Figuring out how to style a crop top can seem pretty overwhelming when you no longer see yourself as you did in your early 20s- skip that; just the thought of a bared midriff can seem like a no-go style in general.  Personally, with their strong return to storefronts over the past year or so, I had found myself disappointed time and time again when I pulled a shirt off the rack only to find the bottom half missing! (But still full-price…)

Was  I going to allow myself to let the crop top defeat me? Nay, nay. I became determined to learn how to style a crop top in a way that made me feel confident AND didn’t have a wallet-draining CPW (cost per wear).


Meet the chosen top:

I chose this top for a few reasons: I LOVE the print, the neckline is super flattering and makes it very layer-able,  plus any sort of puff on a sleeve makes my heart happy!


How To Style A Crop Top: On its own for going out.

If you’re anything like me, the last thing your want is a revival of the Y2K crop tops and low-waisted bottoms. THE ULTIMATE KEY to feeling better about wearing half a shirt is wearing bottoms that meet it- go high-waisted! These proportions can play with based on your height to find the most flattering fit for you. Btw check out this post to see another way I styled a crop top and high waist!


Kait Elizabeth wearing a rose print milkmaid style crop top and a leopard wrap skirt
A close up picture of Kait Elizabeth wearing a pink ditzy rose print crop top with a knee length leopard wrap skirt and a cross body beaded bag.
Kait Elizabeth wearing crop top, wrap skirt and tall patent leather cream cowboy boots.

How to style a crop top over something for running around.


I stayed with the high-waisted style for the second look, but I added a silk shell under the crop top for a punch of color and some extra depth! Shopping Tip: genuine silk shells are a dime a dozen at thrift stores! You can get them from classic brands like J Crew for around $5-7. Do you notice that all three of these looks have leopard print? It’s essentially a neutral in today’s style world!

Full body portrait of Kait Elizabeth wearing metallic pink Reeboks, distressed denim and a crop top layered over a tank top.
Profile picture of Kait Elizabeth featuring faux pearl and diamond statement earrings

How to style a crop top under something for coffee with the girls.


The little puff sleeves of this crop make it perfect for layering under other items! See how the low neckline basically disappears beneath the neckline of the slip? The trick to ensuring this works is picking a more fitted crop that doesn’t pile on the bulk under your top layer. You could also sport a crop under one of the hottest items of the season: the sweater vest!

Fully body portrait of Kait Elizabeth wearing milkmaid crop top under leopard print slip dress with pink mules.

Now you’ve been presented with three different outfit formulas for conquering your fear of crops tops and/or for wearing the ones you have in a fresh new way! The general takeaways:

  • pair with high-waisted pieces.
  • pair with modern neutral (think camo, leopard, plaid.)
  • think in layering terms (wear it under or over.)

Are you are crop top aficionado, or are you like I was and not ready to leap into the half top world? I’ve curated a couple of options below that would be amazing for styling with these tips! Let me know if you pick one up!

cursive signature for kait elizabeth