(Yes, I know this picture doesn’t have any!)
To me, cleavage is the ultimate symbol of feminine sexuality, which is why there are only a few places we can display it appropriately–on a date, when we’re trying to get a date, or when we simply want the people around us to appreciate our feminine sexuality. This is where we full-breasted women have the advantage. When we want to turn it on, we can. Unfortunately, when we want to turn it off, we have a much harder time.
Sometimes those V-necks that look so fabulous on us need just a little extra fabric to make them work-appropriate. Take this dress in the January O Magazine: http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/omagazine/200901_omag_new_fashion/5 I love it, but there’s no way I would wear it to a work-related function.
When extra fabric isn’t available, you may want to consider these tools:
1. Double-Sided Tape. See http://www.hollywoodfashiontape.com/ or run a google search like “double-sided tape fashion”. I wish I’d had this when I was a teenager. It’s the only way I can wear the faux-wrap sweater pictured above, and it’s great for hiding bra straps or temporarily fixing hems. Unfortunately, double-sided tape wouldn’t reduce the decolletage visible on the red Oprah dress. It would, however, help keep everything in place.
2. Camisoles. I know this is a solution for button-down shirts, and there’s a chance it could work for the red dress. The negatives: a camisole adds bulk and totally changes the neckline.
3. Boob Tube. I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks like it has potential. See https://www.missoops.com/products/details.php?product_id=22. If it doesn’t add bulk, then the only negative is that it changes the neckline. By the way, I’ve bought the Miss Oops Rescue Sponge and love having it around for the inevitable times I’m rushing to get dressed before my deoderant dries.
4. Chic Peeks. Here’s another one I haven’t tried, but it also has potential: http://www.chicpeeks.com/. The founder of this company is a fellow entrepreneur on http://www.fashion-incubator.com. Here there should definitely be no additional bulk. The only negative is the altered neckline. Plus, you’ll need to make sure the fabric of the Chic Peek matches the fabric of your top. I’m not too impressed with the busy lace example on the Chic Peeks home page. I would have gone with the cotton or cami Chic Peek in black.
Please share any other solutions you’ve come up with. I think all of the above can be fine for work clothes, but not so great for evening wear.
The ultimate evening wear solution would be feminine dresses we can wear to black tie work events that don’t or barely display our decolletage. After all, at those events, we’re not on a date, we’re not trying to get a date, and we simply don’t need our co-workers to appreciate that aspect of our feminine sexuality. Maybe after my button-down shirts are ready, I’ll turn to designing this type of dress. (For another point of view about cleavage at work functions, see this blog entry.)