Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Elements of Style: Peek-A-Boob

This is not what I had planned to blog about today, but an email from Simplicity featuring their new summer dress patterns got me thinking about style, particularly the peek-a-boob dress.

The flowered dress on the left with the cleavage window.

What I'm referring to is the cleavage window: a cut-out in a dress that reveals a flash of boob-age. (Yes, I made that definition up myself). It's a look that is risky and hard to pull off as far as I'm concerned.

Now, if you've been reading my blog for the last year, you've probably realized that I'm not particularly risk-averse when it comes to fashion (Exhibit A: jumpsuit). I also happen to love sporting a little cleavage (Exhibit B: seersucker dress). In fact, my entire fashion strategy is basically built around using my bust to distract from my hips. So I feel a bit hypocritical not liking this look.

McCall 6348

On the one hand, I can see how it's rather sassy and fun. Plenty of celebs have been on board with it for a while.  Jennifer Aniston and Beyonce Knowles are just two who embraced this trend early with varying degrees of success. But for some reason I just can't seem to get down with the peek-a-boob. Part of my hesitance is that, in the back of my mind, it always reminds me of, well, this: 

And on a humid day, this IS pretty close to what my hair looks like, too.


(Warning: A google search for "Klingon women" may take you to parts of the internet that you don't want to know about. Trust me on this one.)

That said, it isn't cut-outs that I don't like. I love a great back-revealing cut-out like this Vogue by Rachel Comey pattern that is in my stash.

V1161

But for some reason, I just don't like front-side cut outs and I'm not sure why. It certainly isn't for any practical reason. 

So what about you?  Yea or nay to the peek-a-boob? Do you think it's a window to the soul or is it just too sci-fi dominatrix weird for you?

24 comments:

Tanit-Isis said...

I kind of love them, but I don't think I've ever really successfully worn one. Haven't tried that hard, though, either. Hmm. Not that I have much in the way of cleavage to show off, peekaboo or otherwise.

It's fine to have elements or details you just don't like. :) I'm not a big fan of "Safari style"---not because it is or isn't attractive, just doesn't really do it for me. :)

Peter Lappin said...

I say give peek-a-boob the peek-a-boot. It's not classy, no matter who wears it.

And ESPECIALLY not if you have deep cleavage or are Mamie Van Doren.

Karin said...

I think I'm ok with the peekaboo. Maybe because I am so small cheated that no one would really notice anyway! Lol

Peter Lappin said...

Karin, I believe that's what's known as a Freudian slip. LOL

ReadyThreadSew said...

I'm not a fan of the peek-a-boob (great name) either. I don't quite know why because I have no problem with deep cut v-necks. I think it may be because it frames the cleavage and basically just screams look HERE!!!!

ElleC said...

It works for Lursa and B'etor, but for non-Klingons not so much. It has the potential for skankage.

puu said...

i'm pretty much with tanit-isis on this. love the look, but haven't yet tried it for myself. (but your klingon warning had me seriously laughing.)

BeckyMc said...

The peek-a-boob looks like you are wearing a baby's butt on your chest.

Faye Lewis said...

I've always been attracted to the peekaboo style but have never made one. I really like the McCalls ad Simplicity patterns.

K.Line said...

Ooooh, fascinating subject! I do not like the peek a boob (great term). It seems too contrived to me and, if you "really" have boobs, it tends toward obscene. Peter really says it well...

T. Sedai said...

I wasn't considering any peek-a-boob patterns before, but now I just really can't wear them (Klingons and the baby-butt-chest comment are now all I will think of when I see these patterns). Although I am sort of liking the Klingon look more than the Simplicity pattern. Huh.

As far as the style goes - I think what bothers me is that it just looks awkward. I mean, it sort of looks like you are being choked with unnecessary fabric. I don't think the opening on the Simplicity pattern is all that low... but it just looks uncomfortable. Why not just have the open neckline?

And, since I (apparently) have a ridiculously high bust this cleavage window would probably NOT be a good look for me. I think the years of being around skating costumes with all sorts of weird cut-outs (or the illusion of weird cut-outs) has sort of dulled me to the lack of classiness of this style. I suppose in general, I tend to think styles that show more cleavage tend to be for dressy occasions (gowns and cocktail dresses) but the shape and style of these dresses seem to make them really casual, and so I just don't think the cut-out needs to be there. I mean, wouldn't you be worried about getting things from the bottom shelf in the grocery store?

And I agree - I like back cut-outs. Anyone who has seen any of my skating costumes would know I am a fan of showing off the back.

Clio said...

Ooooo... so it's 4 yeas and 5 nays right now.

ElleC - 10 points Gryffindor for your superior Trekkie geekness!

I never thought about bust size being related to the style, but I think that it probably does make a big difference in how tacky it might look.

Clio said...

5 yeas ans 5 nays!

shawntasews said...

I love that Simplicity pattern and hopefully will make it. I guess I'm on the opposite spectrum because I have a lot of cleavage and still like it but I think the rest of dress really dictates how far up or down on the skank scale you go. I think the busy print distracts and the fuller skirt makes you look less like a sausage trying to bust out.

Clio said...

LOL- skank scale - I'm totally gonna use that. Good point about the Simplicity pattern, Shawnta. It really is rather conservative for a dress that has a cleavage window.

Catherine Daze said...

I like it on the pattern you posted, but the boob window is small and the model's not exactly spilling out of it. I guess it works if it's one of the more subtle versions, but I don't go for the Klingon look!

Phyllis said...

Another nay I'm afraid; I just think this style requires not only a good bust but also great arms, shoulders and good posture. I feel the same way about backless styles with an added requirement of flawless skin.

ElleC said...

Thank you for noticing my Star Trek geekiness. I used to be able to do "Narratum Verbatum" for TNG and DS9. Drove The Husband nuts.

Tia Dia said...

I say nay. But maybe it depends on the context. If you're out on a hot dinner date with the goal being a lot of attention to your anatomy, then go for it! But for every day or office or wherever else wear, um, why? I'm likely to spill out of a peek-a-boob dress, though, so it wouldn't be my first choice. And do you really want people noticing the girls peeking at them while they're talking to you?

LinB said...

I think this style looks best on flat-chested women, which kind of defeats the purpose of peek-a-boob ... not a great fan of the trend. Myself, I had enough of the real thing when my toddler was still nursing. Once she figured out buttons and zippers, I pretty much inadvertently flashed most of the southeastern United States. The same peek-a-boob hole filled with lace or translucent fabric, or a bright contrasting fabric, though, would be very interesting to see.

Sheila said...

Not too keen on this trend for me.. I am busty and prefer to create my own boobiliciousness...lol

Sara said...

In my opinion, it's a matter of execution - I can see it being attractive in a nice fabric, not too tight, etc etc. But it could easily go wrong too.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Being flat of chest, I am attracted to the look. Patrones published a pattern for this style 3? 4? years ago that I've kind of wanted to make ever since. But I fear that it is not work appropriate, even though it shows no more chest than a scoopneck at the same depth would.

Alexandria Web said...

amusingly I just found this via a search for Klingon Women (I need some costume reference) and you are so right, BRB PUTTING "safe search" back of and scrubbing my brain)