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June 19, 2012  | by: Latonya Darrisaw

Crop tops and bare midriffs on spring 2012 runways

Will you dare to go bare this summer? The 2012 spring and summer fashion shows were full of crop tops and exposed midriffs. It may be easy to dismiss the trend thanks to the unfortunate styles of the ‘90s, when pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera wore revealing tops and skirts. But this time, designers opted for a more conservative approach to peeling off layers by pairing crop tops with more demure bottoms.

The trend gets a style lift with retro and maxi skirts along with high-waist trousers and shorts. Unless you’ve been blessed with washboard abs, we think the trend works best with just a hint of belly. For a sneak- peek at how to pull off this bold and daring trend in a sexy and sophisticated way, read on to see how these ladies rocked their bare bellies. If that’s not enough, the trend may certainly inspire some of us to partake in those Zumba or spin classes we’ve been too busy for this summer.

(l-r: Rooney Mara, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Bosworth and Gwyneth Paltrow)

As seen on the celebrities above, the bandeaux style bra-tops work best with high-waisted, flared skirts or structured pencil skirts that embody the 1950′s silhouette. The key is to only show a little skin, preferably, above the navel with the skirt positioned at your comfort level.

Rooney Mara went for a basic color palette in a Miu Miu top, skirt and black sandals at a press event this year. Rihanna wore whimsical colors and a long-sleeved Prada crop top with a flirty, jacquard circle skirt and nude Prada platform pumps. Scarlet Johannson kept the proportions simple in this vintage Dolce & Gabbana black top and skirt. Kate Bosworth managed to incorporate unique patterns and prints in her sleeveless Proenza Schouler crop top and pencil skirt. Gwyneth Paltrow was gorgeous in a more formal take on the trend in black Emilio Pucci.

(l-r: Jaime King, Kristen Stewart and Selena Gomez)

Both Jaime King in Proenza Schouler and Kristen Stewart in a cropped Marios Schwab top showed how to pull off the trend at work or for a more formal event by opting for a blazer and trousers. Of course, you can add a longer shirt underneath for comfort while still remaining on-trend. For a more fun and daring look, go all the way like Selena Gomez in a bustier Dolce & Gabbana top and metallic mini with bold pumps. It’s all about balancing the exposed top half with a longer or more conservative style below.

Freida Pinto, Rihanna, Annalynne McCord and Kelly Rowland all in crop tops

Freida Pinto in a geometric style Salvatore Ferragamo crop top and skirt and Annalynne McCord in a monochromatic color scheme exhibited how the trend can work with longer hems for added style. Unlike Kristen Stewart’s streamlined trousers, Rihanna’s pants were loose throughout and she worked her bandeaux top with a longer, oversized men’s shirt, peep-toe Azzedine Alaia suede heels and Miu Miu clutch. Kelly Rowland was sexy and chic in a beautiful, yellow lace Twenty8Twelve crop top and pleated black skirt with Christian Louboutin platform pumps. It’s important to find the  slimmest part of the torso to flaunt.

Is the bare midriff trend “ab fab” or should it be left to the celebrities and models? Do you think everyday women can find a way to wear the trend without it being too vulgar or sexy?

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