Fun little fact: Sometimes I just want to rip my shirt off during a workout. And I’m not talking about feeling so sexy and strong that my inner Hulk comes out (but if that’s how you feel, by all means, do you). I’m talking about feeling like I’m drowning in my own sweat, and that the only way to get some relief is to shed that extra layer of fabric. GET OFF OF ME, SHIRT.
As summer approaches, this take-it-all-off need is becoming a regular occurrence for me. Unfortunately, there’s something about working out in just a sports bra that usually gives me pause. I want to be that girl in the SoulCycle class who shows up in a sports bra and leggings and doesn’t think twice about it. But the reality is that I feel way more comfortable having some sort of clothing on that qualifies as an actual shirt.
So when I discovered crop top sports bras—also known by a million other names including midi bras, crop bras, and workout crop tanks—I thought they were absolutely genius. Yes, they’re still bras. But they cover way more than a regular sports bra, and often are cut so stylishly that they really could double as a crop top outside the gym. Paired with my fitness apparel soulmate, high-waisted leggings, as I’m doing in the photo up top, crop top sports bras are the perfect compromise—they’ve got minimal fabric and keep you cool, but cover enough for those of us who have some reservations about the whole topless thing. Plus, they’re really freakin’ cute. I dare you to find a crop top sports bra that’s not cool.
Important disclaimer here, of course: A lot of these styles of bras are only made for low or medium impact, and my better-endowed friends have told me that they want to wear these but usually can’t get enough support. You may find that for you, crop bras are best suited for workouts like cycling or strength training moves that don’t involve jumping.
With that being said, if crop top sports bras work for you the way they work for me, whether you wear them on a run or have to save them for low-impact activities, they’re the stylish-and-confidence-boosting bras we all deserve when it’s pushing 90 outside. Here are some of my favorite styles right now. Happy summer sweating!