I don’t think allowing my kids to wear crop tops robs them of their innocence.

It was 2012 and I was very pregnant with my first child, a little girl. I shopped in the baby girl section of a large children’s store, selecting functional outfits for everyday and a few cute outfits for family get-togethers.

I walked over to a selection of swimwear and picked up a floral print bikini size six months. Disgusted, I turned to my husband and commented on what an awful outfit for an adorable innocent baby. I was determined to avoid dressing my children like tiny adults – preserving their innocence was my number one priority.

“I was determined to avoid dressing my children like tiny adults.”

Nine years later, I am now the mother of three girls aged four, seven and nine. This summer, my kids spent their days obsessing over Harry Potter trivia, make rainbow bracelets and pick the fanciest outfit of the day. Most of my seven and nine year olds’ summer outfits consist of cotton or linen shorts and a sporty crop top.

They climb trees, do gymnastics and put on elaborate plays in their backyard – all while wearing a shirt I would have absolutely despised before becoming a parent.


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Crop tops are all the rage no matter what your age. I asked my eldest why she liked to wear them. She shrugged and said she thought they were comfortable and the styles of the shirts were cooler than regular tops. Last year, while shopping for summer clothes online (thanks, lockdown), I noticed it was hard to find girls’ shirts that weren’t crop tops. So began the crop top bonanza in our house. I ordered a few for the kids to wear around the house, and soon it was the only shirt they wanted to wear.

“I watched my kids run through our sprinkler wearing their new outfit, or eat ice cream at the kitchen table, and I knew the clothes they wear don’t define them or their innocence.”

At first, I struggled with the idea of ​​my kids wearing crop tops. Were they appropriate? Did I dress my children like little adults? Was I taking away their innocence? I watched my kids run through our sprinkler wearing their new outfits or eat ice cream at the kitchen table, and I knew the clothes they wear don’t define them or their innocence – it’s an idea purely paternalistic and archaic, anyway.

Before writing this article, I discussed crop tops with my children. They both said I’m “not strict” and I usually let them wear whatever they want. Most of the time I don’t even realize they pay attention to my parenting style, but they both seemed eager to share that they appreciate being able to dress themselves. We talked a bit about where wearing a crop top might not be appropriate. “A burial!” my second daughter interjected. ” At school ? asked my eldest. We talked a bit about school dress codes and the positives and negatives of certain clothes deemed appropriate.


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By the end of the conversation, I was convinced that my children are empowered by the freedom to choose what they wear. While my youngest doesn’t wear crop tops, the other day she insisted on wearing two different shoes to the grocery store. I didn’t bat an eyelid, because why not? I would much rather my children learn that they can safely explore and make choices with their clothes at a young age, than grow up feeling ashamed or restricted by a bunch of rules.

My daughters may like to wear crop tops, and it doesn’t matter who they are as little people growing up and finding out exactly who they are. In the wise words of my nine-year-old son: “You should have the right to choose the clothes you wear, even if you are a child!” »