Baby Tee Vs Crop Top: What's the Difference?


Nobody puts baby (tee) in a corner! Baby tees are a 90s staple but they’re making a comeback, and they’ve also become a rival to the crop top. There may be fierce competition out there but both baby tees and crop tops have a time and place to be worn. Make a little room in your closet for these closet staples that we’re loving!

These seemingly similar garments actually cater to distinctly different tastes and occasions. From their origins to their modern interpretations, this blog post navigates the subtle — but important — differences between the two. So, what’s it going to be, baby tee or crop top? We’re going with both! Read on for more about these two midriff-showing tops.

Origins of the Baby Tee and Crop Top

Baby tees are best known for their appearance on everyday women in the 90s. They’re basically just a shrunken down t-shirt. Crop tops, on the other hand, are more associated with the 60s and 70s as a symbol of liberation. Unlike baby tees, crop tops actually use less material and are purposely cropped at the bottom.

The crop top experienced its first wave of popularity in the 1960s as a garment of liberation, reflecting the changing roles of women in society. Initially associated with the rise of the bikini, the crop top soon found its way into everyday fashion, providing a sexy and confident look for women across the globe.

Both styles have evolved, incorporating new fabrics, cuts, and prints to remain relevant. The baby tee has morphed from its simple cotton beginnings to include more stretchy and clingy materials, while the crop top has varied in length and silhouette, allowing it to be worn by a diverse range of body types and style preferences.

Design Features of Baby Tees and Crop Tops

Despite the nuances, baby tees and crop tops have distinct design features that set them apart. Baby tees, true to their name, are characterized by their length, which typically hits at the high hip or just below the navel. They offer a fitted silhouette, often with a crew neck or scoop neck. This style is coveted for its ability to showcase curves without revealing too much skin, making it a versatile choice.

On the other hand, the crop top is defined by its shorter length, ending anywhere from just below the bust to the natural waist. It often features a wider range of necklines, from off-the-shoulder to halter styles. Crafted to accentuate the midsection, crop tops come in loose, fitted, and even structured designs, catering to the level of skin exposure preferred by the wearer.

Styling Baby Tees and Crop Tops

Baby tees are cute to wear as a casual look. When we think of baby tees, our mind goes straight to short sleeve graphic tees worn with low rise jeans or leggings. You can also wear a baby tee with an opened button down blouse or flannel.

Crop tops can be any type of sleeve length (think: tank tops, camisoles, and even long sleeve tops). Generally, crop tees can be dressed up more than baby tees and are more of a wardrobe staple since they hold more versatility.

Celebs Wearing the Trend

In the 90s, celebs like Brittney Spears and The Spice Girls. On the other hand, Baby Tees were popular on Jennifer Aniston in Friends and Paris Hilton’s street style.

In the current fashion climate, both baby tees and crop tops are enjoying a surge in popularity, thanks in part to nostalgia-driven trends and the love of retro-style. They are TikTok staples, with influencers and celebrities finding innovative ways to wear and share these pieces. Designers have also embraced them, featuring updated versions on the runway and incorporating them into high fashion.