I was at an event last night, where a particular woman soon became a subject of conversation among most of the people there. And not in a good way, unfortunately. She was wearing a dress that looked great on her ... everywhere except across her chest. For her chest, the dress might as well have been a child's size. Her breasts were just smooshed and smashed and so close to falling out and exposing us all to nipple that even the men were uncomfortable. It wasn't cleavage in a good way. Rather, as a fellow blogger put it:
"That's not cleavage. That's a massacre. "
It was painful to observe. Some of us wondered how you even go about helping that girl, if you were her friend. There's not exactly a tactful way to tell her that the dress she was wearing just isn't for her. I guess a bold friend would say, "Girl! Put your boobs away! Seriously, that's too much." Or you could try and be there when she's trying on outfits for a night out, and discourage her from the truly tragic options in her closet.
Short of those opportunities, if you have a friend who has this problem, you could also just forward her this blog post. Being a woman blessed with breasts of a certain size (oh how I love alliteration), I have a bit of practice in highlighting my best assets without appearing vulgar. Keep in mind that these don't necessarily apply in the same way to smaller-busted women.
1. Know the difference between tactful cleavage and tacky cleavage. Here's my take on that. I think sexy, tactful cleavage is the kind that a low-draping top gives you. To be blunt, something that shows off the space between your breasts is usually attractive. Anything that shows too much of the top of the breast, inching closer and closer to the nip-slip, is not. If you're going strapless, be sure that it really does fit.
2. Balance. If you're going to show a lot of skin up top, be aware of how much you're showing below your hemline as well. If you're showing a lot of leg, a fitted boat- or crew-neckline can look more appropriate and sexy than a v-neck that also shows off cleavage. Trust me, everyone will still be able to see that you have cans.
3. Don't go big every day. Similar to the point about balance, you don't need to show cleavage with every outfit you wear. People know that you have boobs -- when they're a certain size, you can't hide them, no matter how you try. Show that you're just as comfortable in a well-fitted blouse or sweater as you are in a surplice bodice dress, and I think you make your cleavage even sexier.
But really, above all else, whatever you do -- please don't smoosh them into tops that don't fit. It just looks painful and you're not doing yourself any favors! And if anyone knows that girl from last night, be kind, but help her out.