Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Bra / Heat Dilemma

If you live anywhere near New England right now, then you are probably aware (I say probably because I suppose it's possible you are stuck in one of those utility refrigerators or something) that we are in the midst of a major heat wave. It's pretty miserable, I think, with all that hot, humid air sort of rising off the ground and smacking you in the face. The only way I can think to deal with it (besides staying inside an air-conditioned room all day) is to wear tanks and short shorts or skirts, or maybe a sleeveless mini dress. It's just waaay too hot for me to want to be covered by even an extra inch of fabric. However, this tendency to wear tanks during the hot weather brings up The Question. You know what I'm talking about. The Bra Strap Question. To show, or not to show?

It's pretty much impossible to wear a tank without flashing your bra straps, unless you are a) not wearing a bra, or b) wearing a strapless one. As a larger-chested girl, I am infinitely jealous of those girls who can get away with not wearing a bra. Those lucky chicks have it made in the summer, at least regarding The Question. And as for strapless bras... Let's face it- They are no fun. Unless you find an absolutely perfect one (There is a legend that they exist, but I wouldn't know), they ride down and are generally annoying. So I have resigned myself to showing my straps, even though it kills any chic or classy outfit vibes. But what do you think? Is is acceptable to show bra straps? If so, when?

I have come to the conclusion that it is acceptable in a casual setting, but in a dressier setting it probably makes sense to suck it up and wear a strapless bra or (gasp!) something with sleeves. But today a new idea occurred to me. Instead of flashing your bra in a way that is clearly accidental, why not do it on purpose? Why not show it in a way that is bold enough to let people know the flashing is no accident? After all, Carrie Bradshaw did it frequently and looked fabulous. In real life, it would have to be done carefully to avoid giving off the "slut vibe," but I decided I was up to the challenge. I put my idea to the test in today's summer heat, and I was pretty pleased with the result. The look wasn't chic or well-suited for anything but the most casual settings, but it fit my mood perfectly, was comfortable, and kept me cool. Which is what I was going for. So I'd say Mission Bra Strap was a success! I also paired grey and brown, which is something I'd never done before. Not bad.


Meg said...

Here in Florida, I feel your pain. Fortunately I had a breast reduction so I can sometimes get away with strapless bras (I'm still rather large, though). In general, I try to buy tops that have wide enough straps so that my bra straps are covered, but that doesn't always work out.

While in general I disapprove of showing bra straps, if you're in the sort of environment where you are wearing tank tops, then it is probably casual enough that you can show your straps without serious repercussions. (Things here in Florida are typically very casual because of the heat. Bra straps, toe rings, anklets, capris, flip flops, they're all perfectly fine out and about here.)

There are clear straps you can use on bras with replaceable straps, but I really prefer them under a semi-see-through top or cover, otherwise they can look cheap because of the shiny plastic look.

Straps the color of your skin would look least noticeable, but the message they send to me is "I'm trying to hide my bra straps, but it's not quite working" (sort of like the clear straps).

My advice, if you're going to have to show straps, make sure they complement your outfit. Go wild with them if you have to, but make it look like a style statement. If you're going to break "The Great, Holy Rules of Fashion", always look like you mean to.

Also, hopefully you have some racerback bras because they *sometimes* work under tank tops where other bras don't.

Stef said...

You could also try wearing bras with straps that are more fancy... say, like, with lace. That way the straps'll look as if you're wearing a tank top rather than a bra. I was browsing (Urban Outfitters) and noticed that a lot of the models had their bras showing as a part of their outfit... and it looked great, especially when the bras were brightly colored. =) Like this for example:
By the way, that tank top (the one you're wearing) looks so much better on you than it did on me. I'm glad you're putting it to good use! =D

Kori said...

Thanks for the tips you two!
And thanks about the top, Stef:)

Eli said...

I've been wearing meshy bras (that look like training bras) because its pointless to wear one in the summer if you can get away with it. Another way of letting men and society put us down. Let our boobies breathe!

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