Rules of Cleavage

So do a double take in the mirror before walking out the front door in the morning.“[Women] understand the power of breasts in general, but they don’t understand the power of their own,” Squires says.You may aim for different effects depending on the situation, but understanding how and when to tap into the power of your cleavage will help you achieve the desired result anytime, anywhere.One can look like a hoochie mama, Mother Superior or somewhere in between as a sexy and classy woman, says Los Angeles image consultant Ashley Rothschild ( “There's nothing more fascinating than a woman who owns her sex appeal and her power.”For best results, breast power should be wielded with awareness and intent.“We have to realize that breasts are your femininity and sexuality at the same time,” Squires says. “That’s what the power of cleavage is all about – using your sexuality or not.”

Rule #2: Sometimes less is more.In some industries, it’s appropriate – in fact, required – to play up your cleavage: entertainment, fashion, Hooters, to name a few. Unless your career success rests on your chest, though, it's probably wiser to rely on your other assets at the office.“If cleavage isn’t in your job description, don’t write it in,” Squires says. Too much boobage, and you may end up perceived as sexual, not professional. “Showing a lot of breast is a distraction, especially in the workplace,” she says. Wear a very low- cut wrap dress or shirt, and everyone will focus on the boobs.“We all need to be appropriate and be responsible for the message we send out,” Rothschild says. “Think before you even enter your closet what your image is going to communicate.”So buy a full-length mirror and take a look at yourself. If your breasts are standing out, “that’s probably inappropriate,” Squires says.Don’t reveal more than an inch of cleavage at work, Rothschild says. The same holds true for your company’s holiday party and meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time.

Rule #3: Sometimes more brings more.All bets are off when the sun goes down. Feel free to flaunt your curves and play up cleavage for a night on the town. This is the time to pair a push-up bra with a plunging neckline or, if you’re small-chested and daring, go with a sexy backless number and skip the bra. Revealing 2-3 inches of cleavage during off hours will get the job done, Rothschild says, but she cautions: “If it looks like you're going to pop out, you’ve gone way too far.”Think of your cleavage as an accessory, and make sure it suits your outfit and the occasion.“Or, quite frankly, you might be an exhibitionist, and that’s OK too,” Squires says.When it comes to breast etiquette, pregnancy is the other exception. Accentuate this short-lived bonus cleavage any way you please.When women are pregnant, “breasts are fully employed,” she says. “Give their girls a break. Pregnant women should be able to get away with anything they want.”

Rule #5: Always flatter your rack.Regardless of size, your success at putting your best breasts forward is ultimately determined by your clothing. Here’s how Rothschild recommends you gussy up your girls: For big boobs:

  • V-necklines will open up the décolletage and elongate your neck.
  • Look for seaming on tops that emphasis your waist.
  • Wrap dresses help create an hourglass shape. Add a cami underneath for more coverage.
  • Wear necklaces that hang above the cleavage or down by your midriff.
  • Avoid square necklines.

For small boobs:

  • Pleating, gathering or beading at the bust will provide a fuller look.
  • Wrap dresses create a flattering shape for petite and larger chests.
  • Achieve a sexy look with a low-cut fitted top draped with necklaces – beads, chains, pearls, the works – and paired with jeans.
  • Wear a well-fitting bra.
  • Consider a minimizer if you are particularly well- endowed.

Rule #6: Be adaptable.Expect and accept that during your life, your cleavage and breasts will change – a lot. Age, weight, pregnancy, PMS and gravity all make a great case for continuously reevaluating how the rules apply to your boobs.Even though women wear 7-8 different sizes of bras over their lifetimes, don’t expect your set to ever match up with anyone else’s. Like snowflakes, no two breasts are the same, not even those on the same chest.As your girls change, remember that maintaining a sexy, powerful presence isn’t just about your cleavage.“Think outside the bra,” Squires says, and use physical assets beyond your breasts, such as toned arms, a strong back and flat tummy.And, of course, your best quality isn’t a body part at all.“Self-confidence can often be the sexiest thing you can wear,” Squires says.

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