Per­ilous gar­ments

The crop top? It’s fash­ion’s cock­roach

Grazia (UK) - - Contents -

You know what it’s like. You’re on a night out and get pho­tographed near enough to club-mu­sic leg­end Sonique that it looks like you’re close friends, ca­su­ally twin­ning in crop tops. (Re­ally, I was just in her way.) Who wore the midlife midriff best? No­body. Crop tops can­not be worn ‘ best’, only ‘least worst’. I should have known bet­ter, as I was coaxed into the ap­parel by an id­iot babysit­ter; a teen child who I once em­ployed to put my smaller child to bed, not to bully me with un­so­licited fash­ion ad­vice.

Mer­ci­fully, I work with a stylist now, who has helped me shape my en­thu­si­asm for visual art and cloth­ing into a form of ex­pres­sion that rarely of­fends fash­ion edi­tors. I am by no means an ex­pert, just a fan, and now I have the priv­i­lege of bor­row­ing in­sanely pre­cious pieces.

I only agreed to crop my top on the ba­sis that we were bib­li­cally flaunt­ing our stolen ribs at the men Eve nicked them off for us. As it turns out, the en­tire trend is bor­rowed from men, who first mod­elled it in the ’70s on Amer­i­can Foot­ball pro­tec­tive gear. Madonna was into it, then a bunch of preg­nant pop stars de­cided to get their bel­lies out in the ’90s, and even that wasn’t enough to kill off the crop top. It’s fash­ion’s cock­roach. It’s im­por­tant to note that I put all adult women into the same cat­e­gory of ap­pro­pri­ate­ness, re­gard­less of size or age. The older you get, the more fash­ion rights you are en­ti­tled to, in my opin­ion, not the other way around. The only trend that up­sets me past age 20 is the baby voice. Even the Kar­dashi­ans kicked that nasty habit dur­ing sea­son five. For read­ers who are un­fa­mil­iar with me or my work, I am the colour of hal­loumi cheese. No part of my skin was de­signed for sun­light. The sum­mer that photo was taken, I got a per­sis­tent crop-top tan and looked like I was wear­ing a brown leather belt ev­ery time I got naked in Septem­ber. By Oc­to­ber, it was snake­skin, which hap­pened to be on-trend at the time, so it was fine. Why must two inches of skin di­vide our shirts from our trousers? Can’t they at least pre­tend to be friends, for the kids? Sure, it helps to se­cure a Lon­don taxi when you raise one arm in the street and your naked right boob falls out, but what if you’re in­volved in an un­sched­uled Mex­i­can wave? Both boobs can be too much in mixed com­pany. Crop tops are for athletics only. Please keep them where they be­long: in the gym, or worn on the school run as part of the rest of your ac­tivewear col­lec­tion that we know you’re ac­tu­ally only sport­ing to the café. Will I come close to knock­ing over a DJ in this look again? Maybe. I do like to drink a lot.

with KATHER­INE RYARYAN The­co­me­dian look at takes a wry of the chal­lenges get­ting dressed

Sonique and Kather­ine go for the crop

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