The downfall of cleavage has been a long time coming
Published 02/11/2016 | 15:17
Cleavage is over. It’s official. Dead and buried.
According to Vogue, women are covering up their décolletage in favour of flashing some midriff, a hint of shoulder or their legs.
How do they know such a thing? Firstly, because they’re Vogue; secondly, virtually no designers featured plunging looks in their collections at Fashion Week, and finally, they have eyes.
When you really think about it, when was the last time you saw a woman wearing a plunging dress or boasting about breast implants?
Vogue credits the increasing harassment of women on social media as the reason behind the covering up, though, declaring: “The cleavage – those magnificent mounds pushed together to display sexual empowerment, to seduce, to inspire lust or even just to show off – is over, or at least, taking a well-earned break.
"The tits will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter."
We've come a long way since the world reached peak cleavage in the ‘90s – at the time, women were emulating figures they saw plastered all over Playboy, Baywatch was the most watched show on television and everyone was lusting over Eva Herzigova's Wonderbra campaign.
But these days, Playboy no longer features naked women and instead off 'the original supers', long-legged and flat-chested models like Lily Aldridge and Behati Prinsloo are the stars of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Sales of the push-up bra have dropped 19% with millennials opting instead for "comfort and ease of movement". In fact, if not for the Kardashians' obsession with curves, the entire underwear industry may have turned on its head entirely.
Instagram culture has created a world in which competitive clean eating and fitness regimes are the norm, so it’s only natural that fashion would follow.
Athleisure wear has become an acceptable dress code for day-to-day activities and doesn't it defeat the point of a lycra work-out top if your plunging push up bra could poke someone's eye out?
Besides, women need a flatter chest if they want to adhere to the trends of the last few years. Trends that I’m not too ashamed to admit I am no longer in the appropriate age category for.
They include: crop tops of varying length, body tops with cut-outs and quite frankly, anything with cut-out detail.
If you wear a C or D cup with a white bodysuit, your side boob will most definitely runneth over. So modern shoppers are flocking to purchase seamless bras and Asos have even launched a range of "side boob bras" to cope with demand, a cut which flattens your assets instead of pushing them to the fore.
You're more likely to see a woman going bra-less in a tailored suit than in a bodycon dress relying on strategically placed nipple tape to keep everything in place.
The style bible's controversial declaration is reflective of a slow, but notable change to "in-demand" body types in recent years.
Last month, Harper’s Bazaar ran a special report on women’s changing attitudes to breast implants – namely they want them smaller and more natural.
“They want them to look like what they could have naturally been born with,” plastic surgeon Dr Melissa Doft is quoted as saying.
Having spent most of my adult life trying to think of ways to naturally increase my bust size, I say down with this sort of thing.
But the feminist in me realises that if covering up your cleavage means more women feeling comfortable with showing off their style on social media and in real life, well that’s a step in the right direction.