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A couple of days ago, my sister sent me a text message that I immediately fielded to my coworkers: “Where am I supposed to buy crop tops now that American Apparel is gone forever?”
While I’m not as much as a midriff-barer as my sister — she had a belly-button piercing in high school and now has some Britney Spears-level abs, thanks to yoga — I too feel her pain. There are two or three cropped tank tops and tees from the late retailer that I count among my wardrobe staples; they’re perfect for layering under dresses or wearing with high-waisted shorts or skirts in summer, and when they finally wear out for good, I’m not sure what I’ll replace them with, especially considering the wallet-friendly price point I originally bought them for. So I went on the hunt for a few options, in case anyone else is in a similar predicament.
Since we’re talking about crop tops here, the most natural places to look are the big teen retailers. Of the ones I checked out, American Eagle and Brandy Melville seem to have the best offerings. If you search “crop top” at American Eagle, over 260 results pop up; ignore all the nonsense slogan tees for the more wearable highlights, which include this Tie-Back Crop Cami ($14), the very American Apparel-esque Aerie Super Crop Tank ($13), and this Ribbed Crop T-Shirt ($10). Take note, most shirts are under $15.
While the styles are great, the sizing at Brandy Melville is a little frustrating: For the most part it’s “one size fits all,” which means it either works for you or it doesn’t. (My younger cousins, straight and plus sizes, swear that they all shop at the store, they just pick out different things or expect the same shirts to look different on them.) Bottom line, Brandy Melville is best for petites. If that’s you, there are all kinds of cropped tees and tank tops that are just as good as your old AA baby rib, and several cute off-the-shoulder options, such as the Jessie Thermal Top ($16); most of these styles are under $20.
ASOS is another site with tons of options — so many, in fact, that you have to browse through a lot of crap (I can’t see myself wearing a lilac crop tee with a shredded back any time soon). But if you stick to the basics, there’s a lot here. This Pull&Bear Striped Crop Tank ($11.50) and New Look Square Neck Crop Top ($11.50) are both similar to styles you might remember from AA in look and in price. There’s also the option to buy in multiples for bigger savings, like this ASOS Crop Swing Tank 3-Pack ($24) and ASOS Crop Crew Neck Long-Sleeve 3-Pack ($38).
And finally, if you’re looking for something a little more grown-up — and are willing to spend (just a few) more bucks — head over to Aritzia. The Canadian fast fashion retailer has 160 crop tops that range from the sporty, like this Wilfred Free Strother Tank ($32) or the Tna Montezuma Tank ($15), to the more refined, like the Le Fou Wilfred Relais T-Shirt ($30) or the Wilfred Free Taja T-Shirt ($45).