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GQ writer Yang-Yi Goh spends his days delivering top-tier fit advisories for our GQ Recommends operation, which he’s qualified to do because the man has not, to my knowledge, ever missed on an outfit. He’s a sartorial magpie, puzzle-piecing together chef’s-kiss looks with a truly aggravating nonchalance. While we were in pandemic sweats, he was wearing Issey Miyake. Yang is Simone Biles on the floor exercise, making the hard look easy and the impossible look possible. Case in point: Yang doesn’t even need a whole shirt anymore.
As Yang tells it, his crop-top style experiment started with the help of some Hollywood inspiration and a pair of scissors. “I came across some photos of fellas like Will Smith and Adam Sandler looking righteous in cropped tees back in the ’90s and just thought, “Huh. Why not?” he says. ”Turns out it’s really hard to cut fabric in a straight line with ancient kitchen scissors.” That’s when Yang made the Brad Pitt Pivot.
“In the interest of not butchering any more of my tees and sweats, I decided to spend the rest of the week experimenting with tied shirts, à la Brad Pitt in the pages of a little magazine called GQ. My knot-tying skills would make a scout leader want to put their head through a wall, but I was pretty into it! It’s kinda like wearing a bowtie at the bottom of your button-down.”
There was also the whole abs-al-fresco effect to get used to. “No matter how comfortable with your body you think you are,” says Yang, “walking outside with your stomach exposed is going to feel the teensiest bit intimidating.” Not that you need a six-pack to tie up your shirt. A little of Yang’s advice might help, though—so he’s kindly sourced a few shirts for help you on your own crop-top journey.
4 Shirts You Can Cut or Tie for Your Own Crop-Top Style
Russell Athletic Dri-Power fleece sweatshirt
There’s no such thing as too many heather gray crewnecks.
Hanes short sleeve Beefy-T (2-pack)
Two shots at cropping a straight line for just $12.
Alex Mill “Mill” shirt
Size up to give yourself a lil’ extra tying length.
Banks Journal “Wilder” shirt
How do you stand out in a sea of summer camp shirts? Knot yours up at the hem.