The Return of Men’s Crop Tops & Why You Need a Few Before Summer 2021

two men in crop tops
Courtesy of ASOS
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Ah, summer 2019. The sun was shining, disposable face masks weren’t hot commodities, the world wasn’t running rampant with a novel respiratory disease and the only thing anybody on the internet seemed to care about was whether or not crop tops for men should exist or not.

That might sound like a load of bullshit, but we’re dead serious. In the summer before the pandemic, ASOS launched a number of men’s crop tops that took the internet by storm. Like, for real, people were pissed off. Simply the idea that some man somewhere might be proudly showing off a couple of inches of midriff parked a conversation.

“Should men wear crop tops?”

“If so, what kind of men can wear crop tops?”

People let themselves become so worked up over… shirts. Old-fashioned straight folks were upset because of all of their precious gender roles, and some LGBTQ+ people were upset because there was an assumption that “only gay people would wear these fugly shirts” when, in reality, that shouldn’t have been the case. It’s like nobody ever watched an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wherein Will Smith repped a cropped tee. What about teenage Johnny Depp clad in a cropped jersey talking on the phone in Nightmare on Elm Street. (Okay, we understand some of you have blocked that out of your memory.)

But like, baby, listen — men’s cropped t-shirts have been here all along. Like men’s rompers before it, this controversial article of clothing actually has a long, butch history. Sorry not sorry that we had to be the ones to say it.

Johnny Depp from Nightmare on Elm Street Courtesy of Amazon

It’s safe to say that as a society, we’ve grown a lot since then. Any kind of man can wear a crop top. Let us repeat that: any kind of man can wear a crop top. Dudes are more comfortable sporting nail polish than they’ve ever been, TikTok trends involving men wearing maid’s dresses took over the second half of 2020 and crop tops for men are back once again. The Earth is healing, people. Let it.

Though we’re not quite in-season for men to be wearing crop tops, and sadly every single men’s crop top from ASOS is out of stock, for the time being, there’s still no better time than now to get in on the trend before the summer begins. Because if there’s one thing about summer 2021 we’re looking forward to, it’s going absolutely apeshit with our style as we say goodbye to social distancing. Balls to the wall, if you will. We haven’t sported a wild ‘fit in well over a year, so you better fucking believe we’re making questionable outfit choices in these streets. Mind your business.

With that being said, grab yourself a crop top or two. Fuck it. Who cares. Abs, dad bods, beer bellies, skinny, hairy, smooth, gay, straight, trans — whatever. This summer is the summer to say “fuck it” and finally get fun with fashion. Time for you to do the same.

1. Pangaia Organic Cotton Cropped T-Shirt

We’re going to keep it real — we’re pretty sure this cropped tee from Pangaia is supposed to be for women, but we don’t care. It comes in sizes up to XXL and we know that bod can squeeze. The tee itself is made with saltwater seaweed fiber and organic cotton to create a truly sustainable tee ready for showing skin this summer. It’s pretty muted in terms of color, so match it with whatever you feel comfortable with.

Pangaia Organic Cotton Cropped T-Shirt Courtesy of Pangaia

  

2. Runcati Workout Cropped Tank Top

Crop tops for men really don’t normally cost an arm and a leg, our pick prior is just costly because of all the organic, sustainable qualities. Most crop tops for dudes cost right around the $10 mark, such as this workout cropped tank from Amazon. There’s really nothing to this one aside from a solid black coloring. It ditches both sleeves to let you show off those shoulders, bi’s and tri’s and of course leaves an ample amount of room for a b it of a belly peak. There are a few more colors available such as white, pink and purple, so feel free to go bonkers and stand out like a sore thumb this summer. It’s up to you!

Runcati Workout Cropped Tank Top Courtesy of Amazon

  

3. Speedo Vintage Logo Crop Top

Alright, if you’re trying to reach toward that summer vintage aesthetic done so well by Will Smith and Johnny Depp, you’re going to have to do it right. Take this vintage Speedo crop for example — it’s clean, it’s effortless and it looks like something you could have easily found at the local thrift store. If you want to look like one the hot muscle dudes from your favorite 80s film this summer, a crop top like this is how to pull it off.

Speedo Vintage Logo Crop Top Courtesy of International Jock

  

4. SweatyRocks Striped Long-Sleeve Crop Top

Since summer isn’t necessarily as close as we’d like it to be, peep this long-sleeve crop top from Amazon you can wear when you still want to show off that gut but need to keep those arms warm. We’re going to keep it real, this one is 100% supposed to be for women, but, what? Oh, yeah, we don’t care. Throw this on with a pair of jeans and your go-to Converse hi-tops and pull a look everyone on the street will geek out over.

MORE: Most Comfortable Men’s T-Shirts

SweatyRocks Striped Long-Sleeve Crop Top Courtesy of Amazon

  

5. Home Skooled Shop 90s Mesh Crop Top

Bring it back in time with this mesh crop top that kind of looks like your peewee football jersey from when you were a child. You know what they say: what goes around comes back around. This sporty yet flirty crop top will bring some masculine vibes to your cropped look this summer by keeping you looking effortlessly cool no matter how you style it. Wear it playing basketball with the boys, to a backyard pool party, barhopping with your friends, wherever. If the day calls for something casual, you know what to do. Put it on.

Home Skooled Shop 90s Mesh Crop Top Courtesy of Etsy

  

6. Marek + Richard Thrussy Crop Tee

Okay, we know we said that crop tops for men aren’t necessarily gay, but this cropped tee is gay as fuck and we’re absolutely obsessed. We’re not going to sit you down and explain to you what “thrussy” means, it’s as simple as if you know, you know. This iconic shirt is a crowd-pleaser from the beach to the backyard BBQ to your next IG selfie. Just be careful wearing it around the straights.

Marek + Richard Thrussy Crop Tee Courtesy of Marek + Richard