Editor’s Obsession: Cropped Tops

I’d admit it – I’ve been a fan of crop tops since Madonna rocked them in the early 80s. There was just something so daring about the look that I couldn’t help but love it. And let’s be honest, there’s nothing sexier than outfits that have a little sneak-a-peek skin. So, I was pretty excited when these shortened silhouettes made an unexpected return this fall.

“The cropped sweater is a simple style that’s very elegant yet bold at the same time,” says Johnny Wujek, the stylist behind Katy Perry and Amber Heard. “To me, it’s a classic 50s moment that’s come back around in a modern and fashion-forward way.”

I couldn’t agree more. And while I want to scoop up every cropped sweater that I see – I worry about how to wear them. In short: I’m afraid I’ll look like a wide load or slutty. These are concerns.

To get the long and short on this trend, I turned to styling duo Rob Zangardi & Mariel Haenn who count Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Gwen Stefani among their clients. “Cropped sweaters are hot for fall because they are the ideal transitional piece,” they told me. “They’re a mix of a flirty summer shape with a winter fabric that makes them really versatile when worn with the right pieces.”

To ensure their client’s look chic when rocking this look, Rob & Mariel follow some simple guidelines:

– Make sure to select a cropped sweater that shows the belly at the smallest point. This will make you look slimmer.

– Pair shortened tops with simple high-waisted pants to elongate the look of the legs or a sexy pencil skirt that shows off feminine curves.

– Strappy heels work well with a more voluminous, fuzzy cropped sweater styles while chunky lace-up boots add edge to a tighter, more streamlined, top.

– Make sure to mix silhouettes. A form-fitting crop top looks best with looser bottoms (like slouchy leather trousers) while a nubby-textured sweater looks sexy with a tighter, bodycon-style skirt.

Now that you have the low-down on the look, you can get shopping for pieces that are cream of the crop…