You wore crop tops when they were in style the first time — decades ago. Now that crop tops are back, you might be a bit more hesitant to fill your wardrobe with midriff-revealing half-shirts considering that you are an adult woman with adult responsibilities and a very adult sense of fashion.

Unfortunately, crop tops have become a wardrobe staple, which means that everyone who considers themselves fashion-forward needs at least one crop top in their closet. Fortunately, it is possible to wear a crop top and continue to be a respectable adult. Here’s how.

A Crop Top Guide for the Mature Woman - go street, go country, fashion, crop top

Buy Basics

The easiest way to incorporate any particularly daunting new article of clothing is to start simple, with basic, unembellished pieces that fit easily into almost any outfit. When it comes to simple but cute crop tops, you should look for neutral colors, like white, black and beige, in a few flattering silhouettes, like short-sleeve, long-sleeve and sleeveless. Once you have these staples, you can incorporate a few practical solid colors, like a variety of reds and blues.

Sport up

Crop tops and athleisure are a match made in fashion heaven. Because so many leggings and athletic shorts have high waists, it is easy to pair them with a crop top and still feel appropriately covered. If you need more warmth, you can always add layers with a lightweight athletic jacket, and you can finish the outfit with a chunky sneaker — another top trend right now. Whether or not you exercise in this ensemble is up to you; you’ll look cute at the gym or wherever you go.

Suit up

A sophisticated way to wear a crop top involves throwing a blazer or suit jacket over top and slacks or suit skirt on bottom. Ideally, your suit components will be a little on the loose and baggy side, which provides balance to the tight, short style of your top. Because this look mixes formal and casual in a high-fashion way, you can wear such an ensemble to almost any occasion — even work, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Go Street

Street fashion might feel like a young person’s game, but you can master street style by following a few simple rules. First, you need an expensive pair of sneakers. Next, you need at least one piece to be loose — like a baggy pair of trousers or an oversized jacket. Finally, you need to upgrade your wardrobe to include luxurious fabrics and designer labels, but you don’t need to chase the hypebeast brands. It might take some practice to get all the elements just right, but even you can become a street fashion icon.

Go Country

In truth, crop tops aren’t exactly quintessential country fashion — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t elements of country fashion that don’t go great with a crop. Denim, in particular, is an excellent tool for creating a cool look that ensures you feel completely covered despite your cropped top. A simple outfit involves a pair of high-waisted jeans and a crop top of your choice, but you can go further with a full denim ensemble, to include denim jacket, denim jeans and even a denim hat, around a basic cropped shirt.

Be Bright

As you gain more self-assurance in crop tops, you should start adding brighter colors to your wardrobe. A bright crop top makes a statement with bright bottoms, which create an eye-catching getup that should brighten your day and bring you confidence. In fact, a bright-colored crop can bring much-needed balance to such a look by breaking up the color with a stripe of skin.

Be Bold

If you tend to be more adventurous in your fashion choices, you should be able to find crop tops in a variety of bold patterns and exciting silhouettes. The flashiest outfit option available to you is pairing a bright and busy patterned crop with bottoms that are equally bold and eye-catching. Though this style should only be attempted by those experienced with mixing and matching different patterns, it can make for some fascinating and fun fashion choices.

You are older than you were when you first wore a crop top, but that doesn’t mean you are barred from crops forevermore. By wearing the right clothes around your crop, you should feel cool and confident in every crop top in your closet.