Readers, it has come to this.
There are very few articles of clothing that I'd file under if-you-have-to-ask-if-you-can-still-wear-one, you-probably-can't, but goodness, the crop top literally defines the category!
The crop top for men is strictly for the 15 to 25 set. This garment seems to exist primarily to take selfies in and then (hopefully) replace with something longer.
I didn't realize that the crop top for men was largely an 80's craze (one I seem to have missed) but my research reveals that period as its heyday. I read somewhere it was started by bodybuilders and I believe it.
Look, when it comes to menswear, I'm open to lace, sheers, and over-the-top pattern mixing, but I draw the line at the crop top. It's not rational but there it is.
Now, on to the gals....
First, about terminology: In women's wear, it seems crop top and midriff are used interchangeably.
Parenthetically, did you know that the word midriff means both the part of a garment that covers the mid-section, as well as a garment that leaves this area exposed? Weird, right?
I think a tailored women's top that reveals a bit of belly is fine, and on a much wider age-range and body types for women than for men. It's culturally determined, I guess.
The difference here is that these tops are fitted and finished. They don't look like you just took a pair of scissors to your tee shirt. Clearly, since the middle of the last century in the West (and parts of the East), the female mid-section has often been exposed to greater or lesser degree, while the male mid-section has not (other than on a beach). Is this fair? Maybe not but there you have it.
Readers, a few questions:
1) Do you agree that women can get away with exposing their midriffs more than men can? (i.e, it's more socially acceptable)
2) Do you now or did you ever wear a crop top (or midriff) yourself? If you don't any longer, when did you know it was time to stop?
3) Should men's crop-tops simply be legislated out of existence?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!