Although the crop top started gaining prominence in the fashion industry during the 1930s and 1940s – the latter in particular due to fabric rationing in World War II – it was largely confined to beachwear at the time.
It was not until the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s that it started to achieve widespread acceptance, promoted by celebrities such as Barbara Eden and Jane Birkin. A variant style, the tied top or knotted shirt, also started appearing in 1940s fashion and spread in popularity during the 1960s.
In the 1980s, cutoff crop tops became more common as part of the aerobics craze and as a result of the popularity of the movie Flashdance. Singer Madonna wore a mesh crop top in her video for the song “Lucky Star”.
These cool snapshots that show young women in crop tops from between the 1960s and 1980s.