Bring Your Bellybutton to Work Day? The Crop Top Comes to the Office.

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Bring Your Bellybutton to Work Day? The Crop Top Comes to the Office.

Shortly after Santina graduated from Florida State University in spring 2020 with a degree of political science, Santina began working as paralegal at a Miami law office. There, the dress code was business casual. They required button-up shirts and long skirts (or shorter skirts with tights), and closed-toe footwear.

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Ms. Rizzi wore crop tops a lot. She shared her work looks often on TikTok. “GRWM” — get ready with me — videos, earning her a reputation among followers and colleagues alike for violating the dress code. Ms. Rizzi, now 22, has a full-time job in Miami as a socialmedia manager. But her crop tops will remain.

“I’m not going to buy clothes specifically for my job,”She said. “I’m stubborn that way.”

The traditional office dress code has long been over. Visible tattoos can be accepted and bluejeans have replaced sneakers in many workplace settings. Even rigid banks like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have relaxed. in recent yearsCasual fashion is something you should embrace. And look, Jason Sudeikis isn’t the only person wearing a hoodieTo work events

Employers offering incentives to workers to return to work and the skyrocketing cost of living, there are many ways for them to do so. everythingThe next evolution in workplace wardrobes could be the letting go of the midriff.

TikTok videos that feature crop tops worn as work wear often draw criticisms from users. There are accusations of unprofessionalism and suggestions the posters are merely playing the lives office workers. However, the trend is praised by Gen Z as a fashion statement of resistance to the status quo. And it’s not just online either: On recent weekdays in Midtown Manhattan, many women were spotted wearing crop tops as part of their work attire during the evening rush hour.

On occasion, Ms. Rizzi’s outfits for the day — consisting mostly of trousers from Zara, cropped tank tops and oversize blazers to cover up (“in case one of the partners were walking by”) — have been highlighted by TikTok’s For You feature, putting her videos in front of people she referred to as “career adults, 30, 40 years old.”

“The comments were crazy,”She recalled. “Like, ‘I would fire this girl’; ‘This is so disrespectful’; ‘I don’t know what this generation’s doing.’ I remember one time we had a corporate client coming into the office and my boss specifically approached me the day before, and he was like, ‘Please, for the love of God, no crop tops tomorrow.’”

One reason Ms. Rizzi gives for her decision to wear crop tops at work is that she objects to the idea of spending money on professional clothing that she will wear only a few days out of the week — especially if the clothes do not fit into her personal style or aren’t sustainable.

She began creating social media content in July for Dr. Michael Salzhauer. He is a celebrity plastic surgeon who is also known as Dr. Miami. Her crop tops have been accepted into the office to her relief. Despite comments from her former bosses and colleagues, she never got in any trouble.

“I guess the thing was that I went into it, 21 years old, kind of straight out of college, and I didn’t have a lot of professional wear, but it didn’t make sense to me to buy so much of it because my closet is pretty minimal,”She explained. “I don’t want to buy things that I don’t think I’m going to wear.”

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Jane Yee, Adelaide, Australia, says that cost is a major reason why she disguises her crop tops in work attire even though they are frowned on at her job. She said that she prefers to shop from her closet or thrift shopping for work clothes.

“When I incorporate crop tops in my work fits, I try to make it as work-appropriate as possible,”Ms. Yee, 22, works as a recruiter at an organization that focuses exclusively on employment services. “So if I know I’m going to wear a crop top or a top that isn’t going down and covering my waist, I’m going to always try and pair it with something that is more high-waisted or just pop on an extra blazer just so it looks more formal.”

“I think it’s just more me,”She added. “I don’t want to spend a certain amount of money to get corporate clothes that I’m going to wear during my 9 to 5.”

Ms. Rizzi and Mrs. Yee pointed out the same thing, unassisted. Matilda Djerf, a popular Swedish influencer who is well-known for her minimalist style. “clean girl” aesthetic, as another reason for the crop-top-and-blazer look’s booming popularity. Djerf Avenue, her fashion brand, champions the ensemble along with other online trends.

“I think because we’re seeing more of that corporate wear being worn out like streetwear, I think a lot of brands are starting to take that as inspo and market their clothes as corporate,”Ms. Yee said.

Tops with unusual cutouts or cropped sleeves are increasingly popular in stores today, as the fashion trends of 1990s and 2000s continue to gain popularity. Many online retailers offer a wide range of tops, including Revolve, Forever 21, Asos, SheinAnd Fashion NovaThey also feature miniskirts or backless blouses in their work wear categories. Based on how they’re presented online, the recent college graduate could be forgiven for thinking that crop tops are unimpeachably office-appropriate.

Amari Rivers spent nearly a year working as a community engagement specialist for a nonprofit on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She usually shops at H&M and Shein, Pretty Little Things and Amazon, and occasionally Fashion Nova. She said in a phone interview that the tops in her wardrobe were mostly cropped because she’s more “drawn”They are her go-to items when she shops. She would pair them up with high-waisted bottoms for work to avoid being criticised.

“I feel like sometimes, even when I’m not looking for a crop, like, if I’m looking for full-length clothes, I struggle because everything is crop now,”Ms. Rivers is 22, a Bronx resident, and is now employed at a different nonprofit, which allows her to work remotely. She can wear whatever she likes.

She described her style in two words: “super girlie-girlie”influenced by streetwear and said it was difficult to save money for professional clothes. H&M is a last resort.

“If I’m trying to get something that’s really worky-worky or fancy, I would go there,” Ms. Rivers said. “I like their office section, but it’s not the cheapest.”

Antonia Davis is a 27-year old woman who works in human resources at a La Plata, Md. community college. She has had to issue warnings on campus to employees for their crop tops. Ms. Davis recalls that a student assistant in I.T. was once warned by her supervisor. went to her office to complain about her supervisor, who had told her that she couldn’t wear her outfit that day — a short pleated skirt and a crop top. Following the rules of the workplace, Ms. Davis sided with the assistant’s boss.

“I think it really depends on your job because I think some people around here wear crop tops, but she’s in I.T.,”Ms. Davis stated this in a phone interview.

Preventing workplace harassment is typically one of the chief reasons for a dress code, a tool with which employers try to protect employees from unwanted distractions and comments from others — an even greater priority since the #MeToo movement began. Many believe that employees are responsible for choosing the right outfit for the day, and their colleagues should be respectful.

“The choice should be left to the individual,” Ms. Rizzi said, adding, “In my experience, men will be gross no matter what you’re wearing.”

Whether crop tops are appropriate for the office might depend on who you ask, but it seems as if some workplaces aren’t clutching their pearls quite so tightly at this latest development.

Ms. Yee admitted that, despite starting her new job in October, she still hasn’t been asked about her office wear choices after ten months.

“I guess maybe that’s not their top priority,”Ms. Yee said. “I think the clothes you’re wearing, it doesn’t define the work, how much work or how much effort you’re going to put in that day.”

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