Cleavage: Coming to an office near you

Noticing a bit more cleavage at work? You're not alone

No matter where they are, women seem to be showing off their cleavage more than ever before by wearing plunging necklines and tight tops. Is this simply a fashion trend or are there other factors? According to Elisabeth Squires, author of Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls, American breasts are getting bigger while shirts are getting smaller. But that is only part of the story. A layered style of tight shirts seems to be a major fashion trend fueled by a look that is very popular in Europe.

Whether you shop at American Eagle, Hollister, Wet Seal, or Express, the clothing look pretty much the same. Form-fitting camis and midriff-exposing tops are on display for all ages to embrace. And that is part of the problem. What looks great on a 20-something female can look ridiculous on a 40-year-old.

And yes, the weight issue can be part of the problem. To look really great in this clothing, you have to have an almost perfect figure. And lets face it, most of us don't. Walk around any public place and you will see women with the tell-tale "muffin top" spilling over too tight pants and a low-cut top.
Even for those with perfect figures, there is a question of when to use breast power. What is appropriate for an evening out does not necessarily translate into a professional appearance at a board meeting. But that doesn't mean breasts should stay hidden. According to Squires, the appearance of breasts can help women in the workplace.

"A recent study showed men photos of women in a workplace with large breasts showing cleavage, medium breasts and small breasts. When asked about who looked most professional and personable, the men chose the women with medium-sized breasts," she said.

I can't help wonder what the other women in the office thought.


Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro
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