Micro-trends deriving from major fashion movements are nothing out of the ordinary, but the way they seem to work in seemingly implementing an idea by giving it a whole new meaning is what makes them truly remarkable. While crop tops made for a bold return amongst the 2014 fashion trends, it’s the cropped shirt that brings along a fresh way of bearing a bit of stomach.

The crop top’s more sophisticated interpretation builds a bridge between the effortlessness of the earlier styles, and the elegance defining the classic button-down. If you plan on adding a cropped shirt into your wardrobe this spring, read all about the ways to wear it and how it to make it look its best, after the break.

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The cropped shirt for spring 2014

Less sporty, more sophisticated, the cropped shirt for spring 2014 is perfectly able to make its statement loud and clear. Giving place to countless styling options, the cropped shirt is ready to add emphasis to classic femininity, while also retaining the drawing power derived from its foundation. If you’re looking to sport the right kind of subtle this spring, trust the cropped shirt in allowing you to do just that.

Cropped shirts trend spring 2014
Cropped shirt at Kenzo, S/S ’14

Do I need perfect abs?

Needless to point out that the secret to sporting the cropped shirt the sexiest way this spring lies in a set of toned abs. The abbreviated shirts aren’t always too forgiving, but once you work out how to best match them to your shape, the rest falls into place quite effortlessly. Your next lament might well be something along the lines of “but I don’t have abs like Candice Swanepoel!”

cropped shirt perfect stomach
Cropped shirt at BCBG Max Azria, SS ’14, revealing plenty of toned stomach.

Don’t feel too disheartened if you don’t have the physique of a Victoria’s Secret Angel (and let’s face it, most of us don’t work out with a professional trainer for hours a day in order to make our living). Consider that there’s also options to layer, and to expose as much stomach as you feel comfortable with. Keep the window of exposed skin narrower and higher if your upper-midriff is your stronger point of focus. The looser cut of the cropped shirt also means you don’t necessarily need to bare too much at all.

cropped shirt perfect stomach
Cropped shirt at Alexander Wang, SS ’14, revealing just a bit of midriff.

How to style the cropped shirt

Now back to styling. This spring, wear the cropped shirt in combinations inspired by the runway:

Ladylike vs. boyish.

Sophisticated yes, dull never. The greatest thing about the cropped shirt may just be its versatility, allowing you to channel pure femininity, or to go all cool and boyish with few little adjustments in styling. A high-waist skirt hitting just above the ankle, a sleek side part and little to no accessories translate to ladylike, as opposed to a high-waist pair of menswear inspired cropped culottes and a minimalist pair of ankle strap sandals, topped off with a natural look and a confident attitude that will gift you instant toughness.

Cropped shirts trend spring 2014
Cropped shirts at Aquilano Rimondi and Alexander Wang, S/S ’14

Classic white vs. prints.

When talking fabric, textures and prints, suffice to say that you can treat the cropped shirt the way you would treat any classic button-down building your wardrobe. If minimalism is what inspires you, know that a plain white shirt would add a crisp elegance to your spring outfits, while a printed cropped shirt is ready to make things stylish, but with a good dose of playfulness.

Cropped shirts trend spring 2014
Cropped shirts at Alexander Wang and Topshop Unique, S/S ’14

Monochrome vs. psychedelic prints

The monochrome ensembles incorporating a cropped shirt are all about a laid-back composure that is both uncomplicated and utterly appealing, particularly when thinking about the more relaxed days of spring and summer. Add the cropped shirt in a psychedelic print mixture and what you’ll get is a kaleidoscopic reverie that will be keeping you under the spotlight, for all the right reasons.

Cropped shirts trend spring 2014
Cropped shirts at Topshop Unique and Emilio Pucci, S/S ’14

Styling tips.

  • when paired to skirts, the cropped shirts gain immediate elegance
  • a high-waist pencil skirt cut in lace will keep you on trend while balancing the cropped shirt, without forcing you to reveal too much stomach.
  • paired to a flared mini skirt, painted in lively colours on the other hand, the cropped shirt will have you look young, sexy and cool.

Cropped shirts trend spring 2014
Cropped shirts at Aquilano Rimondi and Peter Pilotto, S/S ’14

  • whenever teamed with pants, the cropped shirt is set to borrow the masculine vibes, but it’s still up to you how far they will eventually translate in the final look
  • choose between a pair of perfectly tailored trousers carrying menswear inspiration for a dandy look, or a pair of trousers featuring a relaxed fit and a lightweight fabric to channel ultimate sophistication.

Cropped shirts trend spring 2014
Cropped shirts at Sacai and BCBG Max Azria, S/S ’14

Want more guides for the spring / summer season including the trends and how to wear them? Head to our spring 2014 fashion trends guide at that link.

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