Admittedly, a cropped sweater seems very much like an oxymoron. Sweaters, by their nature, are supposed to keep you warm and covered. Anything cropped, by its nature, is supposed to show off your skin, not keeping you warm in the slightest. The very thought of a cropped sweater, then, makes a sweater seem pointless given it has failed at its most basic functionality.
And yet, the cropped sweater is popping up everywhere. First on Rebecca Taylor and Topshop Unique’s runways, then on celebrities like Jessica Alba and Miley Cyrus, and then on fashion bloggers the Internet over. And, as it turns out, not only can a cropped sweater stay true to keeping you warm, it can also add a slimming colorblock effect. That’s right, a sweater that is slimming.
First things first, though, before you head off and buy yourself some new winter crops — you need to know how to wear it. Luckily, you have three very different options.
- Hike up the pants. With a cropped sweater that is cut above the belly button, pair the top with a higher waisted pant (think belly button height) to account for the exposed midriff. The top and the bottom should play off one another, colorblocking in dark complimenting colors (like navy and black).
- Cropped is a relative term. Not all cropped sweaters are cut the same. Instead of something crazy short, look for a crop that is still long enough to hang at the waist. Then, using juxtaposing colors to significantly colorblock (think black and white), choose a higher waisted pant or skirt to cover the exposed lower stomach. Though, there’s no need to get crazy with the higher waist. Something that hits at the belly button or even a bit lower is fine. If you’re showing skin when you put your hands over your head, but have everything covered when they are down at your waist, then you’re doing it right.
- Go all out. When styled by fashion bloggers, the cropped sweater gets a serious cut, sometimes cropping all the way up to right beneath the bust line. To cover the exposed stomach, bloggers aren’t reaching for anything high-waisted. Instead, they are grabbing button-down shirts they’d usually wear underneath the sweater anyway, giving an old prep school look a modern spin.
Test out the three different styles with the following crops and see if you can’t make your cropped sweater a closet staple.
[Photo: Peace Love Shea]