Reveal Your Bare Midriff with These Cool Styles

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A woman leaning on her side wearing a plaid tied up shirt revealing her midriff and wearing denim short shorts
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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

Have you eyed up the belly-baring tops that have emerged into popular culture in recent years?

So have we!

We’ve put together a guide on how to wear crop tops, no matter your age, style, or occupation. If you’re interested in bare midriff styles then continue reading.

Interestingly, the midriff top has a rich history, worn by women in India for centuries, with the short choli (top) and sari. The 1990s saw many, many bare midriffs gracing magazines, movie screens, and the small screen, often paired with ultra-low jeans.

The meeting of these styles isn’t a fluke, as 90s fashion was often inspired by Indian culture, with bindis, mandala-style patterns, and intricate silk wrap-around skirts storming the streets.

Here’s how to rock the bare midriff. 

The sari skirt with a cropped tank

Celebrity inspiration
Gwen Stefani often favored Indian style in the 90s, wearing bindis on her face and sari-style skirts with midriff tops. This is a cool, feminine way to wear the trend, and can be adjusted to suit your “bare skin comfort zone”. It’s a great casual summer weekend look but can be styled-up for nights out. 

How-to: 

  • If you’re handy with a sewing machine, look for richly-colored silk fabric with metallic thread and make it into a wrap skirt, DIY-style. Sew satin ribbon over the top edge, with enough length on either side to tie the skirt around your waist or hips
  • Pair the skirt with a plain cotton cropped tee or tank in black or white to balance out the intricacy of the skirt 
  • If you only want to show a little bit of tummy, wear your skirt just below the belly button, and pick a top that is long enough to show only an inch or two of skin (Jennifer Aniston perfectly demonstrated this many times).
  • If you can’t find the right length, look for a stretchy, ribbed cotton tee or tank and try your hand at altering it by cutting the hem and resewing it to tidy the rough edge
  • Wear with chunky boots or Doc Martens for casual wear, and swap them for these gorgeous strappy heeled sandals for the bar or parties 

Read: Doc Martens: Off-Duty-Model Look Style Guide for Women

Jeans and a cropped cardigan 

Celebrity inspiration
One of our favorite belly-baring style examples of the 90s was worn by Julia Roberts in the classic 90s rom-com ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’. Julia wore a navy blue cropped cardigan-style top with a boxy shape and scalloped hemline… 
Courtesy Tristar Pictures

She paired it with dark-colored pants worn on the hip, and that glorious mop of red curls. We love this trend for casual streetwear or low-key house parties during fall and spring. 

How-to: 

  • Achieve a little extra coverage by choosing high-waisted jeans or cargo pants to cover the belly button, and go for baggier styles to prevent the tummy from being uncomfortably restricted
  • Look for a front knit button-up cardigan such as this stylish one or long-sleeved top with a loose cut V-neckline to show a little cleavage to go with your midriff. The long sleeves and loose cut of the cardigan will keep things balanced
  • Wear with these cool chunky Timberlands designed for women’s feet or Doc Martens, and keep the makeup neutral and sultry (wild red curls optional but recommended!)

The high-waisted mini skirt and cropped knit sweater 

Celebrity inspiration
Who remembers Liv Tyler in the classic teen movie ‘Empire Records’? In our opinion, this was one of the defining fashion films of the decade, with Liv Tyler leading the way in her tartan pleated mini and knit cropped sweater.

https://giphy.com/gifs/liv-tyler-empire-records-myuyJvwv5cAVi
Source: Giphy

This is a look for the bolder out there who are game to bare not only their tummies but their legs too. 

How-to: 

Read: Mix Up Your Style with these Mini Pleated Skirt Outfit Ideas

Midi-skirt and cropped tee 

Celebrity inspiration
Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City’ often stormed the streets of New York in a cute cropped top, floaty skirt, and designer heels. There was the white midriff top with a black and white skirt, the black halter with a metallic pleated skirt, and the long-sleeved black crop with a red and white striped pencil skirt.

We could go on and on about the Bradshaw wardrobe (credit to Pat Field). This is an excellent way to bring the bare midriff look to the workplace or for more formal occasions such as long lunches, weddings, and parties. 

How-to: 

  • Don’t be afraid of voluminous skirts with such as this lush skirt with plenty of layers of soft pleating, the bare midriff will balance out the demureness…like an edgy princess
  • Channel Taylor Swift and go for a matching skirt and crop top set for a preppy take on the trend
  • Slinky skirts with a bias cut in satin or silk fabrics look great with shirts knotted at the waist and with the sleeves rolled up 
  • For winter and fall, wear these thigh-high tights and ankle boots, with a long-line menswear-style blazer over your midriff-baring top 

Britney Spears Midriff Style

The Princess of pop was always debuting more styles for us to enjoy. Whether Britney was prancing around on stage in a midriff-baring costume or just popping to the shops in a crop top, we were always able to witness her style moments. In the 90s Britney was often followed by paparazzi, trying to capture her every move. Even with the eyes of the world on her, Britney still served looks and gave us endless outfit inspirations.

How-to:

  • Britney Spears was always a fan of low-waisted pants. Low-rise jeans are always a great option, but sweatpants that are rolled down were a popular look for her too. This is a great way to expose your tummy.
  • You should also invest in some vest tops and cut them so they’re super cropped. This DIY style gives them an edge and shows you’re ahead of trends.
  • The popstar was also spotted in cropped denim vests, proving she can rock the alternative look too. These vest jackets feature embroidered patches and you can DIY these onto your clothes at home.

Christina Aguilera Midriff Style

Christina Aguilera is another 90s pop sweetheart. This star grew up before our eyes and by the end of the 90s, she was starting to shake her innocent image. With this new look came a lot of flirty outfits that exposed the stars midriff! If you want to try a more risque 90s midriff style that shows your belly button, Miss Christina should be your inspiration!

How-to:

  • Like other pop stars in the 90s, Christina Aguilera was a fan of the slogan t-shirt. Whether it was a charity brand or a naughty slogan, these shirts hug the figure and expose the midriff. Perfect for lounging or running errands!
  • Similar to Britney, Christina liked to pair her cropped tees with comfy sweatpants too. These usually hugged her waist, showing off her slim physique.
  • If you don’t want to wear sweats, pair mini crop tops with a mini skirt or loose-fitting mom jeans for a full 90s ensemble.

Jennifer Lopez Midriff Style

By the end of the 90s, Jennifer Lopez was a complete star. She was on top of her game as an artist and as a fashion icon too. Many of J-Lo’s best outfits were street style, however, you can’t ignore her stellar red carpet looks either! Jen offers great style inspiration for those who want a midriff-baring evening look, you probably wouldn’t wear these glam outfits to the store!

How-to:

  • If you want to make an entrance at your next event, copy Jennifer Lopez’s red carpet style. Find a glittery top (sequins or metallic fabric will work) and pair it with some hip-hugging pants.
  • Make sure the top is cropped to get this midriff style! Other features you can look for are V-necks, cowl necks, and low back tops too.
  • Leather or faux leather pants are always a winner when paired with glitzy crops! You’ll look red carpet ready in no time.

Read: How To Wear Hoop Earrings Better Than Jennifer Lopez

Jessica Simpson Midriff Style

Jessica Simpson has always embodied the American sweetheart girl next door vibe. If you want a sweet or feminine take on the midriff style, Jessica is a great celebrity to copy! Rather than scandalously sexy outfits, many of Jessica’s midriff-baring looks featured denim and pretty tops. This blonde bombshell knows how to make jeans look cool for any event.

How-to:

  • The key to getting Jessica’s low-key denim style is to keep your clothes laid back. Don’t overdo it with sexy corsets or low necklines. Instead, go for halters or off-the-shoulder crop tops with girly details.
  • You should also embrace blue denim. Blue denim is perfect for the classic girl next door look, especially when low-waisted. Accessories your jeans with cute belts in purple or pink colors too!

Read: Step Aside Skinny Jeans: These are the Best Bootcut Jeans for all Body Types

Our Midriff Top Picks

The Best Midriff Halter Top

Finding the perfect midriff-baring halter top can be difficult, but don’t worry we’ve found one for you!

This halter top is a great way to embrace the late 90s vibes without breaking the bank. For a low cost you can look like you’re enjoying the summer of 1997. No need to spend lots of money on vintage when you can find a replica style online!

This top is great for daytime or evening styles as it has a plunging neckline and low back too. It comes in 10 colors and stripe patterns meaning there’s a halter for every style!

Get the look:

The Best Bare Midriff Top

When it comes to classic midriff-showing tops, the humble cropped t-shirt is popular in every era. The 90s embraced this top and girls paired it with jeans and flannels for a grunge look. You can also pair it with miniskirts and mary-janes for a feminine look.

This versatile crop can be purchased in 35 different colors and various patterns too.

Get the look:

The Best Bare Midriff Dress

If you think dresses should always cover your stomach, you should think again!

This dress is the perfect blend of a top and skirt as it is joined, yet exposes your stomach for a modern 90s look. You can buy it in two colors, black or burgundy, perfect for anyone who wants to add a unique piece to their wardrobe.

This also features a drawstring closure and it’s made from soft stretch rib knit fabric too.

Get the look:

The Best Midriff Baring Shirt

You can’t go wrong with denim, so embrace the All-American style with this flirty button-up shirt. Unlike standard shirts, this design is cropped and features ties for the classic tied-up style. It also features short sleeves and comes in two shades of blue. You can also purchase two sleeveless variations of the shirt too, perfect if you want the cropped vest style!

Get the look:


Do you like any bare midriff styles we haven’t mentioned? Let us know below.