How to Wear a Cropped Top when You Don’t have a Defined Waist


how to style a cropped top

There are still many cropped style tops around this summer and I’m seeing them also starting to come into stores for autumn/winter as well.

Cropped tops are great if you have a defined waist as they put a horizontal line (which draws attention) onto a narrow point of your body.

They also work well if you have a longer body and waist as they tend to be more boxy and share in construction (which will visually shorten down your torso).

But say you are like me and want to wear them but don’t have a defined waist?  What to do?

The best way to style them is to layer a very form fitting top/cami underneath, as I’ve done here, that extends past the hemline of the cropped top.

Cropped top Tips - how to style when you don't have a defined waist

You can see how the blue cami draws attention inwards at the waist and so creates more of an illusion of a waist than when you just see the end of the top  and then the waistband of the pant.

There are many versions of cropped tops that have a longer top sewn-in to them to give you this elongation – just be sure that the bottom isn’t too baggy and obscuring your natural waist too much, nor the under top ending too long on your widest point.

Remember if you can relate the colour of the underneath layer to either the top or the bottom it will help to elongate your proportions.

cropped top tips

As you can see in this example – you can choose to blend the under top to either the top (which will elongate your torso), or your bottoms (which will elongate your legs).  So if you have shorter legs than body, I’d be blending the under top to my pants/skirt/shorts, but if I had a shorter torso and longer legs naturally, I’d want to blend my under top to my top.

Here are some more cropped top tips

How to hide your tummy while wearing your cropped tops

Here is an example of how I style a cropped sweater/jumper with jeans

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  • Hi Imogen, do you have any tips for big-busted ladies and crop tops? Even though I’d thought that with my defined waist and long torso (A shape) I’d love crop tops, I just can’t seem to make them work… Thank you, love your blog!

  • You really are a fashion queen and that top is just awesome on you. The way it hugs your body and I also love the way those colors blend perfectly. I have also been going though your site and I love the wok that you are doing.
    Thanks for the inspiration.


    • Puffer vests are going to make everyone look chunkier. If you can find one with the padding sewn in on the diagonal rather than horizontals it will be more flattering. Ideally with the chevron widest at your shoulders.

  • Love this post! I have been doing this with camis without fully articulating what impact it has visually. As an apple shape, I will definitely use this fashion tip.

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