How to Wear Crop Tops

Crop tops are not going to lose their ground in the next season. Runways of ready-to-wear Spring 2015 fashion weeks are the best proof of that.

From New York to Tokyo this ultimately popular piece is presented in great variety of cuts from revealing bralets and miniature bandeaus from Moschino and Diesel Black Gold to modest tops from Carolina Herrera.

In this post I summarize the way designers suggest to wear crop tops for the upcoming season.

First, let’s have a look what cuts and styles of crop tops are in trend and also pay attention to colour and prints.

Colour and cut

Trend 1. Keep it simple and modest.
Plain colours and clean cut – are keywords for styling crop tops.

Look for box shaped tops either with short, ¾ sleeves or sleeveless. Colours: white, black, pastels, rich jewellery or deep earthy tones.

On the picture below flats of catwalk models can give you a hint what to look for. There are also some similar models from selected retailers just to illustrate the idea.

Crop top trend, clear cut and plain colours.
Zalora Jacquard TeeLIFEwithBIRD EllenaTopLuxury Fashion TopEmma Cook Top

Trend 2. For those who prefer more skimpy clothing and convinced that crop tops are made for revealing not hiding buzz words are cut outs and bralets.

By the way, despite of apparent simplisity bralets possess more intricate cut than crop tops. Darts and reliefs here are used far beyond utilitarian reasons and make statement on their own. It is fascinating how intricate the cut could became with 3D modelling and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Crop top trend, cut outs and bralets.
Bad Girl topJosh Goot Cut-Out HarnessTalulah Crop Top Bardot Spotted Crop Top

Trend 3. In between of extremes of two said trends lies more subtle approach – transparency. Sheer fabrics and laces neither hide nor reveal giving full play to the sartorial manoeuvres.

Crop top trend, transparent and lace cropped top
Three of Something TopLove Libra TopAtmos&Here Crop topAngel Biba Seduce Top

Well, we have sorted out what kind of crop tops are in trend now and finally came to the main question – How to wear them in the upcoming season?

Though ready-to-wear catwalks had shown crop tops with quite variety of bottoms, skirts are far more often the choice rather than, say, shorts or pants.

Crop tops with skirts

Waist line. Natural or high waist line.
Length. Popular lengths are mini, over and under the knee and maxi.
Style. A-line, pencil skirt, flared, pleated. The last two generally teamed with fitted tops to balance proportions.

Crop tops with pants

Waist line. For pants waist line rise is more democratic and varies from low through natural to high waist line.
Length. Length of pants for crop tops depends greatly on cut and silhouette. It could be ankle, 7/8 or full length.
Style. Culottes, tapered, flared, straight.

Here it is the quintessence of the above.

Crop top trend, how to wear crop top with skirt, how to wear cropped top with pants, shorts
1.Paul Smith pants2.Backstage Pants3.Nicholas Skirt4.White Suede Pencil Skirt5.Alexander Wang Skirt6.Nina Ricci Skirt

It is all coming together now, isn’t it? Surprising or not, but there a logic in what retalers are stocking up for the next season and with a little breakdown world of fashion is not that random any more.

For the complete collection of crop tops from Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear shows check my Pinterest board

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Right Pants Length: Flared, Bell-bottom, Wide Leg Pants

For the sake of convenience I’ll write about flared, bell-bottom, wide leg and any long pant with hemline wide enough to cover the shoe as Flared. Since they all obey the same length rules.

The flared trousers and jeans are very popular among women of different ages and body types. However, according to my personal observations almost 65% of women wear flared pants which are too short, and 15% wear the ones that are too long. If there was a fine for wearing incorrect length pants the Government would’ve solved quite a few budget problems in no time!

It worth mentioning that flared pants are very capricious and demanding. They can either make a whole look more slender or transform it totally opposite way.
The secret to get the first and avoid the second is to hem the pants correctly. The flared pants of the correct lengths will complement almost every body type.

Wide hem demands long length. They are just designed that way – with lots of fabric not only broadways but lengthwise as well.

The hem should almost touch the floor. It’s ok if they skim the ground. But for practical reason they can be just 0.3-0.5 cm off so they actually don’t touch the ground. Red carpet wearers can certainly make it into exact lengths with the help of their designers.

Wide leg pants floor length
Right length for wide leg pants

Ideally they should hide the shoe entirely. This does not mean that your stylish shoes will be out of sight. They will poke out when you’re walking or sitting down creating an intrigue for those trying to figure out what shoes you are actually wearing.

If for whatever you don’t feel comfortable with this arrangement, you might as well consider some other styles to wear. “Wear it right, or don’t wear it at all” saying has its place for this type of clothing.

Flared pants with flats

Full length flared pants looks great with high to medium heels. Yet, hemmed for flats or low heels they get creased breaks in the front. This could be fine with denim and rough fabrics, but on most dress and suit types it does look a bit awkward.

Thus, you may want to hem them at slant: longer at the back and sides and shorter at the instep. Such edge will produce a clean break in the front without compromising the length. At the same time this is more laborious job that takes time and that not every tailor would agree to do. It might also cost more than regular hemming as well, but the benefits you’ll get out of correctly hemmed flared pants are definitely worth it.

Illustration of pants with straight and slanted hems
Straight vs slanted hem

A point to be mentioned as well is that skinnies are not very captious of heels. The flared pants, on other hand, certainly are. And as long line created by flared pants is immeasurably complementing to almost every body type it is worth to scrutinize every cm of pants length and heel highs to get most of them. That’s true even if this involves extra spending on tailoring or getting a second pair to be hemmed at different length.

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Right Pants Length: Skinnies

Right Pants Length: Skinnies

The topic of right pants length came up while I was choosing pants for Christmas party outfit for my friend. She suggested to make a handy tutorial about this. Being a pants person for some part of my life I definitely accumulated a bit of knowledge on the topic. It did, however, seemed too obvious to write about. Can’t we all tell how pants should fit?

I parked idea on a side while one Friday night in the City I started to pay attention for girls in pants. Huge crowd of women swept past me wearing jeans, flared, cropped pants, skinnies of various colours and styles. Surprisingly, however, I could count those fitting well with the fingers of one hand. And that’s only taking into account the length, not even the style or fit. I was dazed. The need of a good article explaining the concept was obvious.

What is the Right Length for Skinnies?

I could count 3 ways women wear skinny jeans: tucked, scrunched around the ankle and cuffed. And, actually, there is one more. I do remember seeing a desperate attempt to make skinny jeans reach the middle of 11 cm heels. That was giving an impression of having hoofs. Quite unusual sight.

The version when pants stop at ankle is so rare that I didn’t even count it as “way to wear”. Meanwhile, it is the only right way to wear non-cropped skinny pants. They should hit at the ankle. No trade-offs.

Skinny pants ankle length
The right length for skinny pants

And yes, after some hunting, I’ve spotted one with correct length. They could be about 1 cm longer for heels then those worn with flats, but no more than that.

Skinny jeans, skinny pants, skinnies, woman, right length, correct pants length Skinny jeans, skinny pants, skinnies, woman, right length, correct pants length

Most tapered pants are also obeying “ankle length” rule.

Skinny jeans, tapered pants, harem pants, woman, right length, correct pants length, tapered pants, skinny pants, pleat pants, woman, right length, correct pants length

But what about scrunching?

Well, it depends. I’ve seen very nice look with skinnies slightly scrunched at ankle. The main word is slightly. The other important detail is wearer’s figure, build. It was a quite a lean young girl with narrow hips and long legs. In other cases scrunching tends to break up a silhouette line and makes figure appear stumpy.

photo of wrong way to scrunch skinnies Skinny jeans, skinny pants, skinnies, woman, right length, correct pants length, scrunched skinny

Scrunched skinnies? No, thanks.

Long skinnies have great potential for shortening. Excess of length can be easily fixed, but its lack is a tricky thing to deal with.

Cuffed skinnies

It is one of the major sartorial crimes to cuff skinny jeans and pants to an ankle length. Shortened in that manner pants cry out loud they are not fitted properly (or trend is too original for me to appreciate).

The only way to cuff skinnies is to roll them above the ankle to resemble cropped pants. Of course, made in such way cuffs should not bulge out with all its multilayered fabric glory.

Skinny jeans, skinny pants, skinnies, woman, right length, correct pants length, cuffed pants Skinny jeans, skinny pants, skinnies, woman, right length, correct pants length, cuffed pants
The right length for cuffed skinnies

Colour is another characteristic to think about. I’ve noticed that cuffs look best on light coloured pants where the difference between right and wrong sides of the fabric is not well defined so contrasting cuff does not break off the leg line.

fashion illustration of dark and light denim cuffed skinnies

Practical considerations

Now, before taking a pair of skinnies to the tailor let me mention couple of handy points.

Shrinkage. Any pants (especially denim and linen) should always be washed a few times before tailoring as they may shrink lengthwise. And then, few times more. And even then, many will still shrink up over the time. So it might pay to wait while fabric is settled.

Tapering. Initially skinnies are made to be tight enough at the ankle. However, shortening can make them wider around the edge. So the hem of the pants which is designed to be the narrowest and sexiest part of the jeans may start to jiggle around. Even an extra 2 cm of excess fabric may be enough to throw the whole look out of balance. So check it twice and ask your tailor if something could be done to slim the ankle if necessary.

To be continued.

Some pants shown in this article are available from The Iconic store at the time of publishing.

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Right Pants Length: Flared, Bell-bottom, Wide Leg Pants.

How to Wear Peplum With Pants

This summer peplum is again on the top of the fashion wave! And according to the fashion weeks taking turns in northern hemisphere this embellishment will be a trend at least one more season.

Now it is presented in the most refreshing and outstanding way since its appearance – it is teamed with pants and shorts.
I find this tendency to be a great subject for a field study.

Close observation of peplum+pants combination on the streets, fashion blogs and catwalk photos lead me to a number of ideas.

Peplum itself is a dominant feature highlighting the waist-thigh area and pants in their turn are doing the same. So, put together they make lower body the centre of attention.

There are several ways to make the look more balanced. Fist way to reduce the number of glances towards the hips would be to wear well-fitted pants without any visible fly-fronts, fasteners, pockets and other distractive details. The minimal number of lines and visible details creates lean appearance.
fashion illustration demonstrated two identical women one of them wearing pants with side fastening the other with front one

Second option is to use long peplum. This will help to conceal fragile to attention area.
fashion illustration of woman wearing pants with long peplum jacket

Another method to attain a light image is to shift a focal point to the upper body.

This can be done by using colour, pattern or accessories. A waist accentuated by peplum and plain top emphasize slim torso and drive attention to other areas.
Inverse also works. Patterned pants with plain top help to create desired silhouette and disguise lower body. The trick is that decorated surface attracts attention and at the same time provides a camouflage.

The right arrangement of decorative motifs and colour blocks become crucial in this situation.
fashion illustration of women wearing theirs peplum and pants outfits with focal point on top and bottom respectively

And the last, but not the least approach for the graceful peplum look is to use single-colour combination.
Add a pattern and we have even more streamlined silhouette.
fashion illustration of women wearing patterned  peplum and pants outfit

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