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Your Boobs Aren't Welcome

Georgine painting

About a year ago Vogue declared a war on cleavage:

“The cleavage – those magnificent mounds pushed together to display sexual empowerment, to seduce, to inspire lust or even just to show off – is over, or at least, taking a well-earned break." - Vogue, UK

On paper, this statement sounds pretty good - you ladies don't need to show off what you've got to be appreciated, you can simply relax and hide your sexuality somewhere under a crew neck shirt.

The one little thing that Vogue's editor didn't take into perspective, is that's not how our bodies work. You can't just take your old boobs to the store with the receipt and exchange them for new smaller ones; "those magnificent mounds pushed together" are not a subject of choice. So while on some women that crew neck top will look effortlessly stylish, on others, it will create a camping tent like substance.

Not being a fan of cleavage myself, for multiple reasons, I have to admit that hearing this major fashion voice saying “the tits will not be out for the lads, or anyone else, for that matter” sounds more like a long-awaited confirmation that fashion is in the void of the feminine body.

Having a 32DD cup size, I always struggle to find pieces that fit me well. I like oversized masculine silhouettes: big sweaters, boyfriend style t-shirts, classic oversized shirts. Yet I have to compromise my own taste, because most of the time these garments just don't look right on my body. But the biggest pain is to shop for a summer closet. I can't throw on a huge knitted sweater that is gigantic on anybody by default, I have to find lightweight shirts that won't make a balloon out of me.

When it hit 95F in New York again, I figured that I needed to arm myself to beat the heat with chic. So I went on Pinterest, as one does, and searched for "fashion for women with big breasts". Finding myself deeply depressed after 15 minutes into my investigation, I quit the research. These women on the photos look nothing like me. I can't wear THIS. I'm 23, not 50, and I live in New York, not on Cape Cod. And also, why do they assume that only plus size women can have plus size boobs?!

It was my Miranda moment (as "he's just not so into you") when I realized that fashion's just not so into me.  Stores are filled with clothes, yet most of it is tailored for an extremely unified idea of a woman. Most of the times it's an androgynous version of female, existing in only one shape: slim, tall and flat. And even bigger sizes are just bigger versions of the same thing, with no assumption that there can be breasts or hips under the piece of rag.

And this tendency is noticeable not only in oversized trends, it's the cut of the garments that aren't designed to be worn if you have boobs.

I come from a family where women used to make clothes themselves because it's cheap and clothing stores just don't exist in the area. So I know what good quality cuts look like - they have tucks. The goal of a tuck is to fold a fabric on the garment in the places where it has to "hug" your body. It gives a shape to the final product.

Without going into boring details, the point is simple - it's expensive and time-consuming for brands to produce clothes that fit real people, that's why they're making simple, quick-to-produce and cheaper "one cut fits all". Especially in mass market, that only cares about producing massive amounts of styles in a very short period with the lowest cost (in detail on that later).

So, as you see, it's not your problem that you have to spend hours looking for one decent garment in the abundance of women's fashion in stores. Vogue said "no boobs", remember?

There aren't a lot of remedies for the current problem in my drawer, other than one universal - buy mindfully. Think, where you spend your money, who do you support, because at the end of the day, without you and me and all the other women like us, these companies don't have a business. Fashion doesn't have any rules, it just responds to the changes in public behavior. You wanted more plus-size models? You got them. You wanted more interracial models? You got them. These changes might not have gone as far as they should yet, but things are shifting.