Zannotti 
You may say propeller because of the nature of the tight pants and exposed aforementioned midriff, but I offer this: if not for a long shirt, how does one cover the inevitable instigated-by-zipper-and-pockets-FUPA? 
…One doesn’t.

2. For Layering

crop top: Tibi, jacket: Tibi, blouse: Katiti, skirt; Dallin Chase, shoes: Stubbs & Wootton, necklace: DANNIJO

Paired with a blouse underneath and a crop-sleeved fisherman’s coat over it, the crop top serves as a buffering layer to add a touch more personal style from the torso up. A neon tweed skirt catches and compliments the yellow crop top detailing and the green slippers are, well, green slippers. Which is basically a neutral. Finally, as you can see, I’ve taken the Cyndi Lauper reference quite seriously, cue the comb-over.

3. For Print Blocking

floral blouse: Parker, leopard blouse: Parker, shorts: HyDot
Oh yes, I went there.

In the final look, I’ve piled five different prints onto myself to create my favorite pattern explosion. This look comes to show that even in wildly high temperatures, we can layer and layer and layer (and layer) and still bare our arms and legs. Our torsos may sweat, but ultimately, what’s a little sweat in the grand scheme of managing to emulate a four-tiered wedding cake with sass? 

I conclude with this: While questionable, yes, the crop top has power to both repel and propel but seems to function more successfully as the former. What say you, flamingos? Try it out! Do it! Yeah!