T O P L I N E - Surekha Kadapa-Bose ( Courtesy - BTW Magazine)
Dare To Bare
They are all beautiful women. Then they were the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Madhubala, Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini, and Sharmila Tagore. Today we have Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Aishwarya
Rai, Bipasha Basu, and Preity Zinta. The difference is earlier they were covered up to the neck; today they
flaunt deep necklines.
The hottest trend that sets the screen, the ramps, parties and small romantic walks or get-togethers on fire is the plunging neckline. If you have a perfectly sculpted body with a good skin tone and a bust line that you are proud of, the mantra is to flaunt it. It is not at all necessary that you should be attired in deep-necked evening gowns to walk the red carpet at the Cannes film festival, the Oscars ceremony, the Filmfare Awards or have a dinner date with the
Wadias, Ambanis, Tatas or some other equally big shots. Necklines can plunge even when you are wearing a sari (bikini blouse), jeans (halter neck tops), denim skirts (noodle strap tops) or even while wearing a simple secretary
type tube skirt-frilly blouse (just keep couple of more buttons open).
The popularity of deep V-neck lines plunging deep enough to show the sternum was evident at the last
Filmfare awards ceremony in Mumbai. Gowns and sari blouses plunged deep - Deepika Padukone in a black gown, Kareena Kapoor in a flimsily transparent sari over a heavily embroidered bikini blouse lead the brigade of plunging neckline attire. Preity Zinta is another star who happily flaunts deep V-necks. Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri
always sports a deep off shoulder mini dress at most functions she attends. Even when she was cheering
the Knight Riders team owned by her husband, she sported noodle strapped Ts amply exposing her bust.
The only difference we find in the Bollywood and Hollywood female brigade is the depth of the neckline. Except for Mallaika Arora Khan and Mallika Sherawat, our actors’ plunging necklines have not yet reached western
levels. Even if you wear off-shoulder dress, the attire can start from as deep down as you want it to.
The obvious question is, “How deep is deep?” According to celebrity stylist Robert Verdi, “There’re different
versions of cleavage that’re sexy. It’s all about knowing the silhouette of the dress and the silhouette of the neckline that works best with the certain style of cleavage that you’re going for.”
As long as you are comfortable or the depth up to which you do not mind roving eyes to admire your assets
- even a saint cannot keep his eyes off this latest trend of dressing.
Breast size in particular is a sensitive subject. The clothes you wear can make all the difference in the way you
feel about your body. It is time you embraced and appreciated your body the way it is. You have to flatter your figure, not fight it!
||Whatever you wear, the comfort level has to be very high. You cannot wear a daring dress and consciously
keep on fidgeting and pulling the borders up or the collars of the neck closer. These necklines are a definite
no for girls who are not confident. Looking at Aishwarya Rai- Bachchan in her red gown walking the red carpet with hubby Abhishek and pa-in-law Amitabh in Cannes was a treat. The lady’s beauty has never been in any doubt. And the confidence with which she carried herself wearing a halter neck gown that had such broad gaps between the
two halter cups that there was hardly anything left of her cleavage for the imagination. Both the men did not look as much at ease as she did in her attire. Indeed, that is kind of confidence that makes any attire come alive.
The rule of thumb is that plunging necklines must be in balance with the rest of your upper body. If you have small or rounded shoulders, a plunging neckline will make them look even smaller. You should also consider the amount of cleavage you will be revealing and whether that is appropriate for the situation you will be wearing the dress to.
Showing cleavage has gained more popularity than backless tops. To go backless, one really needs an absolute spotless back - toned body, good skin without any blemishes and an equally good waistline to compliment the
back. On the other hand, a woman’s bestassets are her breasts. All one needs to do is to enhance the bust.
If you have a good and firm bust line then you can easily show as much cleavage as you want to. However, if you have slightest breasts post childbirth or post menopause, what you will need is a boost. This can be achieved by
using padded push-up bras that offer a good lift, and enhancers, known as ‘chicken cutlets’, can be placed underneath the bust to achieve a prominent rounded shape. The bra must be used very wisely; not a millimetre of peeping bra, even if it is colourless, should be visible.
That is the worst fashion faux pas. However, an abundance of cleavage is not always appropriate. The ex-sex symbol Dolly Parton and our own Katie Mirza are abundantly top front heavy but they are not dubbed as beautiful. Medium to large size is best to show off cleavage. Extra large looks better hidden. Even the anorexic model with a thin body frame and an almost nil breast line will never get a second glance even if she goes topless.
Another point that really needs serious taking care is attire-malfunction. These dresses have to fit perfectly
and should have adequate pinning, hooks and zips in place. If it were not for the quick thinking by her press relation officer, JK Rowling would have had real problems when the front of her blue silk gown with deep V-neck almost slipped off her.
Styles such as wrap dresses with crisscross fronts are designed to reveal daring décolletage. It is not
just peek-a-boo, how-low-is-too-low necklines. Popular baby doll and empire-waist tops draw eyes away
from the waist and focus more attention on the breasts. So do many long necklaces.
Since these dresses show enough skin, they need to have a good snug fit. If the fit is a little loose, the skin show becomes too much with the gaping gap between the skin and the dress. The best fabrics for these dresses are silks, crepe, satin and Lycra whose smooth flow ensures a good fit.
Though plunging necklines have caught everybody’s fancy, do not wear them to your workplace. Just as there is decorum to follow in the places of worship, even offices are not places to show off your assets. Many offices still prefer conservative mode of dressing.
Even if you wear jeans with a deep-necked shirt or short dresses make sure you top it with a lightweight jacket. For lunch outings, evening tea or cocktail party the jacket can come off making you trendy. If you do want to dress with a deep scoop or V-neck, then add layers underneath for more coverage.