Long stories on crop tops

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


What do belly-dancers and fit chicks have in common? Huh? Any ideas?
The answer is in the heading. 
It is a crop-top! And that's what I want to tell you about today. 
From Indian traditional costume to Madonna's "Lucky star" video, from conservative collared and short-sleeved crop-tops of 40s to fluorescent tiny tops of girl bands of the 90's.
Since the first public appearances in 1940's croptops had their more or less successfull comebacks and fame periods, reaching the peak of it's popularity in 80s, courtesy of fitness videos, and pop culture.
Starting from chagra choli and lehenga choli, which are Indian traditional cotumes, where "choli" is a very tight blouse with lots of embellishments and garments, and "bedleh" ("bedlah") the traditional costume of belly dancers with sheer pants and beaded bras: crop tops and their variations were the showstoppers for decades. 
Madame Vionnet reintroduced the bare belly to Europeans in early 30s, when she presented the dress with "strategically placed cutouts". Then there were 40s with hourglass shape body and 60s with "I dream of Jeanie", and 80s with Baby from "Dirty dancing"  and everyone from Spice girls to Britney Spears in 90's: the crop tops had their long way from highlighting the femininity to expressing the sexuality. 
Clothes are more than just something to cover your body with. Of course, it depends on your perception, and you may say that anything you wear is just a piece of fabric with buttons and zips and prints or whatever there is on it... and that's it. 
But to certain extent every clothing piece is something that translates and messages those who surround you your position and thoughts. By wearing something you grab or you don't grab the attention without saying a single word. But what makes the trend? What provoked the crop tops to experience once again the peak of popularity now, in 2010's? It was pop culture in 80's, girl bands in late 90's, but what happened in 2010's?
It is all about sexuality, and naked skin is the best way to express it, you will say and you will be completely right. Everyone knows that sex sells, so do the things translating the sexuality.
But the longer I was looking for the answer on the question "Why crop tops", the more I was sure that it is not only about wish to be sexy.
Nowadays
 we see not only "mindless" "sexy"ness: women are not Lolitas anymore (well, some of them still are), they try to assert their right to be sexy and desired.
So, what sells more than it did in the past? Something that can move the sales of clothes and change the vector in what and how people live and eat. For me the answer lies in "stayfit" philosophy with worldwide propaganda. All those "healthy diets", "detoxes", "squats", "gyms", "legdays" and you can continue the list, if you want to.
All these trends evoke the necessity to show off the results achieved during the endless exhausting training sessions. 
Once again we come back to the "public approval: I go to the gym and I see the results, I wear crop tops and sometimes I "forget" to change my sportive pants and micro shorts, because I'm not fat, neither I'm skinny, I'm fitted and hot and slim and I want the whole world to know about it! 
Crop top turns out to be not only a piece of fabric, it becomes a manisesto of succesful work on yourself, the announcement on how responsible you are for what you eat, for your body, and how you manage to support such a complicated system. 
The trend still exists, and we see it in Resort 2016 Collections of Clover Canyon, Christopher Kane, No 21, Givenchy and David Koma. It will stay afloat even longer, supported by growing interest to healthy lifestyle, healthy food and reaching that 6 abs dream. As long as it is good to be thin and health-concious, there will be crop tops, cutouts and mini mini pieces hardly covering the body.
For how long women will turn to them as a tool for demonstrating the success and victory over their own weaknesses and laziness - that's the question that should be answered. 

Dareena

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