Crop tops once reigned as a summer trend, but have since become a mainstay in our wardrobes. In the winter, we wear cropped sweaters with our favorite pair of jeans and boots. During the spring, we pair long sleeve crop tops with a pair of trousers and booties. When summer hits, we reach for a cropped tank top and high-waisted shorts. And, in the fall, we layer our crop tops with a cardigan and complete the look with a mini skirt, tights, and loafers. They truly are one of the most versatile styles in our wardrobe.
“Crop tops are a classic,” says celebrity stylist Naz Meknat, explaining how the reason they are such a staple is because of their versatility and variety. “There are many crop top lengths and styles for every age and every shape.”
With so many crop tops out there waiting to find a home in our closets, we set out to find the best of the best, investigating everything from the best designer crop top to the best cropped sweater to the best crop top for layering.
Ahead, check out our list of best crop tops, plus some expert advice from Meknat as well as Dani Charlton and Emma Rubenstein, a celebrity styling duo.
Meet the Expert
- Naz Meknat is an LA-based celebrity stylist and author. A graduate of Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising with more than 15 years in the industry, she has worked with celebrities like Sterling K. Brown, Nyambi Nyambi, and Tara Reid.
- Dani Charlton and Emma Rubenstein are a celebrity fashion styling duo. They have worked with Lili Reinhart, Camila Cabello, Nikki Glaser, and Peyton List, among others.
Everlane The Organic Cotton Cropped Tee
When choosing the best overall pick, we looked for a crop top that doubles as a basic, so it can easily become a staple in any wardrobe. Additionally, we wanted a style with a more moderate crop that works with a variety of body types, is made of cotton material for maximum comfort, and came highly recommended by other crop top lovers. We landed on this cropped tee from Everlane. Made of 100 percent organic cotton, this cropped T-shirt comes in black, white, and a neutral beige color (along with two stripe versions), making it a fantastic addition to a collection of basics.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Colors: White, Black, Heathered Burnt Sugar, True Navy/Tan, Acacia/Tan | Size Range: XXS-XL
Forever 21 Twisted-Back Crop Top
For the best budget pick, we looked for a crop top with a great price point without sacrificing quality and style. Our top choice is the Twisted-Back Crop Top from Forever 21. We love the simplicity of the design from the front, with the touch of detailing in the back, which gives it more versatility when styling (wear it on its own or layer it!). Additionally, it is available in two strong basic colors—black and white, of course.
Material: 60% polyester, 33% rayon, 7% spandex | Colors: White, Black | Size Range: XS-XL
Staud Papaya Top
If you’re going to invest in a designer crop top, we recommend having some fun with the style, but sticking to a more neutral color so you can get a lot of wear out of it. Our favorite pick for this category is this puffed sleeve crop top from Staud. This style features 2 percent spandex for a bit of stretch and details of puffy sleeves with elastic cuffs.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex | Color: White | Size Range: XS-XL
RicherPoorer Relaxed Crop Tee
There are hundreds of cropped T-shirts online, so this category was a bit tricky. We set out to find a high-quality T-shirt that is made of 100 percent cotton and available in a plethora of colors. After much research, we landed on RicherPoorer’s Relaxed Crop Tee. With over 15 colors to choose from and ultra-soft cotton fabrication, it’s no wonder over 400 customers gave this crop top five stars. As a bonus, the company operates with a sustainability lens and is a member of 1% for the Planet, which is an alliance of businesses that are committed to supporting a healthier Earth.
Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Cornbread, Mocha Mousse, Vintage Overdyed Black, Amethyst, +more | Size Range: XS-XL
Lisa Says Gah Battenberg Cardi
Checkerboard is one of social media’s favorite trends—so we couldn’t help but select this adorable cropped cardigan sweater for this category. Inspired by a Battenberg cake, the ultra-soft cardigan can be worn buttoned up as a top or open with a cropped tank for a more layered look. This cardigan also comes in a neutral brown shade.
Material: 50% viscose, 28% polyester, 22% nylon | Colors: Ivory Racing Flag, Chestnut/Cocoa Check | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Tank Top
Miaou Jinx Tank
If you’re on the prowl for the best cropped tank, look no further. The Jinx Tank from Miaou is made of a soft and smooth nylon blend that hugs the body for a fitted appeal. While most cropped tanks are simple in design, this one elevates the style with a scooped hem, making it possible to tuck into a pair of high-waisted jeans or show off the crop in a pair of 2000s-inspired low-rise pants.
Material: 96% nylon, 4% spandex | Colors: Black, Cry Baby, Seagrass, White | Size Range: XS-XL
Batsheva Ruffle Crop Blouse
A blouse with a shorter hemline is another fun way to rock the crop top style—and we are obsessed with this one from Batsheva. Elevated with puff sleeves, ruffles, and adorable patterns and colors, this is the perfect piece to transition you from spring to summer.
Material: 100% silk or 100% cotton | Colors: Crimson, Cream, Sky Blue | Size Range: 0-18
Best for Layering
Alo Yoga AloSoft Crop Finesse Short Sleeve
When layering a crop top, a more fitted style is the easiest way to go, as it allows you to pair it easily with loose-fitting sweaters, jackets, or even jumpsuits. For this category, we also kept basics at top of mind, since they are always a good starting point for layered looks. Our top pick for this category is this cropped baby tee from Alo Yoga. Made of an ultra-soft and stretchy suede performance jersey and available in both white and black, this top is sure to become a staple.
Material: Sueded performance jersey | Colors: Black, White, Magenta Crush | Size Range: XS-L
Best for Summer
Urban Outfitters Isla Printed Convertible Halter Sweater
Crop tops were made for summer. For this category, we wanted something that felt more unique (compared to a basic cropped tee) with a fun and colorful summer print. We landed on this cropped convertible halter top from Urban Outfitters, which can be worn in a variety of ways (the twisted neckline look is our favorite).
Material: 100% rayon | Colors: Brown Multi, Multi | Size Range: XS-XL
Best for Date Night
Princess Polly Estee Top
In the market for the perfect cropped date night look? We’ve got you covered with this flirty cropped blouse. Designed with balloon-style long sleeves and a plunging neckline, this crop top is the perfect pick for a quiet dinner or a night out on the town.
Material: 100% polyester | Color: Pink | Size Range: 0-12
Nicholas Frances Asymmetrical Crop Top
One of the best ways to dress up a crop top is to go for a style that is made of luxe fabric, such as silk. Our top choice for this category is this cropped asymmetrical top from Nicholas, which is made of 100 percent silk and features a flattering halter neckline.
Material: 100% silk | Colors: Milk, Floral | Size Range: 0-10
Good American Better Than Leather Crop Tank
Add some edge to your ensemble with a leather (or faux leather, in this case) crop top. This leather crop top from Good American feels universal in terms of silhouette, with a classic box shape and flattering scoop neckline. And, although it is made of buttery vegan leather, the top is actually on the lightweight side of the spectrum, which is a must for thicker fabrics.
Material: 100% polyurethane or 100% polyester | Colors: Black, Warm Caramel | Size Range: XS-5X
Everlane The Way-Short Shirt
Cropped button-down tops are another chic way to rock this look. Our top choice for this category is from Everlane, which offers a modern take on the timeless oxford shirt staple. It features a relaxed fit, point collar, and patch breast pocket, and is available in 10 colors and prints.
Material: 100% cotton | Colors: White, Chambray Blue, Black, Mariner Blue/White, Golden Brown/White, Espresso/White, Laurel +more | Size Range: XXS-XL
All the Ways Joyce Collar Crop Top
For this category, we focused on preppy styles with a pop of color. We landed on this polo crop top from All The Ways, which has flattering knit ribbed detailing and a bright, kelly green collar and sleeve cuffs for major retro vibes. Dress it up with a high-waisted pleated skirt for added pep in your step, or dress it down with a pair of high-waisted flare jeans—either way, you can’t go wrong.
Material: 83% viscose, 15% nylon, 2% spandex | Color: White Multi | Size Range: XS-L
Madewell Birchmoor Crop Sweater Tank Top
When we think of cropped knits, we typically think of cropped sweaters. But, for this category, we wanted to spice it up with a cropped tank you can wear solo during the summer or layered under a denim jacket in the fall. Our must-have for this category is this cotton-blend sweater tank from Madewell, which is available in three must-have colors. It also comes in plus sizes.
Material: 68% cotton, 32% polyamide | Colors: Heather Jam, Heather Midnight, Heather Oatmeal | Size Range: XXS-4X
Show Me Your Mumu Girly Top
Cropped ruffles are what (fashion) dreams are made of—and we can’t stop swooning over this dainty eyelet top from Show Me Your Mumu. Made of 100 percent cotton and featuring rows of fluttering ruffles (plus sleeves to match), this is the perfect top for all of your spring and summer festivities.
Material: 100% cotton | Color: White | Size Range: XS-XXL
Lazy Oaf x Laura Callaghan Cloudy Crop Top
Crop tops are made for fun and we can’t think of anything more fun than a good pattern. This one from Lazy Oaf is made of a stretchy cotton blend, giving it a more fitted appeal, and features a summery cloud pattern with white straps and a flattering rounded square neckline.
Material: 96% organic cotton, 4% elastane | Color: Blue | Size Range: 6-24
Valfre Cherub Mesh Top
With the trends of the early 2000s making their way back to our wardrobes, a mesh crop top is a must-have. We love this cropped mesh baby tee from Valfre for its ultra-sweet illustrated pattern and flirty ruffled hemline. To style, you can layer another tight-fitted crop top underneath, or wear a fun colored bralette for major Y2K vibes.
Material: 95% polyester, 5% spandex | Color: Blue | Size Range: XS-XXL
What to Look for in Crop Tops
“Make sure the fabric is more stiff than flowy,” Meknat says. This is especially true if you’re looking for a more put-together crop top look as “flowy material can look sloppy in a crop top,” Meknat adds, noting that heavier fabrics tend to hold their shape better.
With that said, if you are going for more of a grunge feel, Charlton and Rubenstein recommend buying an oversized T-shirt and cutting the hem to the exact cropped length that works for you. “A raw edge on a cropped look creates a grunge ‘cool girl’ vibe,” they explain.
Crop tops are meant to show some skin, but you don’t have to bare it all. “If you are not comfortable showing a lot of skin but like the look, stick with high-rise denim and tops that hit just above the waistline instead of low- or mid-rise bottoms or shorter crop tops,” Meknat says. “And, remember, you can always go with a size bigger [in the top] to get a longer length."
Another important thing to consider when shopping for a crop top is how you’ll style it. “Think of what layers you can play with on top of your cropped look,” Charlton and Rubenstein say. “An oversized blazer or shacket over a mini cropped top creates cool dimensions and adds versatility to your look.”
How do you measure crop tops to fit your body?
To ensure a crop top will fit, Meknat recommends keeping your body shape in mind. For someone who frequents the petite section, Meknat recommends “a fitted crop top that sits just above the waistline [of your pants].” Or if you have an hourglass figure, “it’s best to show a sliver of skin right at the mid-section,” Meknat notes, adding that a fitted style crop top is the way to go. However, these are all just recommendations, and at the end of the day, we encourage you to wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
What type of bottoms should you wear with crop tops?
“The best style of pants to pair with a crop top is a high-waisted style,” Meknat says. “It could be a skinny or wide leg, depending on your preference,” she adds. In addition to pants, you can also pair crop tops with a flowy skirt or high-waisted shorts, too.
Another fun way to style a crop top is to think about proportions when piecing your look together. “We love styling crop tops with oversized trousers,” Charlton and Rubenstein explain. “Playing with proportions creates a more interesting look.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor's degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON to now writing about the best style trends for various publications—including Byrdie, The Zoe Report, Bustle, and more—Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. When scouring the internet for the best crop tops, Jessie’s focus was on finding high-quality pieces for a variety of crop top styles. She took the fabric, fit, and style into account and landed on the top picks for all of your crop top needs.