Not A Dress


I would never have pegged myself as a crop top kind of girl. Ever since the baby tees of the late 90s / early 00s, I’ve been scarred for life. I try not to show any type of midriff for your sake, my sake, everyone’s sake. 




Until the past year or so, I was against crops and then styles like this started popping up.  How can you say no to a fancy, lady like top / skirt combo that makes your middle look like a belt?  It’s a classy crop, my friends. Because I’m the classiest. I mean I just explained a ‘skin belt’ to you. SO CLASS. 

(I haven’t slept well in a few days so if this didn’t make sense, you are not alone. Didn’t make sense to me either.)




JOA Skirt

Similar Mint Heels

TopShop Purse (in black) / Similar here

BaubleBar x Anthro Necklace

  • Lisa Nelson

    Baby Tees!!! I haven't thought about those in AGES! That's why I love this blog…the nostalgia factor.

    This outfit is so cute. I love it on you!

  • Elizabeth Hawn
  • krittens

    It's really great to see you smiling! xo

  • Holly + Casey

    You look awesome in a crop top! Loving pattern on pattern

  • Q
  • Vann girl

    This might be one of my favorite outfits from your blog ever. And great pictures!

  • Kena

    You look so nice in your not a dress

  • Grace Beekman

    LOVE this! Such a great crop top! So darn sweet. And such a fun striped pattern!

  • Linnaedesign

    Such a lovely outfit! I really adore your dress. So cute! <3

    Linnae from LinnaeDesign

  • Sarah

    Wow! That looks amazing!

  • ≈ CARMEN ≈

    This look is precious. It's got a classic yet modern vibe. :] // ☼

  • Jessica Rose

    I love these two together…really cute…;)

  • Sarah

    I'm not much of a commenter, but you look GREAT in this outfit, and I love it!! I'm 29 myself and testing the waters on crop tops again, and this is serious encouragement :)

  • ALatteLipstick

    You're the cutest/funniest! So glad to find your blog and cant wait to read more!

    Chloe – A Latte Lipstick

  • footnotes and finds

    this is one of my fav outfits of yours! it inspires me to try something similar, i too have been really slow to jump on the crop top bandwagon!

  • Andrea Bennett

    Such a pretty outfit :)

  • Dayle Pereira

    Such prettiness :)

  • Rebecca Lately

    Makes sense to me :) Get some sleep, girl!

  • Danielle

    This is gorgeous! Do you have any tips as to the sizing of the pieces? I am interested in buying, but not sure which size to choose!

  • lola

    I wish you had titled the post, "Classy Skin Belt." lol You look lovely.

  • Andrea

    This is so pretty!! You look lovely!
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

  • Kate Jackson

    The phrase "skin belt" made me giggle out loud. But it's a much better way to think about a crop in my opinion… Great hair, by the way!

  • Shopping My Closet

    Could've fooled me! Love the slight crop top effect!

    Liz @

  • Diana Buchanan

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this, but I wish it WERE a dress so i could wear it to work. sad face!

  • Happinessatmidlife

    I am still not ready for the crop top look….too scary to show my mid section. This is crop top done right!


  • Brooke

    This is so so pretty! Everything from the ladylike subtle crop top to the mint heels to your new hair color. Beautiful!

  • Natali

    Such a beautiful, feminine and cruise like outfit! You look stunning!

  • Tara CW44

    This is perfection. So ladylike and you explained the skin belt to a T. 😉


  • Librarian Lavender

    This outfit looks really great! I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but it looks very good on you!

  • Sarah Enuwa Audu

    Definitely very classy, you killed this look, this is one of my favorite looks so far.

  • Miranda

    Hahaha! 'Skin belt' is my new favorite phrase. Ever. *Rolls on floor laughing…

  • Dearest Darling

    I totallllly agree! Last year I was calling my friends crazy for wearing them, this yeah I'm addicted! Somehow, someone figured out how to make classy ones! Who knew?

  • Eye Like Fashion

    You're so cute. And so is this CLASSY ladylike look. Love the colors and the skin belt.

  • Donna

    You look soo cute! Love this look on you, especially the color.


  • Sara – Window On My Wardrobe

    Gorgeous two piece, it looks super elegant!

    X Sara

  • Sarah H.

    Same here – I've changed my tune! And you are pulling off the skin belt look like nobody's business.

    ~Sarah of Sarah's Real Life

  • Jen C

    I loooooooove this look! The perfect amount of skin. Lovely!!

    And I sincerely hope you get some better sleep SOON :-)

  • Sarah

    This is the most beautiful silhouette on you!

  • Porcelina

    Divine, love this and it's going straight on my Pinterest! x

  • Ila

    Love the outfit, the colours, the bag and the accessories. You look beautiful Kendi :)

    Ila x

  • Ceci Bean

    That looks really lovely. Skin belt sounds like a serial killer's accessory though.

  • nikki

    HAHA. your posts crack me up. i love this!! so gorgeous


  • Alex Nguyen

    Love your classy take on the crop top and midi skirt! I will definitely be trying this!
    -Alex of

  • whenimolder
  • Jennifer

    This is a fantastic look for you!

    xo Jennifer

  • rhiannon
  • Mica

    That is such a wonderful set! :) The pieces would look amazing on their own too :)

    Really tasteful way to show a little bit of skin :)

    Away From The Blue

  • Christine de Leon

    could not love this outfit more!!

    from – The Lion's Den

  • Kendi Lea

    Thanks dear! On the sleep front, I do too. I'm starting to feel drunk without any alcohol 😉

  • Kendi Lea

    It's always the trends that our friends think we are crazy for that make it, right? 😉

  • Kendi Lea

    I know what you mean. I don't know if this is modest office appropriate, but maybe date night appropriate :)

  • Rosely Carrasco

    Lol skin belt. I can definitely sense the lack of sleep. Just kidding. I am still holding strong about not jumping into the crop top wagon, but it has to do more with body issues than dislike for the trend. Your crop top outfit is very classy, you look great.

  • Kendi Lea

    I know right? Missed opportunity right there.

  • Kendi Lea

    I can definitely help! We carried this brand at bloom. So this brand (JOA) runs fairly small. XS is going to be your 0. S – I'd say 2/4. (depends on waist for the skirt). M – 4/6 (again depends on body shape) and L- 8/10 maybe. I'm wearing the L in both the top and skirt, if that helps! It's also a very full skirt (with crinoline and lining), just so you are expecting that! The top fits nicely and isn't too tight in the chest. If you are of the smaller chest club, I'd say maybe size down one.

  • Kendi Lea

    Do it!

  • Kendoge

    Much belt, wow.

  • carol

    I love this classy 50s style look. So, kendi, you seem a little bit shopoholic, right? How do you afford all those clothes? Please tell me you don't put them on a credit card.

  • Jess_Dynarski

    Kendi, you never seize to crack me up!! I love this look it's so put together and even though it is a crop top, classy!


  • Angela

    Fresh and cute!


  • Kimi

    I love this matching set! You look amazing. :) I'm starting to feel more comfortable about a skin belt myself (though I tend to keep it at a skinny skin belt).

    xo Kimi

  • PSLily Boutique

    Refreshing matching set! Love your bag and shoes too :)


  • Danielle

    Thank you so much — very helpful!

  • melissa

    i love this! I feel like only shop bop has these styles.. when is everyone else going to catch on?

    By the way, when are you posting your europe packing list?

  • Jhan

    Love this look… Really like the sleeve on the crop top, too!

  • Teia Blackshear Collier


  • BeautyStyleGrowth

    That is such a lovely skirt. Love how it flows and fits. Although not a fan of crop tops, you pull this one off perfectly. Love the shoes too and the color.
    k at

  • Marisa Zerby

    Rocking the crop, I love it! xx

  • Becca P

    You look so beautiful!!! Seriously everything about this is so classy, feminine, regal, and classic.

  • Jasmine Irvine

    Love this! Is the top from Shopbop in UK sizing? I'm wanting to order it along with the skirt from Piperlime but the sizing is much different! (large at piperlime is a 10/12 US but a large on shopbop is an 8 US!) I've never ordered from shopbop before. Thanks!!

  • Chanelle Kim

    This looks great on you!!!

  • chelsea

    Kendi!! FAVE!!!!

  • Kodi

    You look GORGEOUS! A grown up crop top looks more appealing every day.

  • Alexandra Aimee

    This purse is lovely! I would never have thought it was from TopShop! It looks like a Tory Burch to me.

    — Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

  • Audrey @ Putting Me Together

    Adorable! I love it paired with the mint heels.

  • katie

    rock it girl!!

  • alisialynn

    you look like a nautical beauty from 60 years ago! love it

  • Miss Hot Couture

    Love the ensemble, from head to toe!


  • Stacia

    Love how this looks like a dress but is totally not!

  • Sierra

    Ummmmm I need this outfit on my body RIGHT NOW. So cute.

  • Noor

    The funniest too!

  • Alice Young

    You look amazing this outfit is lovely!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

  • Sasa Zoe

    Love the matching top and skirt, babe! Have a great weekend:)

  • Agi

    Love the outfit. I actually thought it was a dress. Gorgeous.


  • supal {chevrons & éclairs}

    oh this look is so lovely! This totally made sense… skinny skin belt :) x

  • Melanie

    As always, you are hilarious and lookin' gorgeous. I didn't even realize this was a crop top/skirt combo until I started reading. Totally thought it was a dress. It is definitely classy. Skin belt and all.

    Melanie | UnraveledThreads

  • laura

    This look is great! It's so much classier than I've seen this look done before. I bought the outfit and I'm wearing it to a wedding next weekend!!! Thanks for the idea! You're great!

  • Joules

    Very pretty! I love the shape of the skirt.

    Style by Joules

  • KCO

    Kendi, do you know how hard it is to get someone to laugh out loud (actually laugh out loud, not LOL) while reading a blog? Skin belt. You kill me.

  • JK

    What a darling outfit! I'm not a fan of crop tops, but this really works! Happy Summer!

  • Liz

    adorable! and i love the pockets!!

    xo, Liz

  • The slow pace

    Love the outfit! I've always been scared of crop tops, but this one looks adorable!

  • Kristina Anderson

    So super adorable! This is the only way I'd wear a crop top too.

    Kristina does the Internets

  • photosbyjaana

    you really do just wear it perfectly

  • Summer

    I love it!! I purchased both pieces, the skirt was quite a bit less at