Making crop-top style work (or not work) for you
Today, children, we are talking about the belly sliver. Grab a warm cup of tea and settle in by the fire, won't you?
As we all know, it's something Taylor Swift does all the time. (Yes, we HAVE been talking a lot about Taylor this week, because that's our strategy leading up to her concert Saturday. Check out 10 Days of Taylor over on SoundCheck. For non-Taylor fans, don't worry -- it's over soon.)
A while back, trolls were like, "Taylor doesn't have a belly button!" or "What lurks beneath Taylor's shorts?!" or "Is Taylor a Mogwai Y/N?" Then she Instagrammed herself hanging out with the band Haim and wearing a bikini, proving she had a normal navel just like everyone else.
Aside from the from obvious points about the patriarchy worrying too much about a woman's body, the questions likely arose because Swift is always strategic in deploying her midriff. She shows only the upper portion of her (enviable) abdomen, never betraying her hip-bones like Britney Spears circa 2000. It's a look that's ultimately fresh and youthful yet sophisticated.
But we're not all built like stick insects with a hired pack of handlers to buff imperfections off our skin. For all us normals, the belly sliver can be a tough look to pull off. And you know, as I age, I'm more and more team "do whatever you want," but I do happen to think Taylor's look is fashionable and mature. Hey-o to my fellow ladies in your 30s, running around with our stomachs a-blazing can come off like Amy Poehler's "cool mom" in Mean Girls. No one wants that, even if happy hour is from four to six.
Rather, let's look all look to a perennial model of class and sophistication: Deal Diva Katie.
As you know, she's currently on a reporting assignment in Japan, so she can't weigh in on this, but I can do it for her. For our friend Hilary's engagement party, Katie wore a black lacy crop top with a beautiful silk pleated skirt. You could barely tell that she had a stomach sliver showing. She could sit down all night, stand, bend, laugh dramatically over a flute of champagne and never feel like her innertube was deflating, if you knawhuimsaying. But every now and then you'd get just the tiniest peek of her midriff, and it was intriguing and daring. Applause break.
In honor of Katie and Taylor, some tips to pulling off a midriff with style:
- Pick your battles. If you're showing midriff, maybe scale back on the girls and the legs and the rest. Just, you know, put it away.
- Pick items made from quality materials. Yoda said, "If cheap is your crop top, so look will you be gross."
- Proportions are your friend. Low rise pants paired with a crop-top is a very "Now That's What I Call Music 8" look. I personally do not have the build to pull off high-waisted shorts without looking like I'm full-term with a football, but I would opt for a high-waisted pencil skirt.
- Keep it out of the office. This should be obvious. Key word is "should."
- Stay true to you. If you try on this look and are just like, "It's Forever 21, not Forever 31 for a reason" or you just feel horrible about yourself, place it back on the rack and find a proportion that works for you. Taylor would want it that way.