How to Make an Old Top New Again

You’ve seen me turn Simone Rocha’s white eyelet midi dress into a dramatically long blouse and Camilla and Marc’s glorified satin towel-cum-dress into the vertical band that cloaks a button up, both in the name of making old garments feel indispensably new again. But what can I do with a crop top? Other than, you know, wear it the way it tells me to?

First, we must consider the caliber of crop top. The one in question isn’t just any — it’s the near ubiquitous, identity-crisis stricken Zara-moonlighting-as-Balenciaga white crop top. The one that boasts an opportunity for every woman to indulge in her golden triangle. The one that, frankly, has no place trying to flourish in the dead of winter’s eye.

Unless, that is, I have anything to do with it which as fate, luck and a little bit of perseverance would have it, I just so happen to. And though you likely don’t need me to spell out the formula I utilized to bring this look to fruition (if you’re here, your eyes function), I probably will anyway because I like to talk/type/tell stories and — fingers crossed — you like to listen. (?).

So, what you’ll find in the above slideshow is, first, the watermarked-way in which I wore Zara’s crop top last May. Those are Alexander Wang tropical pants and an R13 denim jacket. The shoes are completely deliberately and highly un-ironically Balenciaga. It was May, it was warm, stomach be damned, it was party time.

Once December rung around that dumb-ass rosie, stomach still damned, party time halted. So what did I do? Simple — included an army green button down blouse underneath the crop top to create the illusion of stark white summer crop as sweater and to assuage the jarring difference in color, I placed a grey wool double breasted blazer over the two layers.

In considering the ilk of bottom I’d use, I thought about making like Winnie (the Pooh) and free-balling but ultimately decided that if ever there was an opportunity to give yourself up to a burgundy wool mini skirt, it is when you elect to wear a crop top as a sweater.

To keep the lewk weather apropos, I also added black tights and a pair of meme burgundy Tabitha Simmons flat booties. For a moment, I felt like a back up singer in a tribute called Not The Clash. But then I took my booties off to try another pair on. This time, they were six-inch navy blue creepers which functioned as a reaffirmation that shoes still maketh the outfit (and repeller). And that was the end of that.

Studio Nicholson blazer, Mother utility blouse (and on sale! Ole!), Zara crop top, Isabel Marant skirt, Falke tights, Tabitha Simmons booties (they 60% off at Barneys) and Burberry Prorsum creepers. Necklace by Amy Fortgang.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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