The secret to wearing a crop top


This is a tale of the crop top. When I was a pre-teenager (before the summer which I spent playing Super Mario on my friend's gameboy every day, accompanied by a bag of crisps and a multi-pack of Kinder chocolate bars...every day), I was naturally slim and wore the hell out of them (remember, this was in the 90s when they were extremely fashionable already thanks to the Spice Girls, Tank Girl and other cultural icons).

Then, I ballooned to a size 14 - by no means big, but in my eyes elephantine. It was those vulnerable years between 14 and 19 where you think all your friends are glamazones and you are the ugly duckling. Maybe that's also because I didn't pluck my eyebrows then, but that's a different story. Anyway, cropped tops it was no more. I would look at them in the shops longingly and wish I had Mel C's sixpack so I could prance around like a popstar in the school disco. Instead, I wore jeans, because that's what everybody wore, and heavy knitted sweaters that didn't do my body any favours. Sadly, I didn't know the magic potion then:



Let me explain. I lost a few of those teenage kilos when I was older, but even now I just don't have the right body shape to wear a pair of low-rise jeans with a bandeau top (it doesn't help if you hardly exercise, of course). If you think of somebody like Gwen Stefani you know what I mean: she isn't afraid to show her midriff because it just looks ace, and hardly anybody wears a crop top as stylishly as she does. So what should the mere mortals do? Just grab a high waisted skirt or trouser and you never have to worry about your lack of sixpack again. Honestly, no other garment transforms a body shape like mine as easily. If you have quite a narrow waist, but a rounded stomach and/or bum, make the high-waisted bottoms your friend. Because they have such a high-rise cut, they emphasise the waist and cover everything you'd rather not show.

Since I discovered the amazingness that is the high-waisted silhouette, it's all I go for in bottoms: I love wearing high-waisted pencil skirts with a top tucked in, or high-rise jeans that make your legs look much longer. It's actually a very vintagey look, as well - just think of Marilyn Monroe in her high-waisted shorts or Audrey Hepburn's high-rise capri trousers (not that she needed any cover-up for her belly, mind). I am a massive fan of 50s fashion, so channelling this style is an added bonus for me.

That's it, girls – now go and tell all your friends! So many crop tops to wear... Thank God it's spring so we can finally get them out of the wardrobe!

What I wore: Sequinned top and denim jacket by Topshop, trousers by H&M, sandals by Office.

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