The croptop, or cropped top, is a blouse that rides above the waist and exposes bellage (KN9202). The lower edge of the croptop is called the cutoff line, one of the fashion lines. The croptop may flash the waistline, leanover and flash the back, and/or flash belly button. Or it may permanently reveal a circumference of belly and back, in which case it is rib-length, and counts ribs upward. The croptop cutoff line seldom rises higher than xiphoid. The lower edge of the croptop is called the cutoff line, one of the fashion lines. Croptops almost always invite an exposure code of M.
The croptop can be sleeved, sleeveless, or strapped, but if it is strapless it is no longer considered a croptop but classified as a bandeau or tube top.
The croptop together with the waistline define and manipulate bellage, the exposure of belly and back, often with intricate orchestration: belly flashing, navelage, belly dancing, and belly-up, belly-down combinations. The revelation of the navel, and the combat involving its tricky exposure and implications, is also discussed in detail at bellage and not reviewed here.
History and Venue
As fashion goes, the croptop is a 20th century innovation, which evolves first in the theater and Hollywood, before flowing onto resorts, and eventually, in the years before 2000, expands venue into all public spaces. The development of these are also explored at bellage.
After 1960 the pressure from nombril on the belly button and the skin below it transfers to slacks, allowing a swath of bare skin to be animated both above or below the navel (SM8519). All subsequent croptop is symbiotic with this animated and curvaceous waistline, be in bottoms which are slacks or which are bikini.
Croptop is an especially popular beach accessory and is worn with all species of culotte, both overtop soutien-gorge and as coverup (VB8405, VB8413), as well as braless (VB8421), in which case it is the bikini top.
The venue of croptop spills beyond the near-beach environment (MP96G2) and by the late 1990s has penetrated the night club, restaurant the public street, the mall, school, and occasionally the office.
Styles and Exposures
Because it is not unlike a shirt or camisole, the croptop enjoys an endless variation of silhouette, fabric, and design. It has play at neckline, armhole, and cutoff; and it can be tight, fitted, or loose-fitting. The scissored look captures the very essence of the name (WG7302). Examples are endless, for example a turtleneck, sleeveless, xiphoid, tight (RW196310); a cleavaged, short-sleeved, ribbed, fitted (MP96G2); sleeveless, fitted, and with a shirt collar (EPA090). One very specific cousin is the tankini.
These variations in fashion lines and looseness engender the croptop with a rich range of exposure options including backage, but cleavage from all points, areolage, and nippage. As beach and resort attire croptop can provide both coverup and intermittent exposures, which, in a the hands of a skilled bikiniite, can be devastating to her voyeur.