‘Cleavage – do your or don’t you?’

Contemporary issues

‘Cleavage – do you or don’t you?’

The way we have viewed cleavage over the years has changed dramatically especially concerning age. I stumbled upon the this article in the Guardian ‘Cleavage -do you or don’t you?’ it is mainly referring to age and it caught my attention. The view of cleavage in dress has fluctuated through out the years.

Starting in the 1800s many fashion garments had a high neckline, chest completely covered, through the decade the neckline grew lower and the corset foundation garments pushed breasts forward to nearly sitting underneath the chin, this continued to evolve through the early 1900s. During the late 1900s and leading into the 20th century foundation garments changed and so did women’s rights. We were no longer bound to a certain shape and became much freer with what we wore. This freedom lead us through androgynous periods where women would wear majority male style clothing; chest being covered.

Now in the 21st century with have come back around to the idea of the hourglass shape being one of the desired female forms and are naturally expected to have bigger than average perky boobs. This ideal has lead to an abundance of cleavage showing garments. Some to the extreme of side boob (not designed for all, ladies!) This current trend and the pressure now put on women to stay younger looking for longer raises the question how far should the older women attempt to maintain her youth? Is it appropriate to show cleavage? and/or how much?

Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn … artfully déshabillée. Photograph: Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic (Guardian, 2013)

Now these are the critically questions and in my opinion it’s to the discretion of the individual (to some degree) but it’s impossible to have one rule for all. I hope women of a certain age feel they could display appropriate cleavage if they feel that way inclined and will also know when it’s time to limit the amount shown. That’s my opinion, how about yours?


The Invisible Woman.(2013) Cleavage – do you or don’t you? Gaurdian. Weblog [Online] 16/10. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2013/oct/16/cleavage-older-women

 Loccisano M./FilmMagic (2013) Goldie Hawn … artfully déshabillée. [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2013/oct/16/cleavage-older-women [Accessed 08/01/14]

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