The Met and the Midriff

When I first heard that this year's Met Gala had the dress code of white tie, belly-baring was the furthest thing from my mind. But judging from the style choices of the fashion creme de la creme, it seems that exposed midriffs have graduated from hippie Coachella into the prestigious echelons of haute couture. Who would have predicted that a staple of teenage girl mirror selfies would have its place on the red carpet?

The 2014 Met Gala was held in celebration of the legendary couturier Charles James, an innovator and revolutionary in his approach to ball gown design. In accordance to the theme, ball gowns was what we got on the red carpet, with dreamy Zac Posen numbers and probably the largest skirts in the history of the Met (ahem, Sarah Jessica Parker). The bare midriff was an unexpected surprise, but a welcome one to disrupt the formality of the occasion. Rihanna looked stunning in a optical white Stella McCartney twin set, the crop top giving us a cheekily provocative hint of her tattoos. Model Cara Delevingne, also in Stella McCartney, opted for an intriguing combination of plunging black crop top and white tuxedo pants, the perfect mix of sexy and sophisticated. My favorite belly-baring look of the night came from the demure but no less stunning Anna Kendrick. A vision monochrome J Mendel, the geometric cutouts in her dress added just a bit of edge to her classically elegant style. And that's the true value of the midriff. Plunging necklines and bare backs may add to your sex appeal, but exposed midriffs is sure to inject youth and fun to any outfit.

So the lesson to take away from this extremely brief analysis of the Met Gala: if belly-baring can be done on the red carpet, it can be done in everyday life. The great thing about this trend is its versatility. You can show off your midriff in a lacy bralette with a blazer thrown on top, a cut-out dress, and even DIYing it by lopping the bottom of your basic white tee for a grungy model-off-duty effect. It's a surefire way to provoke double takes in the street (unless you're on the Jersey Shore where bare belly is as common as deep tans and poofed hair). Even if you do get berated for showing that little bit of skin, just fend off the slut-shamers with the knowledge that you're joining the superior ranks of Rihanna and Cara. And even if you don't have their enviably toned figures, at least you'll have their style.