16 Grown-Up Ways to Wear a Crop Top

Even your most conservative relative would approve.

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Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat: There’s no age limit to owning a crop top. You should wear what you love as long as it makes you feel comfortable. And crop tops? They’re damn comfy. Whether it be a soft tee or spaghetti-strapped bralette, cropped pieces are perfect for easy summer dressing. How you want to style a short shirt in your 20s and 30s, however, is likely a little different than how your teenage Brandy Melville–loving self would have. So we've ID'd some celeb and street style inspiration for how to elevate the basic staple for date night or drinks with friends. Ahead, 16 grown-up ways to bare your midriff in style.

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Festival Ready

Coachella may be over, but there are plenty of other outdoor music festivals and gatherings to attend this season. Stay casual in a blush pink crop top that speaks to the warm weather and a pair of denim bermuda shorts. You might be tempted to go with a sandal or sneakers, but knee-high western boots will give you that ultimate street style vibe.

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Lia Crop Top
A.L.C. saksfifthavenue.com
$225.00
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Classic Black

A black crop top can be styled so many different ways, but the classic head-to-toe monochrome look never fails. Instead of defaulting to jeans, dress your top up with leather paper-bag trousers and an embellished leather jacket. Finish with fine strappy sandals, which balance out the bolder statement pieces in your outfit.

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Silk Faille Cropped Top
Tibi saksfifthavenue.com
$79.50
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All About Color

An abstract print crop top is a cool way to show off your artistic side. Depending on what color(s) it is, match it with an equally bright pair of pants. It's all about expressing your creativity, so don't be afraid to go outside your neutral palette comfort zone.

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Merida Print Crop Top
Emilio Pucci farfetch.com
$380.00
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Instagram Ready

For a crop top that can take you from the beach to dinner, choose one with lace or billowy sleeves. The thin material will let the gentle ocean breeze hit your skin, but keep you covered for cocktail parties at night. Just swamp your bikini bottoms for a pair of cream-colored trousers and slingback kitten heels.

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Polka Dot Silk Crepe Top
Equipment net-a-porter.com
$330.00
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Street Style: September 23 - Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019
Timur EmekGetty Images
Elevate Your Denim

Jeans serve as the ideal base for a statement crop top, like this one-shoulder ruffle number. The top will elevate the jeans but make the distressed denim will help the outfit feel dressed down on the whole. With this neckline, skip the necklace and instead opt for oversize earrings.

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Holly Top
Petersyn revolve.com
$197.00
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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 6
Timur EmekGetty Images
Think Tonal

The square-neck crop top is one of the It pieces for summer. If the version you find is too cropped, balance it out with a high-waisted skirt of the same color. It almost becomes a dress! This street style star nailed the cream tonal look.

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Smocked Crop Top
Leith nordstrom.com
$49.00
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Denim Overload

Denim-on-denim is a classic combination that gets an instant dose of sexiness when paired with a crop top. Stars like Gigi and Bella Hadid are known for wearing this exact outfit, so don't be afraid to channel your inner model the next time you leave the house.

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Ribbed Crop Top
Free People nordstrom.com
$28.00
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Print Mixing

Details like prints and ruffles take your shirt game to the next level. (That level: sophistication.) Take a cue from style influencer Caroline Daur and rock contrasting top and bottom prints.

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Polka-dot Cotton Blouse
Caroline Constas net-a-porter.com
$495.00
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Get Sporty

Don't let busy prints and bright colors overwhelm your frame. Break up the look by revealing a hint of skin via a black cropped tee. This is also the perfect scenario in which to show off those toned abs, courtesy of Barre3.

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Boxy Crop Tee
Topshop nordstrom.com
$18.00
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Everyday Casual

High-waisted pants are made for showcasing your crop top collection. Since this trouser cut offers generous coverage of your lower half, you can feel at-ease showing a little more skin up top. My recommendation: Give the bralette style a try, then top with a long coat.

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Triangle Bralette
Fleur du Mal fleurdumal.com
$98.00
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Layer Up

An easy way to wear a crop top without feeling risqué is to wear a long-sleeve blouse underneath. Consider this the genius work-around for wearing cropped anything in the office.

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Leather Crop Top
Proenza Schouler theoutnet.com
$459.00
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Rooftop-Party Ready

Crop tops and maxi skirts go together like peanut butter and jelly. The combination gives the illusion of a longer torso, since the skirt sits high on the hips. And if you want to take this daytime look up a notch, simply add heels.

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Stripe Raw Hem Crop Tee
Topshop topshop.com
$20.00
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Model Off-Duty

Good news: You don't have to donate your childhood favorites—denim overalls, ofc—to Goodwill once you hit 25. This dark wash plus Birkenstocks and a leather shoulder bag is summer BBQ-ready.

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Short Top
H&M hm.com
$29.99
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Embrace the Brights

Don't be afraid to draw attention to yourself in a bright crop top. Bold hues show you're confident in your own skin and, when paired with pants of an equally bold color palette, the effect is striking.

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Cropped Cotton T-Shirt
Fenty Puma by Rihanna stylebop.com
$66.00
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Out of Office

Save your conservative blouses for Monday through Friday. The alt version—a cropped button-down—is the shirt you need for when you're not in meetings with the boss. Pair with a midi skirt and chunky platforms and you're ready for that summer concert in the park.

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Crop Cotton-Poplin Shirt
Altuzarra net-a-porter.com
$495.00
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