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What I Learned From Wearing a Crop Top to a Wedding

(Photo: Missydress prom dresses)

Just to clarify: I am exceptionally normal when it comes to my figure. There are not, nor have there ever been, perfectly flat Zoë Saldana abs hiding underneath my shirts. And the thought of exposing my midriff anywhere but the shower gives me anxiety. So why would I voluntarily wear a garment that reveals the one body part I’m most self-conscious about? To a wedding? The backstory involves my cooler-than-I’ll-ever-be mom picking out my clothes for me. And despite the mindfuck I put myself through (try overcoming latent body-image issues all while convincing your boyfriend that, really, a leather crop top is totally appropriate for his best friend’s elegant destination wedding), I ended up learning some valuable tips for navigating this tricky trend.

1. It’s not the CFDA Awards, and I’m not Rihanna. Be (a little) conservative. Wearing a full-on belly shirt was adorable when I was six. Now, I just look sad and a little creepy. And since I wasn’t invited to a pool-party wedding (do those even exist?), I figured it would probably be best to keep the belly-button zone covered. The only crop tops that didn’t depress me in the fitting rooms were ones that exposed a modest flash of skin and were paired with high-waisted bottoms.

2. I’ve got boobs. And these boobs require support. Plan the undergarment situation in advance. When you have ample breasts, dancing without wearing a bra is about as comfortable as swimming in a robe…and infinitely less attractive. So going free was unfortunately not an option. I foolishly assumed the random black racerback I bought would work with my sleeveless top, but the straps showed, the cups peeked out from the armholes, and I had a bizarre uniboob. My last Saturday before the wedding became emergency strapless bra shopping day. At least I remembered to bring the shirt with me that time.

3. Does anyone actually enjoy wearing Spanx? Debloat and work out. No crop top is worth completely giving up [insert dietary saboteur here]. However, the butterball look isn’t good for anyone, so I did become that cliché of working out three times a week, eating tons of vegetables, and monitoring my ice cream dependence. Overshare alert: Debloating also means staying, er, regular. Let’s just say there’s a half-empty box of fiber packets stuffed in my desk drawer.

4. Fidgeting with my clothes makes me look uncomfortable, which makes everyone else feel uncomfortable. Relax. I made it to the wedding day; everything was in its proper place; I felt amazing. And then, my surge of confidence was derailed by a tray of mushroom puffs. And a cheese table. And roast chicken. Grilled fish. I had planned for everything except one teensy detail: I’d have to eat, revealing to the world (OK, to the small group of guests) that I was definitely not wearing any shapewear. Which brings me to the most valuable lesson I learned from wearing a crop top to a wedding. Have fun and calm down. Nobody cares how you look as much as you do. And worst case, there aren’t many insecurities a cocktail or two can’t dissolve. Read more at: Short prom dresses uk

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