Prada may have sent their size 2 models down the catwalks with a three inch gap between bra and skirt, but
for the rest of us, even for me - the Fad Hag - the midriff is a fashion Hazard Zone.
The last (and only) time I wore a crop top was when I was 16. I was on holiday with school friends in Majorca:
I wore it with Sandy-from-Grease tight black jeans and biker boots. I was a size 8, taut and tanned, and cellulite had not yet arrived on my thighs, let alone migrated to my middle. I hadn’t yet had two children who had stretched it into a strange jellyfish-like shape. Looking back, my tummy was lucky to get the airtime it did - now the poor thing spends its life suffocated in reinforced knickers.
In my opinion, there is an age window for wearing a crop top which starts at 10 and ends at 17. Midriff baring is certainly not for anyone over the age of 20, unless you have a stomach so J-Lo toned you could play ping pong against it. But even then, even for the most super buff abs, unless you're a pop star there is something seriously unstylish about over 20's flashing the middle ground as a fashion statement. Topless on the beach? fine. Midriffs and Mohitos? No way. Along with white stilettos, the corkscrew perm and stone-washed denim, the cropped top is an 80's fad that should never be revived unless (gyms not included). In fact, the last person in the public eye to flash hers in public was Heather Mills which says it all. That was clearly the moment Stella McCartney decided not to loan her clothing line.
For those of you lucky enough to have a washboard stomach, or if yours is the proud result of hours of planks, stomach crunches and pelvic floor squeezing exercises (seriously, I salute you, and yes I am very jealous) then my suggestion is to wait for a holiday and don a bikini instead. Classic, stylish and if you think your body’s up to it, actually wearable at any age (think of Helen Mirren at 60). Alternatively wear a top that skims the top of your jeans, hinting at what lies beneath - now that's far more sexy.
Just leave the cropped tops to the 16 year olds who can flash the flesh whilst they still can.