Spring 2014 runway collections are well on their way with New York Fashion Week behind us and London Fashion Week hot on its heels. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I predict that Spring and Summer 2014 will be a skirt and dress season, with plenty of flared and roomy knee-covering skirts on the horizon. This trend is wearable, refreshing and office-appropriate. 

The next huge trend isn’t as wearable. Almost every collection shows variations of the crop top and bra top exposing midriff skin. Crop tops and bra tops are being paired with flared midi skirts and culottes, roomy shorts and fluid trousers. Some have sleeves and some are strappy. Some are tailored and some roomy. Some are layered under jackets, but most are worn on their own. Some are very cropped, and some more covered. Some are shown with high-rise bottoms, while others with lower rises. The point is that the amount of midriff exposure varies depending on the cut of the top and the waistband position of the bottoms. The shorter the length of the top and the lower the waistband position of the bottoms, the more exposure of the midriff.

I’ve pinned key looks from the shows, but here are some specific examples across a range of designers: 


Sister by Sibling


Sachin & Babi

Lela Rose


Alexander Wang

Rebecca Taylor

Rag & Bone

Jean Pierre Braganza

Michael Kors

What’s clear from the examples is that you can bare your midriff in a subtle way. Things don’t need to be tight and skimpy from top to bottom. Wear trousers and skirts with high waistbands that cover the belly button. Wear longer crop tops. Furthermore, wearing roomier and longer skirts and trouser silhouettes offsets the fact that you are showing midriff skin. As does wearing a roomy crop top with sleeves. Layering a jacket over a tight crop top is another solution. I do find these more subtle ways of midriff exposure quite alluring. I like it. 

That said, I don’t think this trend is wearable for the majority. For many women, including teenagers, the midriff is the area of the body that makes them the most self-conscious, especially post-pregnancy. So they prefer to cover up the midsection. Second, those who are comfortable baring their midriffs probably won’t be able to do so at work, which limits the wearability of the trend. And third, you need warm weather to bare midriffs, which rules out arctic air conditioning and cool Summer climates. For these reasons, I hope this trend stays fringe at retail level next year, despite its popularity on the runways. 

Over to you. What’s your take on baring midriffs, either in subtle or in more revealing ways? Will you wear the look?