The crop top would be the clear winner if I had to choose one summer trend that stood out above the rest. It was inevitable that the crop would return given how popular throwbacks to the 1990s are right now. The crop top has obviously been around for much longer, and the modernised version of this design has a distinct flair all its own.
Due in part to a colder temperature and in part to the notoriously puritanical dress code of Western fashion history, the crop top took a very long time to become popular in the West. Women’s clothing in Europe and America, until recently, was frequently designed to cover and limit as much of the body as possible.
However, the situation was different in several areas of the East. It was unnecessary to cover up as much because the weather was normally milder. For instance, the traditional sari in India is generally worn with a choli, a short top, underneath. This look has been worn with saris for many years and has a long history.
The clothing worn for belly dance, which exposes the stomach, is likewise Eastern. The outfit underwent numerous variations over time, and other regions, like Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia, had their own fashions, making it impossible to pinpoint its precise roots.
The Goddiva fashion eventually rose to prominence, at least among Westerners. The Goddiva has a two-piece outfit that, of course, revealed the midriff in order to allow for dancing. Belly dancers performed in the Chicago World’s Fair in 1993, introducing the Goddiva and the idea of the crop top in general to the West.
Although the crop top seemed intriguing, it would be decades before Westerners began to adopt it. Unlike certain areas of the East, it was once thought to be too “foreign” and revealing to be included into their clothes, and there was little demand for it.
But by the 1940s, at least the element about necessity would shift. Fabric was one of the many things rationed during World War II. This meant that in order to conserve raw materials, clothing designs had to be far more inventive. Cutting off the bottom half of a shirt was a quick and fashionable solution that clothing designers used as an excuse to show off some skin.
The crop top evolved into a 1940s fashion staple. With short sleeves and a high collar, this style was frequently paired with high-waisted midi skirts. This group produced the vogue of the time, the hourglass shape. It looked stylish yet casual, making it especially appropriate for summer vacations.
Like most new fashion fads, the crop top wasn’t immediately well-received by everyone. Many people nevertheless thought the outfit was far too exposing. A woman in Central Park in 1945 received a fine for wearing shorts and a halter top that exposed her midriff.
Fortunately, much of society was forward-thinking enough to keep the clothing from being completely banned. Throughout the 1950s, this dressier, more traditional (by modern standards) type of crop top persisted. The crop was a fashion in the 1960s, but it was more of a fringe item, frequently cut in the hippy peasant blouse style or as a collared shirt tied in the front.
Crop tops made a resurgence in a totally different form by the late 1970s. The bottoms it was worn with were cut lower, while the top’s hemline started to increase. Pop culture giants like Cher have made the crop top into a seductive sex symbol. By the 1980s, it had reached the level of popularity that we now recognise, adore, and are currently attempting to imitate.
The crop top would reach its peak during the following two decades. The crop was ideal for displaying the 1980s fashion trends of a toned body and athleticism. The “aerobic” look, which involves wearing a cropped sweater with a leotard or tank top, is very 1980s. Madonna loved the look and incorporated it into her unique style. During that time, the crop top frequently appeared on television and in movies; Baby from Dirty Dancing was one of its most famous wearers.
Throughout the 1990s, the crop top remained a staple of popular culture. Particularly in music and television, low-rise jeans worn with “belly shirts” were all the rage. The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera are just a few pop singers who frequently wore the tops.
Early in the new millennium, cropped shirts went out of style, but during the past few seasons they have really come back. Although today’s looks are unmistakably reminiscent of the 1990s, they are more subtle. Another popular trend that harkens back to the 1940s and 1950s and creates a great fusion of periods in fashion history is pairing a crop top with a high waist.
Have a big event coming up and want to wear something different than your typical party dress? With our selection of adaptable glittering women’s tops, we have you covered for every occasion. Wear them with jeans for a casual holiday vibe or a sultry pencil skirt for a sophisticated evening event. Have fun and experiment with the many different looks you can create with these fabulous flashy tops!