Um, No

Excuse Me, But Why Are Crop Tops Suddenly Everywhere?

There is a zero percent comfort factor.

It was a much-needed self-care Saturday with my mom. I ditched the kids and we headed to a local mall for some adult connection, conversation, and spring shopping. It’s something we do every couple of months to re-charge and I will admit it: the shopping is my favorite part. I was hunting for a couple new spring tops to add a little life into my wardrobe, keeping me feeling fresh and cool but not desperate. Easy enough, right?

So we headed to my favorite store, where I took two big armfuls of stuff into the dressing room. And it didn’t take long for the panic to set in. What in the high school beach party is happening?! It was cropped-top chaos. There was not one single shirt in my haul that didn’t expose my midriff.

Now, I am someone who rolls with the trends pretty willingly. I am fashionably adaptable and I love playing with new styles. But, crop-tops? No — I’m out!

And to be clear, I wasn’t shopping in some teeny-bopper store. It wasn’t Ann Taylor or Talbots, but it was mature-ish — meant for fully grown adults, and perfect for a not-young-but-still-trendy mom like me. I couldn’t have been the only one browsing the current collection wondering where the heck the bottom third of all the shirts went. Because as a fully grown person, these tops are unworkable for a variety of reasons.

First of all, they look like shrunken doll clothes. The moment I tried the first shirt on I was instantly transported back to a middle school pool party. I was always the tallest girl in my grade, and while rushing to leave the party upon my mother’s arrival, I grabbed my friend’s younger sister’s T-shirt by accident. After sliding into my shorts, I quickly threw the top on and was met with excessive laughter from all of my peers. The sight of my extremely long body in a teeny tiny toddler shirt was too much for them to handle. And looking in the dressing room mirror today, it’s giving the same vibe. It doesn’t look cool or trendy — it just looks like some sort of goof.

And then there is the zero percent comfort factor. Because I was not shopping for athleisure, these tops were meant to be worn with jeans, or other structured bottoms. So what happens when you sit down without anywhere to put all the stuff that just naturally folds into itself with the folding of your body? Like, usually I am tucking those folds into my soft, comfy shirt to keep them from chafing. Now it’s just going to be exposed, rubbing all against the waist of my stiff denim? No, that’s cruel. And clearly I am not the only person who feels this way given that there are tons of trending Tiktoks of millennials complaining about this same issue.

So, now what? Am I supposed to just find a new favorite store? That feels too sad! I guess I will just wait until the next wave of fashion trends come through — fingers crossed for long, cozy T-shirts in 2024!

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.