Crop tops. Should you?

The dos and don'ts of wearing 2014's breakthrough fashion hit

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There's no getting away from it: 2014 has been the year of the red carpet crop top.

And, if you thought the winter chill would provide a respite, you were mistaken - Kim Kardashian wore an Ulyana Sergeenko creation out last night, while various members of her family have also braved a bare midriff in recent weeks.

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It's all part of the elevation to high-fashion status of a 90s fashion staple. 

First, it was Cara, Rihanna and Anne Hathaway all daring to bare at the Met Ball 2014; then, Chloe Moretz (in Valentino),Taylor Swift (in Novis) and Jordin Sparks at the Fox Teen Choice Awards. Miley Cyrus and Jourdan Dunn made it a trend hat-trick at the MTV Video Music Awards. 

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A flash of midriff may be difficult to pull off, but it’s not impossible. Here’s what you need to know. 

The Dos

Do keep it simple. Fussy prints and frilly edges should be avoided (we're looking at you, Jordin).

Do wear with a high-waisted pencil skirt – they key here is a flash of midriff, not the whole thing. 

Do choose a crop top made from a structured fabric. Think sleek, modern and minimal. 

Do preserve your modesty with a high neckline. A cleavage and a bare midriff is one step too far. 

Do do those sit-ups. Tone is essential. 

The Don'ts

Don’t try and channel your inner hippy. Tie-dye, Broderie anglaise and embroidery are out; neoprene, boxy leather and bonded denim are in.  

Don’t go for anything that finishes more than an inch above your belly button. It’s a crop top, not a bra. 

Don’t wear it to the office. There’s a time and a place for being sassy, and the boardroom isn’t it. 

Don’t wear with low-slung jeans. (Unless you’re Miranda Kerr, of course, in which case you can probably pull it off.) 

Don’t wear with denim hot pants. You’re not at Coachella now. 

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