Friday, January 15, 2010

Exposing Midriff

John B. Marine | 1/15/2010 07:35:00 PM | | |
(UPDATED: December 29, 2017)

In the '90s, pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were among two young stars to showcase exposing midriff. Lots of fashions were meant to show off the belly of femmes. There were even backless shirts and tops. Some sport cropped T-shirts to show off their belly, their navel piercings, their tattoos on the lower back, and the like. Many frown upon exposing the belly. Some even think the belly button should never be shown. Even "Moesha" star and singer, Brandy Norwood was suggestive to showing her navel, because her grandmother would be disappointed. I remembered seeing a magazine cover featuring Brandy, and I think her navel was blocked with a picture of a bubble or something. On the front of bottoms, the late '90s and early 2000s saw hip-hugging bottoms, low-rise bottoms, and even superlow bottoms tested the limits of showing off your midriff to all in your immediate area.

This blog post concerns showing off your midriff. Do you think it's acceptable to show off your belly and back? To what extent? How much is too much? What do you think of others who show off their midriff? These are a few questions to think of as another blog post of mine in the realm of fashion and style.


DEC 29 2017 - edited shopping resources section; made several edits; added more sections


This post is mostly outdated and old, but you are still welcome to read this post on exposing midriff. You may enjoy reading this blog post here on "John's Blog Space." However, if you want a more updated experience, I invite you to visit my fashion blog- "StyleSpace by JBM." I have a number of different posts related to this same topic in case you want to read my more updated posts on exposing midriff. So it's your choice- read this original post, or visit my fashion blog...

:Exposing Midriff" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ my updated post regarding exposing midriff.

"Exposing Midriff: Now vs. Then" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ a commentary piece regarding today's midriff baring compared to midriff baring in the past.

The links to "StyleSpace by JBM" will appear again later in this blog post.

Exposing Midriff at a Glance

Showing off your midriff is a way to get noticed, especially if you have a nice midriff to show off. Showing off your midriff is a good way to stay cool on hot days. The arrival of pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in the late 1990s has led to wanting young teens and girls to emulate their looks. One might even say that their appearance has led some to want to work out to have sexy midriff. Other than showing midriff, some even like to show off piercings and tattoos. These items alone are enough for most females to want to show off their belly and lower back. Cropped tops can range from more fitted cropped tops to very loose cropped tops. For example, a cropped top can be a slim-fitting, curve-happy cropped top that allows for a narrow band of midriff to show. There are also various active-appropriate tops that are very loose to wear, also good for showing off your midriff, but in a sporty way.

The '90s were either cringe-worthy or fun depending on who you ask. For a while, the bare belly and navel-exposing were halted as looks. Recently in the late 2000s, the trend has shifted from showing your belly with normal or low-rise bottoms to wearing high-rise bottoms with cropped tops. This look still gives females the opportunity to show off their midriff but not without having to show off their navel or lower back. This is more a safe alternative for those who don't want to show too much skin. Also, this is good for vintage-type fashionistas who have made the high-waist look sexy and attractive. Many others who are happy showing off their midriff today as the '90s (meaning... showing the navel and lower back) have little or no problem showing off their lovely belly and lower back to the immediate audience.

A comfy look for warm weather is to go with a cropped top that allows you to show some midriff. If you're a sporty girl, why not go with a cropped hoodie to wear? Feeling ambitious in cold/cool weather? You have two options- wear a shrug as a top (or at least worn over a cropped shirt), or you can wear a cropped sweater. Certain cropped sweaters give you the warmth of a sweater while also allowing a few peeks of your midriff as you walk by.

No matter how you show off your midriff, there is nothing like wearing a cropped top of some kind and feeling comfortable all the while. How do you show your midriff (if you do)? Showing off midriff is a daring and confident touch, especially if you are actually baring your midriff in some sort of way. The midriff-baring look is for those who are confident in looking and feeling confident about their bodies. It is a way of saying that one is blessed with having such a lovely body or wanting to be total flirts. So much so, that such midriff-baring females will lovingly show their midriff and feel comfortable. Whether worn with high-waist bottoms or with average or low-waist bottoms, showing off your midriff is an absolutely daring touch that can only be mastered by those confident with their looks and bodies.

Exposing Midriff: How to Show It?

girl and her belly
^ from: - Confident about showing off your midriff? There are a number of ways to do it.

You want to show some belly. You want to show off your navel piercing. You want to show the tattoo on your lower back. There are a number of ways to show your style. I've included sample pictures from various websites to help explain things better. Here are a few ways to do so:

Wear a Cropped Top.

cropped tee
^ from: - A basic cropped top with this lady's belly and navel exposed.

Here is exposing midriff at its most basic. Find a comfortable cropped top that allows you to show off as much of your midriff as you like. Some tops extend down to about the waistline. So if you wore one of these beltline-long tops and leaned backwards or walk/run, you only allow a slight amount of your midriff to show as you walk by or lean backwards. Some cropped tops extend to just above the beltline or waistline. These allow for a sliver of midriff to be shown, but even more so if doing some walking/running or lifting your arms up.

More proper cropped tops allow for a certain amount of midriff to be shown. Personally, I think there is something absolutely sexy about wearing a slim cropped top that extends inches down past the navel or inches above the navel. I usually think the navel itself is the most appealing part of the midriff. Only so few dare show off their navel in a flirtatious manner. I usually mostly see midriff with the navel covered or barely covered. I am discussing opaque tops here, not any kind of sheer tops. Here is an example of what I'm talking about:

crop top navel with low rise jeans
^ from: - A cropped top paired with low-rise jeans. Look at how the top halfway covers the navel. I think this is one of the sexiest ways of showing midriff.

Loose-fitting cropped tops can be the most comfortable to wear while also showing off your midriff. If you're a fan of American Apparel, you may have seen some of their loose cropped tank tops. They fit very loosely while showing off a great deal of your midriff. They are best suited towards either dancing or any other kind of active activity. Then too, American Apparel has a number of cropped tops for your enjoyment.

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: I have posted a blog entry on John's Shop Space exclusively about American Apparel featuring items on Amazon. To shop for American Apparel, visit "American Apparel" on John's Shop Space="American Apparel" on John's Shop Space}" or visit my proper fashion blog at .

Knotting or Tying a T-shirt.

knotted tee
^ from: (it was the only good one I can find) - Rather than wear a true cropped tee, this girl's T-shirt is tied in the back to allow for the belly to be exposed.

I commonly see knotted T-shirts, mostly among sporty girls. A T-shirt mostly gets gathered up and secured with a knot. This allows for a girly and cute way to show off your midriff. You just simply take a T-shirt you're wearing and knot it on one side to show some midriff.

Knot a Blouse/Shirt or Unbutton Blouse/Shirt Buttons to Show Navel.

unbutton blouse navel
^ from - This girl's blouse is tied at the front to allow for a cute view of her belly. Why do this in cold/snowy weather is beyond me. :)

While it seems a bit more common with the naughty schoolgirl look, taking a button-down shirt or blouse and tying it up from a certain end is another way of showing off your midriff. I think this adds a sexy touch to a blouse or button-down shirt.

Another way to show some midriff is to simply unbutton some of the lower buttons of your button-down shirt or button-down blouse. You can unbutton as many buttons as you like ranging from your navel to the bustline. I recall in the 1990s of these one-button tops. They basically allowed you to show off your navel with a top secured by only one button. You can show off a good view of your navel. If you have a navel piercing, even better to have it visible.

Exposing Midriff: Why Do It?

As mentioned, showing off the belly is a daring touch. Some femmes sport this look to show off tattoos or navel piercings. Some go with this look to show off their lovely midsection. Some even go with this look to simply stay cool off on hot days. Wearing short shirts just to stay cool on warm days is a functional purpose. It's the reason why you sometimes see athletes (not necessarily female athletes) wear belly-baring shirts. One such example are football players. One who does such a thing and wears such clothes loves her body and can confidently go with a midriff-bearing look. I think that's the key word first and foremost- confidence. Why confidence? Because confidence is sexy! No one can ever look and feel their best without feeling confident.

More often, you see most midriff-baring looks (besides at the beach) mostly for going to the nightclub or to some hot parties. This look isn't exactly tasteless. Don't just think of this as a way of being and looking promiscuous (especially for teen girls). Some show off their midriff for functional and/or fashionable purposes. Showing midriff is frowned upon by many people, but there are those in casual fashion circles who simply don't care. Showing off midriff can often be a form of expression in fashion, especially for those not afraid to show off their belly with such garments. And the ones who usually do this love their bodies and find some romantic appeal in showing midriff. This even sometimes adds a certain level of character to one's fashion and overall appearance.

Exposing Midriff: Commentary

Those who have no problem showing off their midriff are comfortable with their body and feel beautiful (and even sexy) on the outside. Those who frown on showing off your midriff with clothes think this is tasteless and trashy. This is especially true for parents of child or teen daughters wearing too sexy for their bodies. Parents would feel wearing clothes too revealing for their daughters' bodies would warrant negative attention. If you fear (as a parent) about your daughter wearing anything revealing her belly, you probably wouldn't want your daughter to dress like the girl below. Can you guess who the little girl is in this picture below?

girl midriff
^ from: - Can you guess who this girl is?

That's a picture taken in 2002 of a girl (who was much younger at the time) named... Miley Cyrus. You know, the girl who has that very popular show on Disney Channel who plays as a teen girl that has Montana for a last name? Yeah, HER.

Layered Cropped Tops.

These days, cropped tops are mostly worn underneath longer tops. Here is an example of these cropped tops layer-looked with a longer shirt:

layered crop top
^ from: - a two-in-one layered top. These tops provided the flirty appeal of a belly-baring cropped top, except that it's covered by a longer T-shirt.

That usually wouldn't be the case if this were still the '90s or even the '70s. The midriff-exposing of today usually is accompanied with high-waist bottoms these days. You may have even read my blog entry regarding high-waist bottoms in talking about that wearing high-waist bottoms while showing off midriff. And if you think this is a recent trend, think again because in the past, high-waist bottoms have been worn with cropped tops. These were sometimes VERY high waist bottoms.

How do you feel about exposing midriff? Please note that I'm discussing showing off the belly and back. I wanted this to be initially about showing belly, but the midriff pertains to showing off your belly and back.

Exposing Midriff: Slutty?

I still think showing off midriff is something of confidence. That doesn't mean, however, that I condone or endorse any underage femmes to try this look out. I think femmes go with this look for confidence and for appeal. I think it's only a promiscuous thing if you're some kind of wild child with little or no self esteem for yourself. Parents are probably going to frown upon a girl dressing too sexy for her age. However, I think there's a difference between looking sexy and being sexy. You can certainly overdo sexy appeal to the point of being that wild child. That's when I think it can be tasteless.

Things to Avoid in Exposing Midriff

There are two reasons why showing midriff is so frowned upon, and both will be expressed in this section.

Midriff Fallacy: The "Muffin Top."

muffin top
^ from: - A young woman with a flabby midsection wearing tight-fitting jeans while also wearing a short top. The end result = muffin top.

Showing off your midriff can be very casual and can be cute for most femmes. However, there is one reason why showing midriff can be ugly- the muffin top. In other words- tight-fitting bottoms meet flabby midsection. The end result is a situation where a female has her midriff protruding over the bottoms she is wearing. I got to thinking about this today (May 8, 2010) seeing a woman outside of an auto parts store wearing some light-wast jeans and a green T-shirt. She didn't wear anything belly-baring, but her proportions weren't very tasteful to go with some tight-fitting bottoms.

Because not as many femmes don't have hot-enough bodies for the '90s uprising of belly baring, not as many females are confident in showing off their midriff or expressing their shape with good clothes. The muffin top is a great no-no for many in fashion.

Midriff Fallacy: Low-Rise.

low rise
^ from: - Do you think it's sexy to unintentionally offer a view of your panties or butt crack? Well, neither do a lot of other people.

Low-rise bottoms can good for showing midriff, but bad for uncomfortable, unintentional peeks of your panties or butt crack. Some can wear a pair of low-rise bottoms in a sexy way with confidence and with minimal discomfort. A female has to be careful when wearing such low-rise bottoms. The biggest risk is especially when sitting down while leaning forward, squatting down, bending over backwards, and the like. A cropped top with low-rise jeans can be a sexy combination for seductive and alluring females wanting to show midriff. However, not every female can sport this look with confidence and with great results. So try at your own risk.

Muffin tops and low-rise jeans can provide problems when going with exposing midriff.

Exposing Midriff: Past Influences

I've mentioned the '90s a lot in this blog entry. That's where I've seen lots of femmes try this look, ranging from girls to adults and young adults. A lot of '90s influences were a combination of modern trends and '70s influence. Cropped shirts worn with flare jeans or modestly-flared bell bottom jeans were usually paired with some platform shoes. I was born in 1983, but I consider myself a '90s child. The bare midriff deal was very daring. I've seen everything from cropped shirts to simply unbuttoning shirts to show the navel.

I mentioned Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera showing their bellies in the '90s. Here are some examples:

Britney Spears Catholic schoolgirl
^ from: - Britney Spears dressed as a naughty Catholic schoolgirl in "Baby One More Time."

This was Britney Spears in her hit song, "Baby One More Time." It was the song that would help this Mississippi native reach great stardom in the late 1990s and into the 2000s. And of course, this was before Britney got crazy and shaved her head bald.

Christina Aguilera midriff
^ from: - Christina Aguilera has one of the sexiest midriffs of almost any female celebrity.

Christina Aguilera has perhaps the most alluring belly, not to mention a sexy navel/belly button.

Jessica Simpson midriff knotted blouse
^ from: - Jessica Simpson shows her midriff stylishly in this video to "I Think I'm in Love." This is actually one of my personal favorite love songs, by the way.

Texas' own Jessica Simpson wore this tie-front blouse in her video I Think I'm in Love." That blouse was paired with some bootcut or flare jeans. She wore some platform sandals in normal routines and black sneakers in dancing routines in the video. And as you might have read from past blog entries, it's one of my all-time favorite love songs.

Even when I was a student in grade school and even while wearing uniforms, I've seen a few girls skirt the dress code rules a bit by wearing cropped shirts. That even included a few friends and classmates of mine back then. Once, I seen a girl wear a short button-down top showing almost all of her belly. She even wore some navy blue uniform pants and some brown sandals. I remember this so well because she was a friend of mine that went for a VERY daring look at school. A few times when we could wear whatever we want for a day or two, I would see a few more examples of casual clothing and trends, including midriff-baring. I also remember seeing lots of tie-front shirts and blouses. The tie portion of the tie-front/knotted shirts and blouses allowed for showing of the belly without showing the navel.

Lots of times with the belly-baring thing, you do get this as a negative aspect- bending over to show your underwear or... your crack. That's just one of the least desirable aspects of going with either low bottoms or a belly-baring top. I think the look got to be a bit more racy in the early 2000s. Lots of low-rise jeans and pants were born by femmes as well as lots of frayed-waist hip-hugging jeans. On a few occasions, I've even seen low-rise denim mini skirts.

Only decade besides the '90s where I can relate to midriff-baring was the '70s. Then too, the '70s was a rebellious decade. Everything from bell bottom jeans/pants (which I am a fan of), big shoes, hot pants, and the aforementioned midriff-baring tops were all prevalent. Really high-waist pants were worn with short tops then, only allowing for only a very slim amount of midriff.

Exposing Midriff Around the Blogosphere

These ladies weren't afraid to bare their midriff in these blog posts. Here is your inspiration in exposing midriff from other bloggers here on Blogger/Blogspot. Feel free to follow their blogs if you enjoy their work!

NOTE: This section has been edited featuring content from my fashion blog- StyleSpace by JBM.

"Big Heart" (Aki no Yuutsu) « boxy cropped top.
"cool down daddy" (La Vagabond Dame) « cropped top and wide-leg pants.
"who says a sweater can be boring!!!" (Maytedoll) « cropped sweater.
"TRIBAL PANTS" - (HAUTE AND REBELLIOUS) « cropped top with wide-leg pants and platform sandals
"Stroll in the City" (KARLA'S CLOSET) « cropped bandeau top with only minimal midriff baring
"Forever 21+Giveaway" - (GABIFRESH) « plus-size woman in a cropped top
"Glitter and Gingham" (Cupcake's Clothes) • plus-size woman wearing a cropped top showing very little midriff
"Bike Ride" (Deconstruction) « striped crop top.
"Bohemian Beauty" (Deconstruction) « maxi dress re-worked to a cropped top and a maxi skirt.
"Pretty in Pink" (I am Khatu) « petite woman in a cropped tube top
"new look: 'Return of the Spring'" (Glam and Fab Chameleon) « cropped sweater.
"Hello, 2012! Let's have some fun this year. - Photo Shoot" (Glam Kitten's Litter Box) « cropped long-sleeve top.

If I find more blog posts, I will add to this section. To see more from my SS by JBM post on this same topic, visit: :Exposing Midriff" (StyleSpace by JBM).

Exposing Midriff: Right or Wrong?

Everyone has their reasons for going with this look or avoiding this look. Everyone has their reasons for why they go with midriff-baring looks. You don't see this as a formal look unless it's with some dress that has some midriff exposure. Those confident with their bodies and feel hot inside and outside going with midriff baring go proudly with this look. The look itself offers

Something else I tend to realize about this look is that the influence is that a look like this has kind of influenced femmes to get fit to have a lovely a figure as some belly-baring celebrities.

Cross-Promotion/Other Reading.

I hope you loved this blog post. Here are more topics related to exposing midriff that may interest you:

"Cropped Tops" (John's Blog Space)
^ Read more about cropped tops from my blog post on "John's Blog Space."

"Cropped Tops" - John's Shop Space
^ You can shop for cropped tops that I found online for you on my alternative blog, "John's Shop Space." I would gladly appreciate if you can buy something on Amazon based on material I present to you.

"Belly Dancing" - John's Blog Space
^ Why not wear a cropped top and engage in something sensual and fun? Welcome to the realm of belly dancing. It is my look at belly dancing and what makes it so hot.

:Exposing Midriff" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ my updated post regarding exposing midriff.

"Exposing Midriff: Now vs. Then" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ a commentary piece regarding today's midriff baring compared to midriff baring in the past.

"Cropped Top With Skirt" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ this post is about the look of pairing a cropped top with a skirt.

"Bralettes (or Bralets)" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ midriff baring is popular these days wearing bralettes. This blog post is all about exposing midriff wearing a bralette.

Thank you for visiting John's Blog Space!

Cropped Tops Online

NOTE: This section contains links to Amazon products. You are welcome to click on images and links to learn more about each item. You are free to order any items featured in this section or in any widget if you choose. Please see "An Important Amazon Note" in my blog's sidebar to see more information on any Amazon items shown.

(SECTION ADDED: 4/27/2010) I did a search on Amazon for cropped tops. What I'm here to show you are some cropped tops on Amazon you might like. These are mostly cropped T-shirts you might like. I may feature other belly-baring tops that you might like. Are you interested in some belly-baring tops? I can show you some on Amazon that I found. I've hand-picked these because "cropped top" can entail all kinds of items not relevant to this blog entry. So please check out these items if you want your own cropped top. Remember- you are free to click on any item to learn more about it and to buy it (if you like what I feature). I'm doing this for you because I love all of my readers (as long as you don't hate me). The majority of these will be from a certain maker. All sizes are women's sizes unless otherwise specified. I've also avoided featuring workout-appropriate cropped tops because the premise of this blog entry is on CASUAL cropped tops, not workout-like cropped tops (like American Apparel cropped workout tops, for example).


(EDITED: December 29, 2017)
I hope you enjoyed my blog post about cropped tops. So if you're looking for cropped tops to add to your wardrobe, I can help you! Just take a look at some of these cropped tops I found on Shopstyle and picked out for you. Feel free to look around:

Other Sources...

(ADDED: August 1, 2013)
More cropped tops, starting with Amazon. Feel free to shop around:

crop tops on Amazon and bralettes (or bralets) on Amazon
crop tops on eBay and bralets (or bralettes) on eBay

(ADDED: June 6, 2012)
Read more about Cropped Tops by seeing my latest blog post:

"Cropped Tops" - John's Blog Space

As with any fashion look or style, fashion is all about expression. It's about making a statement without saying anything. I've mostly taken the neutral tone on this. It's a love-or-hate look. It all depends on how you look at the deal of going with belly-baring styles. Is it an ugly look to you or not? Comment at will!

Just for Fun...

If there are any famous people whom I think have lovely midriff, some of my all-time favorites are Christina Aguilera (especially from the late 1990s), Columbian singing goddess Shakira, telenovela actress Sherlyn Montserrat González Díaz, belly dancing beauty Dolphina, another belly dancing beauty named Neena Nour, import model Pam Rodriguez, and a beautiful former race queen and model named Mayumi.

Want to see some knotted shirts on YouTube? There is a channel featuring video clips of celebrities with knotted shirts simply called... knottedshirts. Here is a sample:

Thank you for reading! Please be sure to comment at will!

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