History Of The Crop Top
Long before Kylie Jenner started rocking the crop top, it was already part of everyday fashion in the Middle East. Belly dancers donned the midriff-baring garment to show off their shimmying and shaking. Meanwhile, in India, the traditional sari was worn with a short blouse called a choli.
It wasn’t until the 1940s that the crop top made its way into the West. World War II called for textiles to be rationed, and so designers started strategically cutting the bottom halves of t-shirts. While this was a clever solution, people at the time found the blouse to be too revealing to be part of mainstream fashion.
Later, in the ‘80s, ladies started wearing crop tops to aerobics classes, partly influenced by Madonna and Dirty Dancing. The trend stayed strong all throughout the ‘90s, especially with Britney Spears famously wearing a tied-up button-down shirt for her video ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time.’
Today, crop tops continue to be a popular choice for women. Not only are they great at complementing a woman’s figure, but they’re also perfect for showing off washboard abs, belly button piercings, or underboob tattoos.
How To Crop A Shirt
Ready to make your own crop top? Let’s get started! You only need a baggy t-shirt, scissors, fabric markers, safety pins, and a bit of courage.
Be sure to read the instructions on how to crop a shirt a few times before you begin. Nothing is sadder than having to use your DIY project as a rag because it’s become unwearable.
Here are the steps for a basic, no-sew blouse:
- Choose which shirt you want to cut. It should be a shirt that you’ve grown kind of bored with. You can also buy oversized pieces from the men’s section of a thrift store.
- Decide where you want to cut. You can start by selecting which bottoms you plan on pairing the top with, so the length fits perfectly.
Hot Tip: For the most flattering fit, cut just above your waistline. Doing this will highlight the narrowest section of your torso and create a slimming effect. Note that standard tee hems curl up when cut, so leave a small allowance.
- Wear the shirt and roll it up to the desired length. Use safety pins or a clip to keep the folds in place. Lift your arms to check how much skin will be exposed when it’s pushed up.
- Take off the top and mark the section you want to cut.
- With a pair of fabric scissors, cut the shirt to your desired length. Leave it as is; the unfinished hem will make your piece look rugged and edgy.
- This is optional, but if you want a cleaner finish, turn your creation into a wraparound blouse. Using a marker, make a line from the bottom up to the neckline of the top's front side. Following this mark, cut the shirt in half then tie the two halves together.
Ideas For Custom Creations
Now that you have the DIY high, why stop? Create your own unique piece by sewing lace to your top’s hem. Doing this gives your blouse an elegant, professional finish.
If you’re experienced with handicrafts, you can also make use of your old crochet projects. Just sew a crocheted piece to a bralette, and you have a unique piece of clothing you can wear to the beach.
Bonus: How To Make A Crop Top Using Old Jeans
Old shirts aren’t the only pieces of clothing you can transform into a cute blouse. You can turn denim jeans or leggings into a DIY crop top, too!
How do you make a blouse from jeans? Sound crazy? So crazy it just might work! Just follow these simple steps:
- Fold the jeans in half then place them on a hard surface. Smooth out the fabric.
- Cut a circle around the crotch curve. This hole is where your neck should go.
- If desired, chop off a few inches from the legs. Doing this will make the sleeves shorter.
Tips For Beginners
TIP #1: Check The Fit
A breezy crop top will look best with a pair of high-waisted shorts. Meanwhile, a fitted mini blouse will look better with loose pants or an A-line skirt.
TIP #2: Stay Snug
Crop tops aren't limited to hot weather. You can also chop up an old hoodie or sweater to have a flattering piece of clothing underneath a coat.
TIP #3: Learn About The Fabric
Some types of fabric are cut-resistant, like the type of cloth used for workwear and tactical apparel. Some hoodies are also made with this material, so be sure to check before snipping.
TIP #4: Plus Size? No Problem!
Anybody can #RocktheCrop, especially if you’re plus size! Keep the cut 1-2 inches above the belly button and pair your top with a high-waisted skirt or pants. Doing this will add interest by giving people a little peep of skin, without showing them too much.
TIP #5: Go With The Basics
Choose a cheap white tee to cut. You can accessorize them any way you want, so they can be used to create a ton of different looks.
Crop tops are a prevalent trend in modern fashion, so if you’ve got too many plain old tops lying around, why not snip a couple into crop tops? Follow the steps we’ve outlined carefully, and you can transform your dull, baggy clothes into sexy statement pieces. When cut right, a homemade crop top can accentuate your curves and make you turn heads wherever you go!