Oh, the controversial subject of the crop top trend for women in their forties! In this post I'm tackling it head-on and showing you how I've styled mine. Brave? Maybe...
I've read quite a few articles this year about this particular trend and whether women over the age of 40 can - or should - wear crop tops. As you may have read in my recent Musings post To All New 40-Somethings: Style In Your Forties (& Beyond), my three "rules" for getting it right at any age are a) Wear things you like, b) Wear what flatters you, and c) Wear what's appropriate to the occasion. Let's apply those guidelines to this outfit...
a) Wear what you like
Meaning clothes that make you go "ooh, I like that!", not "Just wear whatever you want, regardless". And I like crop tops! Yes, I wore them in the 90s. I like the slightly 50s Bardot/French Riviera look to them, especially with a long sleeve. And although I don't wear black very often, I like a crop top in black because (and this is for me personally) it's then the style that's making the statement, not the colour.
b) Wear what flatters you
This is subjective, I know - but this is the biggest decider in whether anyone can "get away with" (for want of a better expression) wearing a particular item of clothing. So as already mentioned, I'm going to be brave and it might sound a little bigheaded: I like my waist and torso. I've always been very tiny round the back and waist area, and although I easily put weight on round the bum/hip/thighs area, my waist tends to stay defined and I've never had a muffin top. This is partly down to genes and partly due to not having had babies, but I also work out. A lot.
c) Wear what's appropriate to the occasion
I have the first two points covered - I like crop tops, and they flatter my small waist. The occasion was a vintage fair, so there wasn't really anyone I had to please except myself; I wasn't baring my torso at work, or a wedding, or any kind of official function. Personally, if I'm wearing any kind of flesh-baring item of clothing (which really isn't very often), I make sure I cover up the rest of me. So I wouldn't also wear a very short skirt (even if I had amazing legs), or show off loads of cleavage. I chose a long-sleeve top with a reasonably high neck - and had to make sure I styled it correctly.
Some may disagree, but I think that with the rest of the styling I've "got away with" this outfit by following those guidelines. I think it's important to style certain items in a modern way; the absolute golden rule with wearing crop tops at the moment to make them on-trend is to pair them with high waisted skirts or trousers. (Anything vaguely showing off your belly-button will scream late 90s Britney Spears.) As the occasion was a vintage fair, I wore a midi-length vintage skirt and my Panama hat as a nod to the retro theme.
My most important accessory? A bit of confidence. With most of the rest of me covered up, the only bit really on show was my middle, and that's fine with me. I work hard to keep that part of me toned, and for that reason I don't see why I shouldn't wear a crop top at the age of nearly 41. If I told any disapproving person that I was, in fact, not 40 but 38 - does that suddenly make it alright in their opinion? I don't look any different, my lifestyle isn't different, the occasion hasn't changed... it's just numbers.
I think that's enough waffle for one outfit post! I'll cut straight to the chase and ask you what you think - I know I don't usually ask for anyone's opinions on my outfits (I post my outfits because I like them, and if you do too then that's great - I simply hope readers get some inspiration!), but with crop tops being such a talking point this year I'm making an exception ;)
P.S. I've selected a few of my favourite crop tops from the interweb below, plus some lovely vintage-style skirts.
Shop my look!
Crop top: Asos (now sold out in black but this New Look one is almost identical), Fedora: Asos, Skirt: Vintage, Heels: Faith, Bag: courtesy of Yes Walker, Bracelet: Debenhams, Watch: Asos, Rings: New Look / Debenhams
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