Recently, while out shopping with my mom, I noticed something interesting. And by interesting I mean fairly puzzling. The crop top trend is back and it’s croppier than ever.
It’s been back for a while, but I haven’t had the chance to sit down and write about it until now. This summer, apparently, was the summer to bring this back, although thankfully this time it was paired with high-waisted shorts or pants instead of low-rider jeans (which should be cursed to the depths of hell).
I’m not knocking anyone’s trends or preferences, but I am going to point out a flaw with these cropped tops. They are deceiving as all hell. I’m cruising around Marshalls looking for a deal and think I see something cute. NOPE. It’s cute for about 8 inches from the shoulder down and then someone forgot to attach the rest of it and decided, welp, might as well make this a thing.
Maybe this is my own fault for still occasionally shopping in the “Junior’s” section at age 25, but 1) I don’t care because if the clothes are cute I’ll wear them, and 2) they are slightly less expensive than “Women’s” clothes are. Bonus 3) is that sometimes I like novelty shirts and it’s hard to find a top with cats eating pizza in space in the adult sections of most stores.
The newest horror, as fall approaches, is long sleeved crop top items. Why would I need a crop top sweatshirt. Where would I wear this. What is the point of it if it does not cover my stomach, which is the real reason I wear normal sweats
hirts in the first place. That, and the fact that normal sweatshirts are meant to provide some amount of warmth, which is difficult to do when the entire torso part of the top is absent.
If you are one of the lucky and confident ones who can rock this look then good on you, I absolutely respect that and you probably look really cute. My torso is just too dang long and I’d probably look absurd. My style tends to revert back to the tried and true sweatshirt, tunic top, or sweater and comfy leggings. I’d be way too self conscious in anything cropped, not to mention I have no place to wear anything like that.
Clothing can be tricky and somewhat fickle, at least for females. Yeah, we have way more variety in clothing stores, but it can be hard to pinpoint something that will be cute, fashionable, comfortable, and in style for longer than a year.
One of my favorite games, for no particular reason, is while browsing racks at thrift stores I like to try to guess what span of years certain articles of clothing are from. Some are more distinct than others. For example, I often see a lot of things with ruffles and weird patterns. These usually come from a mid-2000s time. Early 2000s clothing is the best because there were no rules. It was the Wild West of the fashion world; simultaneously hilarious and horrifying to look back on. Layers on layers, everything was bedazzled, nothing matched …it was bad.
The late 2000s seemed to calm down a little and thankfully provided a little more structure and coverage. It was also around this time that I finally developed somewhat of a fashion sense of my own and stepped away from the “emo” genre a little bit. Although, a big regret was getting rid of my favorite band sweatshirt, a black My Chemical Romance oversized zip-up hoodie. Senior year of high school I thought I’d have no need for silly, nostalgic clothing like that and donated it to Goodwill. As soon as I got to college and realized other people held on to their favorite old band swag was my cue to feel a small amount of guilt.
From then on it’s seemed like there’s been one big trend per year, but the years all kind of blur together. From what I remember recently we’ve seen a resurgence in the flowy peasant tops, bohemian styles, clothes with lots of little crossed straps on them, cold shoulders, rompers, dresses that look like dresses but are actually somehow also pants, and velvet dresses or shirts, to name a few things.
In no way, shape, or form am I up to date with trends, unless they are literally displayed in front of my face when I walk into the nearest Target. But it makes me a little bit envious of people who don’t work in a corporate environment because they get to wear these cute, weird things every day. If I showed up to work in my laced up the sides yoga pants with converse and my Dungeons and Dragons t-shirt from Stranger Things there is a 100% chance of being in some form of trouble.
As new seasons roll around it’s fun to observe what is going to be pushed at people, and how their decisions will be influenced by media, peers, work, culture and their own opinions. Thankfully, I am past the point of worrying about fitting in based on my clothes, but at one point
it seemed that the world was judging every single article of clothing I owned. I now see young people wearing things I would have been far too shy to wear, and it makes me happy for them.
Even if it’s something they’ll look back on someday asking their parents why they were allowed out of the house wearing that top with those shorts, they can at least enjoy that one killer outfit that they feel really good in.
The biggest push for me to become more aware of what I’d be wearing was entering the working world after college. Thankfully, one of the few saving graces of my former job was a very casual approach to clothing, so I got away with yoga pants and comfy sweaters or sweatshirts most of the time. My current job is more of the mindset that ‘business casual’ is the way to go. At one point they apparently allowed jeans on Fridays, but people took it too far and wore their crappy jeans or jeans with holes in them, or maybe cut off jeans, I don’t know. All I know is that was taken away from us long before I started working there.
It seems so antiquated. No one is seeing me at work other than my coworkers, who I can guarantee also want to be wearing a fleece hoodie in the freezing office in the winter or a cute pair of shorts in the summer. But that’s the way things are. If they gave us free reign they are likely afraid of someone pulling a stunt like Meredith from The Office.
What this is all really boiling down to is that trends are always going to be changing, and I’m glad they do because otherwise everything would be so boring. And a weird part of me is excited to see what people are wearing 20 years from now, and if they’ll be looking back on the things we wear currently and laughing at us the way we laugh at those weird windbreaker outfits from the 90s. (And yeah as a kid I had this outfit. It was teal with purple stripes and I used to sit on my ass and slide down the stairs really fast since that material on carpet was super slippery.)
Plus, it’s fun seeing clothes that are based from past trends that are being revived again into something better, or at least interesting. And as long as yoga pants stay an acceptable form of pants then we’ll all be fine.
Renee Brown is a freelance writer living in Southern Minnesota who really does have more interests than being a member of her generation, but you’d have to ask her about that. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @JinjahSnap.