It’s Not About The 6-Pack: Why You Should Start Wearing Crop Tops To The Gym

Hear us out on this one: you should start wearing crop tops to the gym. No, not after you finish your 5-day cleanse. No, not after you lose those last five pounds. No, not after you’ve gotten a tan, gotten a six-pack, or gotten awarded athlete status. You should start wearing crop tops now.

It might sound counterintuitive, but baring it all can actually make you more comfortable with your body. Just like with short shorts, wearing crop tops can help you crush insecurities and boost confidence. And if you’re already on the self-love train? Little things like owning what you’ve got can help you stay on board for the long haul. You don’t need chiseled abs or a flat tummy to rock what your mama gave you – all you need is self-confidence (but if abs workouts are your thing, we’ve got some of those handy, too). Anyone who tells you differently has got it all wrong. Because life is too short not to love the skin you’re in. Here are our top six picks when it comes to cutting it short…

Without Walls Meshed Out Bra Top
Is it a sports bra? Is it a crop top? Whatever you want to call it, this hybrid is hot. Perfect for medium impact workouts, the mesh long sleeves and hem give you breathability where and when you need it most. Wear it in spin class for a true “biker chick” look.


Future State City Signs Cropped Muscle Tee New York
So you’re an East Coast chick? There’s a crop for that. Just like the aforementioned L.A. version, but a little more New York state-of-mind. We love the distressed gray wash and the raw edges on this one.


Mate The Label One For The Road Crop Top
Mate the Label is one of our new faves in the tee world. This summery “On The Road” crop is a ten in our opinion: with vintage vibes, processed by hand, and soft-as-buttah fabric, we’ll be sporting this shirt in and out of the gym for sure. 


Mara Hoffman Racer Back Tank Top
It doesn’t get much prettier than this micro-tank by Mara Hoffman. It fits like a glove, gives you some serious support, and the shoulder-baring racerback style encourages you to stand up straight and show off those guns!


Future State City Signs Cropped Muscle Tee Los Angeles
Call us biased, but we tend to think West is best (but NYC wanderlust hits on the regular, don’t get us wrong!). If you’re like us, rock this cropped muscle tee by Future State to show your L.A. love as well as a little skin.


Theory+ Zeen Cropped Stretch-Jersey Top
Theory is one of our fave street style brands, so it’s no surprise their activewear line is just as fab. Combining modern, sleek style with high-tech performance, this bright red crop is made from moisture-wicking stretch-jersey and detailed with reflective gray trims to keep you safe during those hot evening runs.


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  1. Hmmmm. While I appreciate the idea that wearing crop tops could help boost your self esteem, I don’t appreciate that all the photos you’ve used are of incredibly toned bodies with the flat tummies and toned abs you claim we don’t need…

    Charlotte Honess | 07.30.2015 | Reply
  2. I’m unsure how posting a bunch of pictures of flat stomached girls in crops is supposed to be encouraging. I agree with the sentiment that anyone should be able to wear what they want and it would be nice to see diverse bodies in the stock photos to underline this belief.

    Jessika | 07.30.2015 | Reply
  3. I have to say I’m a little disappointed that while you’re telling us to own our bodies (which I love and agree with), you’re then posting ALL pictures of women with flat,toned, perfect tummies….. could you let me know what they are owning?? Stretch marks on the other sides of the photos?? That must be it! …….

    • Hi ladies, interesting notes and we agree! These photos are from a few of our favorite fitness retailers. They’re the best quality photos of the crop tops we love – but we completely agree it’d be amazing to see more accessible models mixed in with the aspirational ones!

      The Chalkboard | 07.30.2015 | Reply
  4. Just echoing the previous comments. You’re writing a specific article on not needing to look a certain way to wear a crop top yet every model you picture is tall and thin with minimal body fat. Practice what you preach and find some photos that back up what you’re saying. The contrast between the message and the images you’ve used here is glaring.

    caitlin | 07.31.2015 | Reply
  5. Totally agree with the previous comments – to say that women should be proud of their diverse, perfectly-imperfect bodies and then show only photos of super-in-shape white girls is hypocritical and shameful. Great message, very poorly executed. Rather than commenting that the photos are “from a few of our favorite fitness retailers,” why not take ownership of your content and your choices? If your favorite fitness retailers only show photos of slim white girls, maybe it’s time for some new favorite stores.

    Heather | 07.31.2015 | Reply

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