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A crop top (also cropped top, belly shirt, half shirt, midriff shirt, midriff top, tummy top, short shirt, and cutoff shirt) is a top, the lower part of which is high enough to expose the waist, navel, or some of the midriff.
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Crop tops have been worn by men generally during the 1970s and the 1980s. The protective gear of American football with no shirt resembles a crop top. Eventually cropped jerseys became available which carried over to several 1980s telecasts. Men also started to wear crop tops regardless of sport. Because of the varied acceptance for men wearing no shirt (eliminating the need for a crop top), and due to a change in school dress codes as well as peer pressure, men usually do not wear crop tops. Various crop tops have been worn by rappers as well as American football athletes. However, in 2015 the NCAA has increased restrictions on men wearing crop tops which also includes rolling up longer jerseys.
The early history of the crop top intersects with cultural attitudes towards the midriff, starting with the performance of "Little Egypt" at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Although the crop top started gaining prominence in the fashion industry during the 1930s and 1940s — the latter in particular due to fabric rationing in World War II — it was largely confined to beachwear at the time. It was not until the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s that it started to achieve widespread acceptance, promoted by celebrities such as Barbara Eden and Jane Birkin. A variant style, the tied top or knotted shirt, also started appearing in 1940s fashion and spread in popularity during the 1960s.
In the 1980s, cutoff crop tops became more common as part of the aerobics craze and as a result of the popularity of the movie Flashdance. Singer Madonna wore a mesh crop top in her video for the song "Lucky Star".
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