Ladies, we need to talk bras and knickers…
Well, bra straps and visible panty lines.
And I am not talking a sexy subtle use thereof to tease and tantalise. Oh, no. I am talking unattractively visible underwear that your mother/brother/boyfriend/sister really should have mentioned before you left the house.
I know it has been deliciously hot and the excitement of getting out your summer clothes has been a bit distracting. Perhaps, like mine, a lot of them didn’t even make an appearance last year. And perhaps that is why you have forgotten all your underwear rules because there wasn’t much to worry about while it was hidden under winter warmies.
I think it was Steve Wright who commented on the radio last week that he was alarmed by the clothes women were wearing in the heat, some he figured, they wouldn’t be seen wearing in their own bedroom. Well, at Bristol Harbourside Festival yesterday, in the glorious sunshine, I was invited to view more underwear in the streets than in a lock-in at an M & S lingerie sale.
To list a few heinous crimes:
A strapless maxi dress – with bra straps!
A backless top – those pretty ones with a sort of diamond cut out at the back – with a big bra strap and clasp in the middle of it.
A halter neck frock – with bra straps over the shoulders.
A clingy t-shirt dress (on a fairly curvy girl) wearing low cut knickers that forced love handles at the rear and an unfortunate belly flop over the front.
Another clingy frock over embossed lace knickers that stood out in high definition relief - lovely for teasing your other half, but did you really want the rest of the world to see them?
What is worse is the condition of some of the bra straps on show; industrial width, greying whites, browning nudes.
Girls, the right underwear will serve you. There is such a thing as a strapless bra. There is even a clever backless creation. And those see-through plastic straps – no –avoid them, too. They catch the light, especially in photos (girls in ballgowns, ruined by a flash of plastic).
And to the two women in the clingy frocks: big knickers serve a purpose. On both of you they would have created a smooth, bootylicious outline. Wouldn’t you prefer that?
I understand that some women feel insecure without their regular bra straps and that we have an overwhelming choice of delicious necklines and shoulder strap formations in all the gorgeous clothes available to us. You can win by clever colour co-ordination. Get a matching bra! I had a favourite red top that had spaghetti straps and was cut low in front so my strapless bra wouldn’t work. I traipsed the town until I found a red bra, in the same shade with fine straps decorated with rosebuds. I always wore them together. Easy.
All that said, I did see one girl go by in a backless frock, and her lack of underwear and slim, tanned back did cause a few men to trip over their feet. Speaking of which, she was wearing the oddest shoes…
I like to see women confident in their sexuality, whatever their body shape. I want young women to feel power in their sexuality – in a good way. So get it right. Don’t show what you look like undressed because your underwear is so evident: look gorgeous dressed and share the rest with whom you choose, when you choose.