After an emotional conversation with my 12-year old daughter about body image, I decided I needed to set the example of “heck yeah, you can wear anything!” by taking on my nemesis: the crop top. I shared it on Instagram, and so many people (including The Today Show), had some super thoughtful, touching, and inspiring things to say about it.

How my daughter inspired me to wear a crop top

I’ll be honest in saying I’ve never been a fan of my middle section, even before having babies, so while I’ll don short shorts and tank tops galore, crop tops are not generally in my wardrobe. However, in honor of celebrating all bodies, and showing my girls (and son) that there’s no “right size” or “perfect body type,” I’m wearing the heck out of crop tops this summer. As I said in my Instagram post, “I’m 45. Not dead.”

Here are a bunch of my favorites if you’re game for joining my “Wear the damn crop top” movement.

Cool Mom Picks is a reward style affiliate. 

The best crop tops for summer… for ladies (like me) who are easing into the crop top situation

This is the crop top I’m wearing in my Instagram post, and my suggestion is to size way up. It’s junior sizing, so I am wearing an XXL and I usually wear a large (10-12). Admittedly, I felt more comfortable wearing this with higher waisted shorts, because it does show a lot of belly.

Pro tip: High-waisted shorts are a good way to ease yourself in to wearing the shorter tighter crop tops if you’re feeling a little more like dipping your toe versus jumping into the deep end. 

Best crop tops for summer: Z-Supply tank crop

Here’s a similar top, but in tank form from Z Supply. I love their stuff; it’s not super pricey, but it’s a bit spend-ier than the $5 top at Target which also means it washes well and lasts longer.

Related: 8 of the most stylish beach cover-ups for summer 2021

Best crop tops for summer: BB Dakota crop top at Nordstrom

This adorable crop top from BB Dakota has waist smocking, which is a nice little feature if you love the idea of a crop, but are still not feeling 100% about showing your belly. Paired with some high-waisted jeans, you get just a little peek of a belly button which is pretty sexy.

Best crop tops for summer: Blouse tank from State at Nordstrom

I love this crop top by State, which has a bit of smocking and a blousy feel. I could see this with a beautiful long, high waisted skirt for sure, but it’s cute with the jeans shorts too.

Related: 10 fashionable beach totes we love for summer! 

Best crop tops for summer: Open Edit boxy crop top at Nordstrom

Boxy crop tops are the perfect gateway, because they’re not form fitting and depending on what you have on the bottom, aren’t super revealing either. These Open Edit crop tops (love that green!) are fun and affordable. Note the high-waisted elastic waist pants the model has on with it. Stylish!

Best crop tops for summer: Free People crop top at Nordstrom

These boxy crop tops from Free People have a very cool high-low situation happening. They’re definitely on the pricier side, but I’ve done well with wearing Free People for many seasons (and many washes); they hold up quite well. This style is classic! (Note: The reviews aren’t great – and realized they’re about a specific color issue that they don’t seem to offer anymore).

Best crop tops for summer: Peplum tank crop top at Target

If you’re still like “Kristen, I love you, but ain’t never gonna get into a crop top, honey” camp, try a baby doll crop top or a peplum! This peplum top at Target is $10 (!) and is super cute.

Related: Virgie Tovar talks body positivity and self love.

Best crop tops for summer: Babydoll crop top at Nordstrom

Here’s an adorable baby doll crop top from BP (at Nordstrom) that comes in so many patterns (yay!). Also, it’s emphasizes the bust, and then loosens up around the waist, if you’re feeling more confident in your girls than your mid-section. It’s also available in plus sizes. Boom.

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