Flashing some skin on the red carpet is nothing new. A leg slit here, a sideboob there – or, if you’re Megan Fox at the VMAs, your entire body. And recently, a new trend has emerged - involving the upper midriff.
From Kate Hudson, Diane Kruger and Rita Ora at the Met Gala to Gillian Anderson and Michaela Coel at the Emmy’s, everyone’s at it; and it’s not just on the red carpet. Designers Supriya Lele, Rejina Pyo and Nensi Dojaka showed flashes of upper abs on their London catwalks, whilst over in New York Christian Cowan and Prabal Gurung opted for bralettes and cut outs aplenty in their SS22 offerings.
Perfect, you might be thinking. Yet another body part to sigh at in every shop changing room from now until the trend dies down. But this is the beauty of the midriff cut out; it is undoubtedly the most flattering trend in recent years. Below the boobs and above the abs is the definitive sweet spot of stomach exposure. Best paired with high-waisted skirts and trousers, this is a trend that simultaneously makes room for food babies and bloating, yet doesn’t look like a maternity outfit – all in all, a win.
Go for bra tops, super crops or cut out dresses to recreate the look off the catwalk – look to Zara for after-work appropriate cut out blazer dresses, or Zimmermann for their high-cropped co-ords. This is also one of the few occasions where you can get away with a crop for the office – Miu Miu’s peter pan collared shirt paired with high-waisted tailored trousers should do the job nicely.
And if you are in the market to tone up before baring your (upper) belly, FRAME co-founder Joan Murphy has a few tricks up her sleeve. ‘The two best singular exercises for the area are bicycle crunches and plank. Do two sets of ten bicycle crunches, and hold a plank for a minute to help tone the entire midriff, as well as engaging your arms and shoulders at the same time.’
So go forth, dig our your croppiest of crop tops, and bare your midriff to all.