By MaryJo Kosisher-Demski
Perhaps the most controversial article of clothing in fashion history has been the brassiere or, as it’s more commonly known, the bra. It’s been both revered (for its abilities to reduce or enlarge perceived breast size, restrain movement during exercise, and enhance cleavage) and reviled (by those who’ve felt it’s exemplified the way women’s clothing has shaped, controlled, and even deformed, women’s bodies to conform to a male-dominated society’s desires). So, how appropriate that this feminine icon has moved from fashion’s underside to its topside, so to speak, in an increasingly public world.
Bras as outerwear…no, you’re not having an early 1980s Madonna flashback (though I’m sure some of you are now humming the chorus to “Lucky Star”). Whether it’s allowing that formerly pesky bra strap to show while you’re wearing a tank top (or multiple tanks), or sporting a full display of the bra beneath your favorite jacket, today’s fashion-forward world shouts, “Anything goes!”, where a myriad of looks can be easily achieved by flaunting a flash (or more) of lace.
I hope I’ve sufficiently captured your attention to entice you to experiment with some new looks. If I haven’t, or in the event I’ve frightened you by referring to the early days of the Material Girl, take a deep breath (inhale…hold…exhale) and read through a short list of suggestions for you to find your groove, bra-alfresco style:
- The easiest way to dip your toe into this trend is to allow your bra straps to show from beneath a tank top (or several layers of differently-colored tanks).
- Alternatively, you can wear a dressy jacket (or, perhaps, a distinctively-cut bolero) over a lacy bra (or camisole or sexy corset). Finish it off with neatly-tailored trousers or your favorite skirt. Remember, the goal is to create a complete silhouette and rock your look.
- Why not browse through your favorite department store (or, better yet, kick back in your jammies and peruse your fave e-tailer) and check out the new style of dresses that are deliberately designed to highlight the bra. Some are cut low enough to allow your own bra to peek through; others have a bra sewn into their fabric.
- Perhaps all of the Madonna talk above has put you in the mood for some clubbing? There may be no better place for the whole “underwear as outerwear” trend to be seen than at a chic, pulsating nightclub. Remember the “Vogue” video from circa-1990? Well, why not run ahead of the pack by donning a throwback 1950s-era conical bra (“rediscovered” in the early 1990s by Jean-Paul Gaultier and, well, “rediscovered” again by him in his 2010 spring/summer collection), jacket, sleek skirt or jeans, and heels, and brace yourself for the ogles you’re sure to garner from the men in attendance at your favorite hotspot.
- Not quite brave enough for that fully-exposed conical bra? You can channel your inner Marilyn Monroe by slipping on a cashmere sweater, pencil skirt, seamed stockings, and some heels. Admittedly, your bra won’t be seen as outerwear, but with that conical bra beneath your sweater, your boobs may just walk into the room before you do!
Armed now with these fresh ideas, you have more than a prayer of breathing new life into your look! Go ahead – strike a pose!CC Image courtesy of Foxtongue on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/foxtongue/ / CC BY 2.0 CC Image courtesy of lululemon athletica on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/ / CC BY 2.0