Exactly How to Wear a Crop Top to a Formal Event, Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier

Chances are you’ve seen a formal crop top look on the red carpet and thought to yourself how chic it was, but, jeez, how do you pull it off? It’s not all that hard, so long as you find the right pieces that fit your proportions properly (as in, a 5’0 girl and 5’10 girl are going to need different crop tops).

Monique Lhuillier’s resort collection is currently up on Moda Operandi and it’s full of pretty gowns, as expected, but also some chic crop top and skirt pairings. Just in time for your next formal party, we’ve got exclusive tips on how to make the look work.

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You know the pitch with crop tops: they don’t actually show much skin. “I love the play on proportions with this architectural black and white combo,” Lhuillier said. “Pairing this rather boxy, cropped silk white jacquard top with this black high-waisted skirt is ladylike sleek.” If the shirt hit any lower, the entire look would be thrown off (and it’d be far from flattering). The skirt has to fit properly and hit right at the natural waist to make the whole thing work.

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“I paired a sportier mesh lace sculpted top with an elegant, guipure lace floor-length skirt,” she explained. “The sheerness in the skirt adds an element of seduction.” The athletic vibe of the tank keeps the formal skirt from feeling too society-lady and perfectly shows off the unexpected, fashion-forward vibe of the crop top.

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