You could say I’m a fairly conservative dresser. During my most awkward pre-teenage years I attended Catholic school. While all the other girls rolled up the waistbands of their plaid skirts to make them shorter, I was the one wearing the baggy uniform pants that my brother had outgrown.
I’m much more comfortable with my body now, and I particularly love to wear short dresses and skirts to show off my legs. For some reason though, I feel overexposed whenever I wear a low neckline. I don’t have particularly large breasts (they hover in the B cup range) but I still feel like I’m screaming for attention when I break out the cleavage in a way that I don’t when I’m wearing a short skirt.
Naturally, the logical solution for my discomfort was to buy a dress with a deeply plunging neckline. Specifically, this one:
It made sense at the time. I was fed up with my boring winter work outfits, mostly made up of turtlenecks and baggy pants. (Seriously, what is it with me and unflattering pants?) Then I went to see "American Hustle." We got there late and were forced to sit in the very first row, right under the screen. For 138 minutes, I was treated to an up-close, high-definition examination of Amy Adams’s sideboob.
“That was awesome,” I breathed as we left the theater.
“Really? I thought it was pretty mediocre,” said my boyfriend, Josh.
“I’m not talking about the dumb movie,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I’m talking about her cleavage.”
“Oh, yeah. That was pretty awesome. You should get a dress like that.”
Yeah! I should get a dress like that, I thought. Never mind the fact that I can’t wear a push-up bra and a slightly low-cut sweater out of the house without imagining my parents’ stern disapproval. The new me was going to burn my plaid pants and black turtlenecks and start a new wardrobe solely made up of sultry dresses. I can be sultry, I told myself. Maybe. Then Lupita Nyong’o wore this stunning, low-cut dress to the Oscars and the decision was made for me.
I ended up buying this dress from ASOS, but when it arrived I started having second thoughts. Deep cleavage and a high leg slit? I asked Josh if he thought it was too much.
“Nah. It has long sleeves, so it’s elegant.”
There you have it. The official Guy Logic. Pick a dress with long sleeves and no matter how much boob and leg you’re showing, you’ll still look elegant. Pair it with some dangling earrings and strappy heels, and you’re all dressed up for a fancy event.
To dress it down a little bit (because I go to no fancy events ever), I paired it with a leather jacket and some tough-looking ankle boots.
No matter how you style it, there are three things that you absolutely need when wearing a dress like this: good posture, confidence and boob tape. Lots and lots of boob tape. You may think you don’t need boob tape, but learn from my mistakes. I thought I could do without it, but as soon as my dress arrived and I tried it on, I got my ass to Target. I couldn’t sit or bend over (or even slouch) without the front of the dress gaping dangerously. So I sullenly spent $8 on boob tape (from a brand called Lingerie Solutions) and I’m glad I did.
I bought sticky nipple guards from the same brand too. That’s not as necessary so it’s up to you, but I recommend them -- mainly because it’s weirdly fun to peel sticky stuff off your boobs. The kind I bought is actually called “Bring It Up Breast Shapers,” and they’re supposed to add a bit of lift and perkiness. While I can’t say for sure if they actually did that, I did at least felt less exposed. If you like feeling a little exposed, however, then by all means skip it.
Don’t skip the boob tape though. When I wore this dress out on a date, it was windy. I dropped my keys and had to bend over to pick them up. I jaywalked at a rapid pace. I sat down (in this dress, yes, that’s a challenge). And, the ultimate test: I played pool.
I never would have dared to wear this dress out on a date without boob tape. In fact, I almost didn’t dare at all. This really isn’t a casual date dress. I worried about the reaction that I would get in our small town bar. I made myself wear it anyway, though, and you know what? Nobody reacted. Even my photographer/date seemed more interested in my food than the massive amount of cleavage I was displaying.
So if you want to get in on the plunging neckline trend but you need some convincing, let me convince you. It’s fun. You’ll feel really sexy. Boobs are, as a rule, totally awesome and nobody will notice any little imperfections that bother you. Pretend that you feel confident by standing up really straight and you will seem confident. And taller. And your boobs will look amazing.
The dress I’m wearing is still on sale at ASOS, and they have plenty of others like it. Nasty Gal always has tons of plunging necklines too. This one has long sleeves and is therefore, by Guy Logic, extremely elegant. Order one and go forth, dear readers, and buy sticky things for your breasts. The world needs more sideboob.