High Waists and Higher Tops – How Fashion Evolves on Social Media

A string of nine girls wound through the crowd towards the front row of Foster the People’s performance at The Governor’s Ball—a young NYC music festival—and every single one was wearing a crop top and high waisted shorts. Some were tall, some had crochet tops, some paired Chuck Taylors with an old pair of cut-off acid wash jeans. As a fashion epicenter, it’s no doubt that this trend is heating up in New York, especially for young women. Despite seeing over 20 different shows during the 3-day-weekend, I managed to snap a few quick photos of ladies sporting this fabulous and fun trend. Check out these photos from The Governor’s Ball:




This trend is perfect for the summer—music festivals, street style, or going out at night. It can keep you surprisingly cool, depending on the length and height of your shorts and top. They are easy to wear on the beach, with a bikini top replacing the crop top. It can be casual and fun, and you have a lot of options play around with.

Where Can I Find Them?

The second search item on Pinterest after “crop tops” is “crop tops and high waisted shorts.” Here are some popular outfit options from Pinterest:


Outfit options are endless! The shorts can be dyed, bleached, ombre-d, patched, distressed, and more. Try a neutral top with a floral kimono or flowy cardigan to dress up your look, or pair with a cut-up vintage t-shirt for a punk-inspired look. If you’re looking to buy online though, sometimes Pinterest’s trendy photos can be misleading. Search the whole site for inspiration, and then head to the “Gifts” sections when you’re ready to purchase a pair. Pinterest is a great way to find online boutiques and small stores—especially with their partnership with Etsy.

Where Else Can I Find Them?

If you want a unique pair, head to Etsy; some stores through Etsy will customize a pair for you with your monogram, a special print, or dye job. If you’re a cost-effective fashionista, go to Goodwill, Salvation Army or the local thrift store and purchase a classic pair of high waisted pants or jeans—brands like Levi’s and Lee. Pinterest and independent fashion blogs have a lot of options for DIY high waisted shorts.

If you’re less inclined to DIY, try heading to Forever21, H&M, vintage stores or Urban Outfitters for a pair. Stores that cater to younger crowds are the best places for these things, or vintage/thrift stores because high waisted pants used to be all the rage. Rumors, a vintage/thrift store in Chapel Hill, NC, makes new custom high waisted shorts every week (http://www.chapelhillthriftshop.com/).

You can find crop tops in similar stores that sell high waisted shorts; other options are Charlotte Russe, Rue21, Britain-based Topshop. Don’t forget that they can also be paired with a maxi skirt, high waisted skirt, or even with high-rise capris! Also at Governor’s Ball, Nikki Taylor, lead singer of Little Daylight, stole the show with her punk-boho twist on the trend.


Are They for Me?

The crop top can be flattering, as it will stop just at the narrowest part of your waist. This might reveal a sliver of stomach, more midriff, or none at all, depending upon the height of your shorts. When it comes to fit, you want your shorts snug around your waist; however, keep in mind, if they are too tight, you will be alright while walking and miserable while sitting down. If you’re not planning on working the crop top trend as well, you’ll want a little wiggle room to tuck a shirt into the waist. Obviously a tummy-baring crop top works best with flat abs, but you don’t need a six pack to rock one! This is where the high waisted shorts come into play—in fact, you can sport a crop top without showing any midriff at all.

High waisted shorts are particularly great for gals with long torsos; they can create the image of curves if your figure is straighter, and also help with proportions if your legs are short. If you have a short torso and want to try the high waisted trend, get a longer top and shorter shorts.

If the hipster and destroyed look isn’t for you, this is a trend you can work with style and class. Try some high-rise shorts paired with a tucked chiffon blouse and a neutral blazer, like Kate Moss below:


Another great option is a pair detailed with lace, shown below with a nice white button-down. These shorts from Lulu’s (http://www.lulus.com/categories/11_1370/high-waisted.html) create a classy daytime ensemble.


More Than Shorts

The trend has expanded past denim short—waistlines on bikinis are rising too. ModCloth and ASOS are great places to find a vintage suit. Country starlet Taylor Swift is known for rocking retro swimwear, and more retailers are now offering high waisted bottoms.

Check out this photo from Harper’s Bazaar:



So whether you’re planning on bronzing at the beach or grabbing lunch with a friend, remember that temperatures, waistlines, and tops are all rising this summer!

Below are some more options when it comes to crop tops or high waisted shorts with links:


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