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Cleavage and Decolletage Debate Most Liked Hot Conversation

Something that is taken for granted is cleavage and decolletage, until you look in the mirror or at pictures and realize that this may not be the look for you anymore. Did you grow a bony sternum overnight? Did your skin under your chin get put into the dryer? Did your SPF Zillion stop working on your chest skin?

It is true you can buy a strong under-wire bra to lift the girls to their former location. A push up bra will give you a bit of cleavage and a foam or contour or padded bra will give you some bosom. Trust me, however, lots of cleavage and or deep V-necklines are not friendly options as we age. Here are the reasons:

  1. Gravity
    Gravity has pulled the girls down regardless of what size, so when yanked up they still are sitting a bit south.
  2. Spots on decolletage
    Discolored skin caused by sun damage, birth control pills, hormones, or who knows what causes a distraction.
  3. Wrinkled Skin
    Right at your cleavage the skin resembles the skin on a chicken leg or looks like the sand on the beach at low tide.
  4. Bony
    No one wants to see your bony sternum.
  5. Flab
    No one wants to see flab escaping from your bra or dress.

So what to do? Avoid the Deep V-Neck. Supportive bras are a must but ease up on the push up style. If you discover you have chicken skin, are bony, or have flab, great flattering alternatives are the boat-neck or cowl neckline or a modest V-neck. If you are not looking for the Hoochie Mama or Bony Waif look, ask an honest girlfriend or partner for their opinion.

It is only fashion but fashionably aging gracefully is an art and a skill!

What fashion changes have you made?

28 like

Posted in Entrepreneurial Menopause Freedom, fashion & beauty, health & fitness.

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48 Responses

  1. Debi Drecksler Debi Drecksler says

    Thanks for the laugh! I’m way past the point of caring what anyone thinks of my wardrobe but you bring up some good points!

    p.s. I breast fed 4 babies including 2 at the time (close in age not twins) and still have a nice cleavage. I like V-neck shirts because they are more comfortable! 

    2 like

  2. Judith Marshall Judith Marshall says

    There’s nothing attractive about cleavage that looks like a peach pit!
     

    8 like

  3. Titirangi Storyteller Titirangi Storyteller says

    It seems to me the current style is to expose as much breast as possible, regardless of the age, shape, size or overall firmness of the flesh in question. I can’t remember all the times I have gone to reception from doctors’ offices to women’s magazines and been greeted by a pair of talking breasts. Yes, there was a head above them somewhere I am sure, but despite my solid heterosexuality, I was not able to tear my eyes away from those mesmerising orbs of femininity!
    I have worked beside sets of breasts that spent the day bouncing, cleaving, jostling, rocking, bumping and perking all day long.
    Big ugly boobs, funny fake boobs, bizarre fake boobs, gorgeous mounds of fleshy wonder, nursing boobs, saggy boobs, big boobs in a tiny bra, tiny boobs in a great big bra – they’re all boobs. If someone likes them enough to show them off, they’re allowed.
    I personally prefer a bit more modesty and wouldn’t mind if the trend was a little more discreet. But that said, I don’t think older women should have to keep their ageing boobs hidden away and more than a plump and 22 year should. They’re not ugly. They’re what boobs look like when that 22 year old gets to be 60.
    If a 60 year old feels confident about her body and wants to flash some cleavage – good on her!

    13 like

    • Happy Daze Happy Daze says

      LOL~!  You have a way with words!  I too appreciate modesty and try to use good sense when dressing.  If gals are out for a fun night or an afternoon of entertainment and R&R it’s fine for them to flaunt ‘em, I guess.  When I’m looking for professional assistance no way do I need the one delivering those services wiggling or jiggling her body parts in my face.  The last gal had a butterfly tattoo to draw the attention even more…pleeze.  That ranks right up there with the tall server wearing shorts who stood so close to our table the hem of her shorts was resting by my plate!!

      2 like

      • Haralee Haralee says

        Don’t get me started on tattoos on breast!!!

        1 like

      • Titirangi Storyteller Titirangi Storyteller says

        I am with you on the professional front Happy. Exposed breasts naturally attract attention – from pretty much everyone. (I have a gay male friend who refers to them as ‘fat bags’ – which is kind of gross, but like the rest of the world, he can’t resist looking even if he doesn’t want to touch…)
        Back when I was in the corporate world, I often pondered the disparity in exposure in business meetings. ALL the men were there in suits and ties – the only bits of flesh showing were hands and head. There was little deviation other than what muted tone the suit was and what bright splash of silk the tie was made of.
        Women executives and managers were all over the place. Most were very discreet but there were some… OK – here’s a true story… It was a big Transport executive meeting with reps from across the region. Not a lot of women in the Transport arena, at least, not in  infrastructure building.
        There were about 20 of us seated around a very large boardroom table. The only other woman in the meeting, a senior manager from another council, was sitting across and away from me, as far away as possible (not by design, just happenstance). She was wearing a lowcut, rather close fitting knit top under her jacket. Miles of cleavage.
        Every time she reached over to grab another nibble from the serving plate, a little more of her right breast eased out of her bra and top. Soon everyone was ‘discreetly’ staring, watching for what would happen next. She was completely unaware. The tension mounted with each nibbled grape or chunk of cheese.
        Until finally you could see “IT” the pink aureole of her nipple. I don’t know if it was intentional or accidental, but one of the men choked on his drink and started coughing loudly, and knocked the drink over, distracting everyone. She stood up to help and out it came – the whole DD extravaganza! I think I sat there with my mouth open.
        That she noticed. Back into the bra and the top it went as if nothing had happened (which was the only thing she could do). And the rest of the meeting continued without incident.
        That last hour was incredibly dull.It was not a moment of triumph for womankind…

        4 like

    • Haralee Haralee says

      Have you heard what the letters to bra sizes stand for? A- Almost, B-Better, C- Can’t Complain, D- Damn, DD- Double Damn, E-Enough, F-Forgetaboutit, G-Get a Reduction, H- Help I can’t get up!

      2 like

      • Titirangi Storyteller Titirangi Storyteller says

        Ha ha! Love it! I’ve always been an Almost, which probably partly explains my fascination with boobs. From the time I was 12 or 13 and still flat, even though I was rather tall and had my period from the age of 11 – I knew I wasn’t going to be getting a full set. I considered ordering a Mark Eden Bustline Developer (“used by European farmgirls. Have you ever seen an UNalluring European farm girl?”) but spent all my money on books and music so I couldn’t afford it.
        Of course now in middle age, being an Almost is wonderful. While they’re not as firm as they once were, gravity doesn’t have much to work with, so it’s mostly left them alone.
        Had a meeting with a new client today and put a bra on for the first time in nearly a week. Got back to the office, unclasped the thing with mercy cry, “Free the Boobs!” (Note – my office is in my house. The only other staff on hand to hear me was my salesman/hubby who’s always been in favour of free boobs…)

        5 like

    • Generic Image lunchgirl says

      For many years I’ve been an Almost, and feel it diminishes my femininity somehow.  Like I am not a ‘real’ woman.  Even though I devoted most of my life so far to raising 3 children who have turned out to be wonderful young adults, I still feel because of my breast size that I am not somehow as good of a woman as I should be.  Being divorced and also wishing for a new partnership  I find myself backing away from male attention because I have small breasts.  What is wrong here>>> not that I don’t know, but I bet this stigma dominates many women still, and I am devoting my time now (since I ‘can’t’ accept any social invites anyway) to recovering my sweet sense of self as a real woman, small breasts and all.  But I DO wish I liked the look of a smaller size and must say that for those women who do have a full set….even if we are beyond 50 and 60, and they aren’t as smooth or perky as they used to be, it is more of a crime to feel the need to cover up than to be happy with oneself and show as much skin as you are comfortable doing.  And I don’t feel that’s in any way a fashion statement, or that there should be a rule about it in any way.
      And what about that really hot, hot weather….I found myself even going for the lowest neckline because at my age now that meno has set in…I simply can’t tolerate the heat of a higher neckline.
      I say celebrate, not retreat, and hope to put myself at a deep level on that train too.

      1 like

      • Haralee Haralee says

        Lunchgirl, I love your comment “celebrate, not retreat”!

        0 like

  4. Haralee Haralee says

    I can not top your story. That is a good one, I love that the meeting continued!
    I think we all have stories of a fashion malfunction.
    I will share just between us:
    For my company, I make the wicking sleepwear, for our very first photo shoot I was using friends. I planned who would model which style and my firend that I planned to model my white nightgown came wearing no underwear or bra. The shoot was in the early evening and she came from work and got hot and removed them before modeling for me. She is a brunette so I had to put her in my black nightgown!  Now I have to tell all the women who model for me, friends or friends of friends or sisters or daughters of friends, to wear underwear and a seamless neutral bra. Seems eveident, but evidently not.

    0 like

    • Titirangi Storyteller Titirangi Storyteller says

      They were pretty much all stuffy management types. In the absence of booze, they were very very dry… I talked to her after and she told me she was pregnant and her breasts were growing at an alarming rate and were completely out of control… we laughed, but she was very embarrassed.
      I had to check your website to see the brunette in the black nightie – but of course, that would have been a while ago. LOVED! the video on the homepage! Do you use ‘regular’ women as your models?

      0 like

      • Haralee Haralee says

        Blame the pregnancy is great!
        I don’t use the model in question anymore although we are still friends.
        Thanks, I think the video is funny.  I use friends or friends of friends or daughters or sisters of friends. Some have done some modeling or movie extra work which is big here in town so they are comfortable in front of the camera. Some think it is just a hoot. One of my friends  tells her adult children she is a part time lingerie model just to see their reaction.
        I learned never to make some one model who is reluctant, the camera picks up the insincerity. All my models either had cancer or have a direct relationship to some one who has had cancer.

        1 like

  5. Generic Image MiMi says

    I wish all my over 50 friends would read this.It’s as though they clinge to their clevage as their last vestage of youth. Truth is that it just makes them look either fatter or deperate!

    3 like

  6. CandaceC CandaceC says

    Hello ladies, I have been perusing this post and enjoying the stories very much.
    I have to say that at times I have exposed too much of my cleaveage. I think I am in denial of just how large they have become. I bought a beautiful black top for my nieces wedding a couple of years ago and didn’t even realize how busty it was until I saw the pictures (I felt so humilited) and then last week I bought a dress for a party and again, it seems I was all boobs!  In my defense my boobs are wrinkle free and neck and chest bone are still youthful looking. I have never thought of my self as large breasted (although others tell me I always was) so I’m thinking it’s that self image thing. I am however trying to be much more aware of just how much boob is showing.

    1 like

    • Haralee Haralee says

      Hey CandaceC, who among us has not seen a picture of herself and wondered’ What was I Thinking?’
      I think a lot of  fashion is tighter around the breast area and also in your defense, the angle of a picture makes a huge difference.

      0 like

  7. madeline madeline says

    Interesting thread and fun too! I’m 72 and show lots of cleavage, well, as much as a Wacoal 34AA implies, and I do so as often as possible. That said the ‘cleavage’ I show might not be considered typical breast tissue. I suppose it would best be described as pec muscle. After reading the references to ‘chicken skin’ I can only hope the muscle fills the skin out as much as I ‘think’ it does, and I’m not parading about with a bony chicken skin chest! At any rate, I found a way to have ‘cleavage’ sans fatty tissue and I must confess I have enjoyed it ever since.
    So too did I enjoy the remarks made by Titirangi Stroyteller, and her extremely broadminded assertion that older woman (and I realize here I am a bit older than perhaps she had in mind) needn’t pull the ‘shroud’ up close around them to hide their bodies and ‘wait for the reaper’.
    Oh yes, one last observation….. My mother always told me, (thinking I suppose I needed reassurance which I did not) “Your body will always look youthful.” ………… I think my mother to have been a very wise woman.

    1 like

  8. madeline madeline says

    Obviously I was unsuccessful editing my comment above.  Oh well, I stand by the last three paragraphs.

    0 like

  9. Generic Image kanmko says

    Funny stuff. I’m another forever youthful one. I was recently checking out bra/dress accessories. Glad this caught my eye.

    0 like

  10. Generic Image Mosie says

    I am 54 and I do show boobs and I do have a boob tattoo…and I take exception to the “Don’t get me started on tattoos on breasts!” from the author.  

    This site is supposed to be for women to support each other, not some judgemental gab-fest, so I would just like to say that we should watch what we say and how we say it, lest it just come off as superior, catty or bitchy.

    Now, my tattoo seldom peeks above the bra line, but might now and again.  I am not ashamed of it nor of the time in my life when I got it.  It was the carefree early 80′s and I was a young professional (hotel management) having fun in SF!  My rose is lovely, not tacky, not big, not garish.  Women my age were among the first to get tattoos – most women my age that I know or see or meet either had one done back then or since – ankle, shoulder, breast and flowers being most popular.  Some just for show, some have meaning.  Mine was for fun at the time, but now has great sentimental value since it was a gift from my now-deceased brother for my 21st birthday.  He brought me to the famous artist from San Francisco, Lyle Tuttle and we both got tattoos that day.  We are not ruffians, Hell’s Angels or poor (or poorly raised), we were both contemporary young professionals.  (BTW after it aged, I had it refreshed and will continue to do so so that it remains clear).

    As far as cleavage, as a menopausal woman whose ‘middle section’ is now the least favorite part of my body, I have come to realize that my best features of the moment are my boobs and my legs, so I wear dresses that show some cleavage and that have a hemline just above the knee at the most flattering length for me.  My husband of 25 years thinks I am beautiful and sexy and that is what matters most to me.

    I keep up my haircolor (to my original medium brown) and cut (just past shoulders, layered towards face), I have mani-pedi’s, and wear current clothes.  

    I am 54, not dead.  I am still sexy and I go for a look that is first confident & fashionable, secondly a little sexy.  

    Sexy and confident, not trashy and desperate.  There is a big difference.

    6 like

    • Haralee Haralee says

      Hey Mosie, I don’t mean to be  mean at all. My opinion regarding tattoos, it is just my opinion thats all, not judgemental. We all have opinions on many matters and here is a safe place to express them, share and maybe have a laugh.

      0 like

  11. Violet Violet says

    I refer to this site to hear all opinions; even superior, catty or bitchy ones. Keep them all coming!

    2 like

  12. Vieille Vieille says

    This article is right on in my opinion.  I am another size 34A so I’m lucky that they’re still pretty high up there.  

    But I recently photo’ed mine in a push up bra to send to my husband at work. I ended up rethinking that, EXACTLY because of the look of the 55 year old skin. specifically the texture and slightly uneven coloring.

    I think it’s to our advantage to be realistic.  It’s much less a matter of ‘hiding’ but rather of artful direction of attention.
    : )

    2 like

    • Haralee Haralee says

      Vieille, well said, “Artful Direction”! That is what photographers and models use all the time. The rest of us are trying to learn the skill.

      0 like

  13. Sharon Gnatt Epel Sharon Gnatt Epel says

    There is a terrific product I use for decollete sun-damage, tightening up skin on cleavage and smoothing out skin creases (you know, when you wake up in the morning after sleeping on your side?). It is called Breast SOS, and is a godsend!

    1 like

    • Haralee Haralee says

      Thanks Sharon. Good to know.

      0 like

    • Generic Image Anonymous says

      Hi Sharon – I ordered some of this based on the recommendation of this site and now I see that this is your company.  I will let you know how it works.  I had a very bad sunburn when I was young and my chest  has been red ever since and now I when I wake up it looks like a dried up old riverbed!

      0 like

  14. Generic Image Jeanne Estridge says

    That’s why I call my blog The Raisin Chronicles–because anything that looks like a raisin should be covered–preferably in a layer of good dark chocolate.

    0 like

  15. Anonymous Anonymous says

    I would just like to mention that the Cleavage area is often the most neglected area regarding skin care.  We apply Antiwrinkle creams to our faces, but forget our necks and cleavage.  I have recently started on Retin A for antiaging on my face and have started applying it to my neck and chest as well.  My recommendation is that whatever you apply to your face, you should apply to your neck and chest and while you are at it, to the top of your hands.

    2 like

  16. Judith Marshall Judith Marshall says

    A girlfriend of mine swears by using her Clarisonic brush on her chest and cleavage to slough of the dead skin.  Makes sense.

    Judith Marshall
    Author of “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever,” optioned for the big screen

    0 like

  17. KarylMiller KarylMiller says

    Love this thread.  The older I get the more I dress like Bea Arthur on Golden Girls. I just returned a new bra because it exposed too much of what my hubby calls “nippage.”  My dad used to admonish me, “Don’t give anybody a free show.”  At 68 I decided it was time to stop flashing the headlights and listen to the wisdom of my dad.

    0 like

    • Haralee Haralee says

      Karyl, there could be worse things! My 23 year old niece was having an issue with a push up bra pushing nips right out. Oh to be encumbered with gravity!

      0 like

      • Generic Image Anonymous says

        Haralee – why are you so concerned with your nieces chest? I am close to my niece but REALLY not to discuss personal stuff like this!
         I find it slightly offensive when women refer to other womens body parts
        using male sexist terms – like you using term  ”NIPS” 
        She is a 23 yr old woman does she need her aunt to help her go shopping for a BRA??
        tell her to get a sports Bra she is flat..

        0 like

  18. KarylMiller KarylMiller says

    Anonymous  poster above –  I couldn’t disagree more. I have helped numerous friends shop for bras, including members of my family.  I think it’s wonderful to have an open girl-girl relationship with other women and talk about bras, periods and even contraception.

    3 like

    • Generic Image Anonymous says

      Really – I have two nieces that grew up with me and we do not sit around talking Bras, periods, birth control. Or any other crap that is personal
      IF they have questions on private stuff they ask the mother not me Im jsut the aunt. Also my nieces had more going on other than sitting contemplating their bra size and if it fit ok.
      The are grown up now the 22 yr old is working for an Investment Banking company as an anylist she graduated with HONORS form YaLE THE OTHER ON Ewhich we never sat around talking sex and personal stuff turned out to be a math professor at Columbia University she is Brilliant so maybe it pays not to sexualize girls. JUST SAYING. THERE IS MORE TO BEING A GIRL BESIDES BEING A WALKING SEX ORGAN.  

      1 like

    • Generic Image Anonymous says

      kary miller – please excuse my spelling its a bit sloppy I wanted to answer that post right away for you .
      but I feel very strongly that we put tooooooo much emphasis on girls and womens bodies and using terms like that other person used NIPS
      made me sick to my stomach its very insulting to women and sounds like something a sexist man would say certainly not a woman about her niece
      nuf said.

      1 like

  19. KarylMiller KarylMiller says

    Anonymous,  I feel your pain and your over-reaction.  I’m sure no women on this site would disagree with you about too much emphasis sex and young girls in our society.  Thanks for your candid response.

    0 like

    • Generic Image Anonymous says

      sometimes I think that women are their own worst enemies .
      Try to talk to your niece about something other than addressing her as though she is nothng but a spare sex organ shop .
      Bra shopping with 23 year old niece ? She is a grown woman so treat her like one and drop the derogatory words to describe a womans breasts like …”nips”  unless you are a male construction worker why speak this way ? this is not over reaction this is strong feelings that you are doing damage to all and it is not fair to women . 

      0 like

      • Haralee Haralee says

        Wow, very judgmental Anonymous!
        I am very close with all my 6 nieces and 3 nephews. We do many things together, one is shopping. We are a very open family and talk about everything. Maybe I should not have used nips, but nipple, however she does not want to be known in her new career as “the one who had the unintended “Wardrobe Malfunction”, like poor Nancy Grace in dancing with the Stars!
        Maybe we talk more about breasts and breast health than most families because we have a strong influence of breast cancer in the family with me and my oldest sister being survivors. So often on our shopping trips we talk at lunch or coffee breaks among other topics, breast cancer research, genetic markers, and health advocacy.
         
         

        1 like

  20. Generic Image Anonymous says

    Found your word Nips quite offensive describe female breast
    Is that judgemental ? No.
    I and many other women get enough of this garbage when we pass a construction site so for another woman to use sexist terms and
    even worse when you are discribing your niece is not acceptable
    - if I were your niece I would be angry with YOU . …
    So. Are you saying because you have cancer in your family that its ok to use sexist terminology when you speak about women?? How degrading! I have cancer in my family, breast cancer- so what -
     unlike you ,we do not sit around all day talking about our breasts etc etc .
      I do not use sexist terms to describe a womans anatomy its offensive and shows a lack of class and respect.
    thats is my opinion and it wont change. by the way I used to work with Gloria Steinem at MS magazine and we worked really hard to have offensive language to describe women REMOVED from polite conversation – it took many many years and so now that men no longer do it , to hear a woman say it is not acceptable  perhaps you should take a course in vocabulary to learn some more acceptable words??. 

    0 like

  21. Alicia Alicia says

    I DESPISE, HATE the word, “boob(s)”——the original meaning is….an idiot/moron…..how DISrespectful to our beautiful body parts to call them that.
     
    Every wonder why people call their sexual parts by another name?  Embarrassment, perhaps?

    0 like

    • Generic Image Anonymous says

      THANK YOU ALICIA- YOU GET IT .
      I DID NOT WANT TO MENTION THAT OTHER WORD WHICH ONE OR TWO WOMEN ACTUALLY USED ON THIS BOARD TO DESCRIBLE THEIR BREASTS. [edited]
      HARALEE AND THAT OTHER PERSON THINK ITS OK FOR WOMEN TO USE
      SEXIST TERMS THAT DENEGRATE WOMEN TO REFER TO WOMENS BODY PARTS – ITS PRETTY SAD.
      [edited]
      SEEMS THAT THE SEXIST BATON HAS BEEN PASSED OVER TO WOMEN WHO CHOOSE TO INSULT THEMSELVES AND ALSO OTHER WOMEN BY USING TERMS LIKE: NIPS, BOOBS, TITS, TATAS AND WHATEVER OTHER STUPID SEXIST TERMS MEN HAVE USED FOR CENTURIES.
      HEY LADIES … RESPECT YOURSELVES IF YOU WANT RESPECT FROM THE WORLD.
      [edited]


      This comment has been edited because it clearly breaks several Vibrant Nation community guidelines.
      http://www.vibrantnation.com/community-guidelines/#respect
      Anyone who would like to talk further about this issue is welcome to call the Vibrant Nation office 502-272-2420.

      0 like

  22. Lizbet Lizbet says

    Okay, so I’m 58, wear a 36G bra (all natural) and have spent most of my life embarrassed by cleavage or nipple showing or breasts flopping… not to mention derogatory remarks from men who seem to think that breasts are ONLY sex objects for their enjoyment.  A few years ago, I came to terms with my figure and with my womanhood.  I developed a sense of humor and a sense of pride that I am all woman and my breasts are part of the package deal. Instead of hiding them, I take care of them and invest in garments strong enough to support them but feminine enough to make me smile.  I nursed five children with them who still enjoy health benefits that are traced to breast milk.  Ladies, let us be kind to one another but rejoice that God created us as we are for many special purposes.  No need to be ashamed.  No need to be intimidated….. just a need to be respectful and encouraging to our kindred sisters.

    0 like

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