"The 'underboob' trend pops off beaches on to red carpets, catwalks, social media,"
Maria Puente, USA TODAY
You must have heard of "sideboob," and naturally you know about cleavage. Moving on: Now it's all about the "underboob."
It's not an unusual sight on a beach: A woman stretched out on the sand, bikini top covering just about half the breasts, with plenty of the lower half of the breasts gleaming beneath a skimpy top. Voila: the underboob takes a bow.
But underboob looks — call them extreme crop tops — aren't just for the beach. They're sashaying down red carpets and catwalks, turning up on social media and at concert festivals as women still in possession of perky breasts and lacking any chagrin bare most of it for all to see.
Why? Because cleavage is so old-fashioned and sideboobs are so over. Amy Odell, editor of Cosmopolitan.com , says women today want to look and feel sexy all the time, no matter what they’re wearing.
"If you’re seeing more underboob now, it could be seen as an extension of the crop top or cut-out trends that — while not new trends — have been very popular over the past few years," she says. "What those trends proved is that just a sliver of exposed skin in an unexpected place can be very, very sexy."
What about that #FreetheNipple movement in which women seeking gender equality deliberately expose their breasts in public? Well, technically it's "indecent exposure" and thus a crime in most states. But underboob looks are perfectly legal and leave just enough to tantalize the imagination.
Designer Tommy Hilfiger showed how it's done with model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid at his TommyLand Spring 2017 show on Feb. 8, in Venice, Calif.
Gigi Hadid's Instagram page also features plenty of the fleshy trend.
And naturally, the famously busty Kardashian-Jenner women are all on board.
Kylie Jenner has 2.4 million likes for this picture on her Instagram.
Kendall Jenner says "under boob is my ting."
Kourtney Kardashian posted herself posing while on vacation in Mexico.
Music festivals and performances are sweaty venues where you'll find cropped-top looks onstage and in the audience. Ariel Winter showed off one of her Coachella outfits on her Instagram last month.
"At music festivals, attendees are always looking for edgy new ways to express their sense of style," says Odell. "Young women see Coachella as a place where they can dress up in a fun outfit they might feel they can’t wear any other place. Also, it’s really hot at most festivals."
In fact, Cosmopolitan reports the latest, latest thing at music festivals is the "glitterboob" look: No need for any top at all, just cover your chest in glitter, rhinestones and paint to pretend you're covered up.
But for those not ready to go all commando, look to singers such as Halsey, who regularly dons extreme crop tops, as she did during the MTV Music Video Awards in New York in August 2016 and at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday.
More recently she went for a more casual cropped look, in a white T-shirt and embellished jeans for a performance at a fundraising concert for the ACLU in Los Angeles on April 3.
But you don't have to be busting out all over to flash a little underboob, as Paris Jackson proved at the Met Gala this month in a black Calvin Klein dress with just a hint of flesh showing.
Lady Gaga, with considerably more avoirdupois up top, is always ready to show it, and did so at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February, showing up in a two-piece shiny leather ensemble by Alex Ulichny featuring lots of feathers and lots of underboob.
Kanye West's Yeezy Season 4 fashion show in September in New York featured crop tops showing underboob, as Teyana Taylor demonstrated on the runway.
Not that underboob looks are entirely new. Odell also points to Paris Hilton, who covered Vogue Paris in an underboob look in 2006, and Beyoncé, who did it "gorgeously" in her Superpower music video in 2014.
And Jennifer Lopez, no stranger to the underboob, has donned the look multiple times over the years in barely-there outfits, as on her Instagram page in February.
"Getting this mind and body ready for Vegas," she posted next to a selfie with her tank top rolled up to cover just her nipples.