Can My Preteen or Teen Wear a Crop Top?

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If you have ever gone shopping for a girl, you know how hard it is to find a modest shirt that covers the stomach, has sleeves, and doesn’t have offensive language screen-printed across the chest.

Crop tops seem almost tame compared to some of the tops I’ve seen.

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Should My Daughter Wear a Crop Top?

should my daughter wear a crop top

Wearing a crop top is situational. There are some environments in which a crop top is not just acceptable but preferable. Activities that require a lot of movement, like dance and sports, are fine choices for wearing a crop top. Crop tops can be fun casual shirts. They should not be worn to school.

Wearing Crop Tops to School

teen on school

When I was young, there were very strict rules about what could or could not be worn to school.

We were not allowed to wear tank tops, crop tops, t-shirts with offensive language, t-shirts that advertised cigarettes or tobacco, jeans that were too heavily ripped, skirts that were higher than our fingertips, or shorts.

Yes, I’m old enough to remember not being allowed to wear shorts to school.

Most of these rules are now fairly dated. Having one child in middle school and one in high school, I am very aware of the dress codes that must be observed in order to insure my children aren’t sent home.

Girls have long been allowed to wear shorts and shorter shirts. About three years ago, my kids’ school system began allowing tank tops. One thing that remains on the do-not-wear list is the crop top.

Crop tops are not permitted at school because they show too much skin, which can be distracting. You might not agree with this rule or the reasoning behind it, like me, but you do need to adhere to the rule unless and until it is changed.

Wearing Crop Tops Outside of School

group of teenagers

Crop tops are trendy among teenage and pre-teen girls. Most social events that I have been privy to involve liberal use of the crop top as the chosen shirt.

Many of these crop tops have spaghetti straps in order to show off as much skin as possible.

Should you let your child wear this type of shirt? That’s up to you. Many parents value modesty and will insist their daughters never wear a crop top.

Others have a more laissez-faire approach. I fall into the latter category.

I find it empowering when I see a teenage girl embracing her body. However, I do not judge those parents who don’t allow their daughters to wear crop tops.

Those girls won’t miss out on something special because they weren’t allowed to show three inches of midriff at the school football game.

Wearing a Crop Top for Exercise

teen wearing crop top and working out

My daughter is 12. She has been dancing competitively since she was six. She dances about 16 to 20 hours per week. She prefers to wear a crop top to dance because she gets hot in a full-sized shirt or tank top.

I have seen girls wearing crop tops for running, playing basketball, playing volleyball and regular workouts.

Other than just wearing a sports bra, a crop top is the coolest way to exercise.

Putting Your Foot Down

You have to choose your battles when you are raising a teenager. Are you willing to die on No-Crop-Top Hill? If so, go for it.

Explain your reasoning the best way you know how. If that is not successful, cut a deal with your teen. No crop tops could be exchanged for one less chore at home.


Something to keep in mind is the length a child will go to in order to wear what all of their friends are wearing.

I have seen numerous girls show up to sporting events in full-sized shirts that are immediately converted into crop tops when their parents aren’t looking.

Keep that in mind when choosing to insist the crop top doesn’t happen.

Key Takeaways

Crop tops aren’t the worst fashion don’t, but they are one of the most pervasive. Seek balance when considering the crop top.

Do not allow the crop top at school or formal events, but do allow it for social gatherings. Do you agree or disagree? Tell us in the comments!

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Zack Burner
Zack Burner
1 year ago

Telling your daughter to not wear a crop top, or tell her to wait till she’s 18? I don’t think so. Better to be there for her as she grows up, sympathize and compromise, rather than breed rebellion and resentment for not embracing her individuality and need to connect with others, have fun while it lasts in the young years. For best results, here’s what I recommend: 13-14 is the best age to start, and go for a long crop top (like a tank, front-tie, or my favorite: the lettuce edge) and pair it with high-waisted shorts or skirt. In addition like what was mentioned above, not to school but for weekends or summer times at a friends house, parties, the pool, beach, and mall. To top it all off, teach her how to verbally, mentally, and physically defend herself (martial arts) as well. Try not to shut down thoughts and opinions as that will only create rebellion and resentment, and that’s the last thing any parent wants.