It’s warm. It’s sunny. It’s almost June. It’s time to free your midriff, let your belly button breathe.
Crop tops have been a Thing for decades. In the 50s, they came paired with high-waisted shorts, skirts and pants. In the 60s, Summer of Love participants wore groovy, colorful halters. In the 70s, Elie Tahari made a name for himself buying and reselling tube tops. In the 80s came the Flashdance-fueled aerobics craze and Madonna’s mesh Lucky Star look. In the 90s, there were tiny-strapped, navel-grazing tanks. And in the early 2000s — the veritable Golden Age of the Crop — everyone who was anyone had a shrunken shirt for every day of the week. Think Christina Aguilera in her teal-fringed Genie in a Bottle days, Scary Spice and her silky halters, Cameron Diaz circa The Sweetest Thing, TLC and their teeny graphic tube tops.
The abridged pieces made their most recent comeback around five years ago. And defying all odds, they’ve managed to stick around. Of course, in order to hold our generation’s jarringly short trend attention span, they’ve become more and more exaggerated over time. Nowadays, it’s perfectly suitable to leave your house wearing a bra as a blouse.
Not that we’re complaining. We’ve waited all winter to flaunt our midsections in public and now is our collective time to shine. Click through the slideshow above to shop 30 of our favorite tiny tops for summer, each a different length and vibe. Feeling more modest? Wear them with high-waisted pants and show off just a sliver of skin around your ribs. Ready to make a statement? Break out the Britney-inspired super-low-rise bell-bottom jeans. With crop tops, there are only two rules: (1) Never fret about tummy rolls, food babies or lack of abs and (2) Don’t ever wear one to work.