Ask the Fashion Police

Where has all the cleavage gone?

As some of you know, we’ve been on vacation for the past few weeks, which means we’ve gotten a little behind with the ol’ mailbag. In a bid to catch up, here’s one from before we went away….

low-cut dress with cleavage

Dress: ASOS

QUESTION:

 Where has the cleavage gone to? I see lovely fabrics but its sometimes difficult to tell which is the front and which is the back! I like low cut V neck or sweetheart necklines. Why do shops all have the same fashions? Homogenised styling isn’t attractive!

Why do shops all stock the same fashions? The short answer is that, well, that’s fashion for you. It would be awesome if most stores carried enough of a variety of clothing that there was literally something to suit everyone, but, sad though it is to say it, that’s just not possible. Instead, they do their best to please as many people as possibly by carrying broadly “fashionable” clothing: not all brands are what you’d call “cutting edge”, obviously, but most will show at least some awareness of current trends: this is why it’s hard to find jeans that aren’t skinny right now, and it’s also probably why you’re finding it harder to find lower cut tops.

For the last couple of years, fashion has been going through something of a “throwback” kind of phase. This, and next season’s, styles have been heavily influenced by the 60s, for instance, which means short hems, boxier shapes… and higher necklines. You could, of course, just wait it out, knowing that sooner or later the tide will turn, and everyone will be back in v-necks and lower necklines, but happily there are still plenty of those styles around if you’re prepared to look for them.

Here are some places to find tops and dresses with lower necklines….

ASOS

The great thing about ASOS is that, because it sells SO MUCH STUFF you have a much better chance if finding what you’re looking for, if you’re prepared to sift through the site. The image at the top of the page comes from there, and we found it by typing the words “sweetheart neckline” into the search box. There are more results for “v-neck“, and even a few for “low cut”, although most of them are swimwear and… we wouldn’t recommend them, to be completely honest.

Obviously not all of these search results will be relevant, but most sites these days have some kind of search function, which will take some of the work out of trawling through page after page of stuff you’re not interested in.

Primark, H&M, New Look, Forever 21

For tops, and sometimes for dresses, all of the above brands can be worth a check: not only do they also carry a wide range of stock, they tend to be aimed at a slightly younger demographic, which is less interested in high-cut necklines. Both H&M and Primark have their own ranges of basics like t-shirts and sweaters, which come in v-neck as well as crew neck styles, and there’s normally some other pieces of a similar kind of shape.

Dollydagger dresses with low-cut necklines

Dresses: Dollydagger

 Retro-inspired brands

These may or may not be to your taste, but many of the retro reproduction brands (Bettie Page, Stop Staring, Dollydagger, etc) are made with hourglass or fuller figures in mind (Not, of course, that you have to have that kind of figure to wear these clothes!), which means that much of their clothing is designed to flatter and emphasise the cleavage. You don’t have to worry about looking like you’re en route to a costume party, either: while the styling on the sites themselves can be a little costumey, many of these pieces will look much more contemporary when worn with modern hair/make-up/accessories.

pin-up girl clothing

Pin-up Girl Clothing

There are obviously lots of other places to find tops which emphasise the bust: its just a matter of finding them! On that subject, what do you think? Can you help our question-writer out and suggest some sources of this kind of style?

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