Young man flexing and wearing crop tank top.

Shawn Mendes echoed the LGBTQ+ community’s opinion on crop tops when he said they are “super beautiful” and “look great on men.” Facts! 

Although cis-straight masculinity abandoned crop tops since they were first popularized by football players in the 1970s, queer men continue to liberate their midriff and embrace their fun and flirty nature. 

While clothes don’t technically have a gender, only a few LGBTQ+ retailers sell crop tops geared toward masculine body shapes, but the good news is that it’s easy to crop your own shirt.

DIY crop tops are the most cost-effective and eco-friendly option, and you can breathe new gay life into clothing you stopped wearing or that fit too big. 

Learn how to upcycle an old t-shirt or tank into a stylish cropped top with this easy DIY tutorial.

What do you need for a DIY crop top?

Torso of muscular man lifting shirt to show abs.

You’ll most likely have all the items needed to create a crop top already in your household:

  • A tank top or T-shirt
  • One pair of scissors
  • A marker
  • A ruler or measuring tape will help you cut in a straight line

Step-by-Step Guide

Young man smirking and boxing face with hands while wearing white crop top.

1. Choose the right shirt or tank

There are so many different varieties of crop top styles (long sleeves, short sleeves, tank), so don’t feel limited by our direction. However, crop tops for men tend to have a loose fit that allows the opening to dangle over your midriff and playfully showcase your abdomen or v-cut. We’d suggest using a shirt that’s a size larger than you normally wear if possible. 

2. Marking the shirt or tank

Put on your shirt to get a sense of how you want the crop top to look, and mark it. Typically, the length of a crop top is a few inches above the navel. But many men opt to cut it lower to cover the belly button, such as seen with the crop top that made Pedro Pascal go viral. It’s a personal preference, and you should sport what you feel most comfortable in. You might decide to cut it lower or higher depending on where you’re planning on wearing it. 

3. Cutting the shirt or tank

We like Nathan McCallum’s technique (2:00) of folding the shirt over in half, and lining up the seams, so you can maximize a symmetrical cut. He advises cutting a bit lower than you want the crop because the shirt’s fit will naturally shorten a bit after washing and dry. (It’s up to you whether you want to cut the sleeves and collar for added character.) Make sure you’re using fabric scissors or at least a pair strong enough to cut through fabric.

4. Hemming

A man posing in front of a fashion work station.

If you know your way around a sewing machine, you can hem your new crop top to prevent fraying. However, you can also embrace the raw edge and throw it into the washer/ dryer for finishing like you would distressed jeans.

5. Styling your crop top

Wondering how to the rest of your outfit should look? We searched social media for some crop top style inspiration.  The sky’s the limit with your fashion possibilities – think athleisure, ripped jeans, high waisted pants, or even formal. 

It’s time for your crop top era

A young man jumping wearing black tank crop top and pink skirt.

If you’re ready to level up your old wardrobe just in time for warm weather, a DIY crop top will add the fun and flirtation your closet is missing. Queer people know all about embracing transformation and new beginnings, so why not give a particular shirt or tank the chance to rise as a cheeky crop top.

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about running into someone else wearing the same crop top because your shirt officially became one of a kind.

Show your stomach with pride – it’s officially part of the sustainable fashion movement.

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