11 things people who only wear crop tops understand

People in my life find my particular style for a number of reasons, ranging from my affinity for unconventional lipstick shades to my preference for more traditionally masculine silhouettes. Perhaps one of my most attention-grabbing style habits is my exclusive preference for crop tops, because you wouldn’t find me dead in any other style on any given day.

Previously, I would have done anything to cover my belly, one of my traits that I was ashamed of thanks to years of negative comments from my family members and classmates. Throughout my teenage years, I wore baggy shirts and empire waists in an attempt to conceal my “imperfect” figure. I don’t know when this shift in mentality happened, but the style evolution certainly has something to do with the crop top mania of 2013. Ever since I bought that first cropped shirt at Garage with my young sister (who is also obsessed with the trend) I kept adding to my collection. They quickly outnumbered all other types of tops in my wardrobe.

Wearing crop tops exclusively is a very specific experience with many pros and cons. After years of styling almost every outfit I’ve worn around a cropped shirt, I consider it a lifestyle. Here are some things that every person who wears crop tops on a daily basis understands.

1. You can count the number of full-length tops you own with one hand

Besides the few shirts I own, I only have two long tops in my possession. And honestly, I’m not trying to change that anytime soon. I am proud of my growing cropped collection.

2. Each crop top is unique to you

I have cropped tank tops, sleeveless turtlenecks, short sleeve tops with ribbed sides and zip crop in a huge range of colors and patterns. I even have a sheer white crop top that’s the perfect balance between professional gear and party sensibility (I like to wear the sheer garment without a bra, naturally).

3. High-waisted pants are probably your best friend.

Personally, I don’t like to show off my full belly with my crop tops, so almost any pants, shorts or skirts I own are high waisted.

4. Your options may be a bit limited

My long-term commitment to this type of top affects how I buy the rest of my clothes. This may sound silly to some, but it makes perfect sense to me. I base my selection of pants on my preference for cropped shirts.

5. Crop tops are your go-to whatever the weather

I wear crop tops all year round, whatever the weather. Although the garment is usually worn in the warmer months, I’ve gotten used to the silhouette so much that I manage to adapt it to every season’s outfits.

6. Your stomach is often cold

As a consequence of the previous point, my belly is often the first part of my body to feel cold when the temperature drops.

7. You need to get creative with layering

Cardigans, sweaters, denim jackets and pants with a waist high enough to conceal the majority of your belly are just a few of the ways we can still wear our crop while staying warm on cooler days. .

8. Summer is your favorite season

Even with all of these layering options, your true passion is to wear a crop top without the hassle of extra fabric. Summer is the perfect it’s time to show off all your cropped styles exactly as they were meant to be worn.

9. Everyone has something to say about your Perma-Cropped look

I was told that I looked too informal, that I didn’t wear enough clothes and that I had to change my silhouette from time to time. But as long as I have my layers and cropped shirts for every mood and occasion, I’m perfectly content sticking to my trends.

10. Wearing full-length shirts is starting to get weird

After exposing your belly day after day, it’s super weird to wear a full-length shirt. I can’t really feel free and like myself if my belly isn’t visible to everyone.

11. Self-confidence is an important part of everyday dressing

Having the confidence to rock with your belly every day can be tricky, especially if you’ve struggled to love your belly in the past. But at the same time, they help you maintain a sense of body positivity that might otherwise be more difficult if you had to give in to the urge to hide parts of your body that you deem “imperfect.”

I feel most comfortable when I wear half-shirts to complement my high-waisted figures and nice belly. And no matter what skeptics may say, I would never trade my beloved crop tops for full-length t-shirts and tank tops.

Images: Meg Zulch