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Go Way Back

Go Way Back: Crop Tops

Go Way Back BY bea koch 01/24/2014

After spending the past month bundled under too many layers to count, we’re dreaming of seeing some skin. Just a little! One way to go: the crop top, which has a nice long history that you can read all about down below… 

 

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The Origin: While bared bellies have been considered scandalous in the West forevs, the hotter temps of the Far East called for more exposed skin. Indian saris have been worn with short tops underneath, called cholis, for hundreds of years. And in 1893, crowds at the World’s Fair in Chicago were treated to some belly dancers.

 

 

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The Evolution: The war rationing of the 1940s brought a whole host of fashion trends to the forefront, including the crop top. But it wasn’t embraced by everybody, that’s for sure: In 1945, a woman was fined $2 for wearing a halter top and shorts with bare midriff in Central Park.

 

 

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Leave it to Audrey to embrace the look in the sixties without actually showing skin.

 

 

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Yah, Daisy Duke—who made her debut in 1979—may be best-known for the shorts she wore, but of equal importance: her midriff-baring lumberjack shirt.

 

 

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Baby in Dirty Dancing. Alex in Flashdance. Madonna in, well, everything. Crop tops enjoyed a serious eighties heyday.

 

 

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In the nineties, the Spice Girls proved that girl power was all about a crop top (and weird platform sneakers).

 

 

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The Right Now: These days, it’s all about showing a strip of belly in a ladylike way. Let Zoe Saldana be your guide (in life, really).

 

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