A crop top (also cropped top, belly shirt, half shirt, midriff shirt, midriff top, tummy top, short shirt, and cutoff shirt) is a T-shirt or blouse with the lower part cut off, showing off some of the abdomen. The belly shirt (or half shirt) is a kind of shirt that is cut off from the bottom of the chest.
During the mid-1980s, pop star Madonna caused a controversy when she gyrated in a mesh crop top in her video for the song “Lucky Star.” Also during this decade, cutoff crop tops became a popular fashion item thanks to the aerobic craze and popularity of the movie Flashdance. It became common for girls to crop off sections of their workout wear, such as sleeves, collars, and the hem of the shirt to create a loose-fitting top which was often worn over a body suit or tank top. Crop tops were also often paired with low-slung belts in the 1980s, angled at the side of the hip. As mesh fabrics and oversized aerobics gear went out of fashion by the 1990s, the crop top reappeared in the form of the bustier, a lingerie-styled shirt which revealed the midriff and was typically worn under a blazer or shirt. By the mid-1990s, the crop top took on the form of the baby doll shirt, a cropped, tight-fitting t-shirt which often featured graphic logos. Long-sleeved crop tops and even crop top turtlenecks also became fashionable for the first time, popularized by such public figures, as country singer Shania Twain. By the late 1990s, crop tops had become so mainstream that many schools began banning the garment in their dress code.
While pop singers such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera popularized the crop top for teeny boppers in the 1990s, others were making a crop top fashion statement for pregnant women. Certain members of the all-female musical groups All Saints and the Spice Girls wore crop tops on stage during their pregnancies, ushering in the trend of showing off one’s baby bump rather than hiding it. Since the beginning of the new millennium, cropped jackets and blazers have become popular fashion items, while the hemlines of shirts have mostly remained longer. Currently, the crop tops are back in fashion with celebrities like Lindsay Lohan etc., sporting it in public. and models sporting it in ads.
“Underboob cleavage”, where the cleavage from the bottom of the breast is showcased became increasingly popular in glamor and partially nude photography, which further popularized the crop top.