Am I the only one who thought Ezekiel Elliott’s red carpet crop top was tacky? For some reason, 2016 is trying really hard to make the crop top happen again for men. But trust me on this, it’s not a thing.
Let me backtrack a little. Ezekiel Elliott, who was recently drafted as the newest running back for the Dallas Cowboys (congrats btw!), walked the NFL Draft red carpet in a crop top. Well, not just a crop top. It was hiding underneath his baby blue suit jacket. He apparently wore it in tribute to his popular practice attire. That’s cool and all, but a football field is the only place in the world where a crop top is appropriate. Tongues were wagging and people (outside of the fashion community of course) were praising him for a bold statement. The only thing bold about this was the fact that he dared to wear any of it in public. Those teal tassel loafers. The white lapel on his jacket. The silk bow tie he wore WITH the crop top. I’ll forgive him because he’s only 20 years old (bless his heart). But for all those who view his look as avant garde, you couldn’t be more mistaken.
The men’s crop top was a thing of the 80s and 90s. It was usually reserved for members of the counterculture: break dancers, hair metal rockers, punk kids, those dancers on FAME. Now, you typically only see it on football players (at practice), gay men (during PRIDE celebrations), or on celebrities like Jaden Smith that seem hell bent on proving their gender fluidity to everyone. It’s not a widespread phenomenon. And though Buzzfeed supported the trend as early as last May, I advise you to follow your gut on this one.
Crop tops are reserved for the 1% of men out there who can literally wear anything. These are men who could shape a garbage bag into cutoff shorts and look like they just walked off the set of an editorial shoot. The other 99% of guys have a hard time figuring what color chinos to buy for casual Friday. Crop tops are light years away from their realm of possibility. Even when we reach the dad fashion phase of our lives in which we go to the grocery store in University of Alabama sweatpants and orthopedic sneakers, we will still care too much about our appearance to be caught dead in a crop top.
The male crop top can have a place on the runway. But like most runway fashion, it doesn’t translate to real life. Imagine walking into the office this Friday in a crop top. Or heading out to a bar. Or picking up your kids from school. In a crop top. I live in New York City, and I would think it was out of place here. So I can’t imagine where, if not in America’s most progressive city, it would comfortably seem like common place.
Don’t listen to what anyone tells you. Leave that crop top on the rack where it belongs. You are a man that wears complete shirts. You know, the kind that covers your tummy and extends past your waist line. Keep being that guy. People like that guy. People won’t make fun of that guy. If you decide to don a crop top, I can’t help you. No one can.