When I was growing up in the glorious era of fashion that is known as the 1990s, I was utterly enchanted by the glamorous women who wore crop tops. How amazing would it be, I wondered, to be all grown up and beautiful and allowed to wear an outfit that showed off your midriff? The fact that I dreamed of wearing midriff-revealing shirts and having a romantic rendezvous on the beach and/or a Persian rug probably tells you that I had some interesting influences in my childhood…which really just means I binge-watched The Little Mermaid and Aladdin before binge-watching movies was cool. My brain cells seem to have survived the copious screen time mostly intact, but I’ve still got a little tiny crush on crop tops and dark haired men (Prince Eric, you ruined me, you rapscallion…).
The crop top trend seems to have come back full force lately, and I make no pretenses about being one of those classy Southern broads whose delicate sensibilities require them to dress perfectly prim and proper. I live in northern California: between April and November, it’s HOT. I mean, my legs turn scarlet and hot to the touch from the sun coming through the windows on my 10 minute drive home from work, wearing my full-length heavy-duty work pants. If I’m not wearing pants, it’s like driving on a slip-n-slide because the leg-sweat game is real. Also, leather car seats and short shorts/skirts are dangerous. Things get burned that shouldn’t get burned. (Clearly, I’ve got issues with summer car experiences.) Anyway, enough oversharing. The point is, it’s disgustingly hot here in the summer, and I’d like to stay as cool as possible. Enter, crop tops…
Here’s the thing, though. I’m not fashionable (aka I’m a hillbilly) and I’m not rich (aka student loans for a private liberal arts education). And until recently, I wasn’t really cool with showing much skin. But now, I let my midriff show anytime I like because:
1. It’s just a body.
2. I’m a grown ass woman with a grown ass woman body (and I’ve yet to get complaints from the manfolk).
3. Did I mention it’s HOT here?
So it’s crop top city, yall.
And because I’m the benevolent monarch of my little crop top city, I figured I would share with you how I got my crop top fix for less than $2. Of course, it’s a
little lot redneck…but who says that has to be a bad thing?
Here’s what you do:
- Hit up your local thrift store, preferably on a day when they have the monthly “50% off everything in the store” sale. We rednecks can sniff out a sale like that from 10 miles away.
- Buy yourself a graphic tee shirt in your normal size or one size up. (If you already have one, even better – that’s called free, and it makes a hillbilly happy-happy-happy.)
- Grab some good scissors and cut up your graphic tee like this (from Pinterest):
- Try it on and tie the hanging triangle-pieces in the front. Adjust things as necessary (I cut the neck a bit wider than in the photo, and ended up ripping the triangle pieces up the middle to tie at my (weirdly high) natural waist.
- Unleash your inner hillbilly and rock that bad boy with your most torn-up pair of daisy dukes.
- Pin this bad boy so you never forget the secrets of the hillbilly crop top!
Warning: After the first one, you may become a little obsessed and have the urge to turn half the tee shirts you own into crop tops. It’s ok. That’s your inner redneck speaking to you. Just go with it. And if you find yourself singing “A Whole New World” and dreaming of raven-haired royalty every time you wear a crop top…well, don’t blame me, blame the 90’s.