Guide to cleavage etiquette revealed

Tri-City HeraldOctober 14, 2012 

You may have noticed that October is the designated month when "the girls" are the talk of the town.

But the rest of the year, breasts may be getting a little too much limelight.

A story in the September edition of Ladies Home Journal revealed some thoughts about cleavage and how low you can — or should — go in the workplace. The magazine's etiquette for the office offered a troubleshooting guide to breast management in "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Cleavage" article.

The timely tips caught my eye after hearing a California friend lament that her co-workers' fashion statements have clients — both men and women — feeling like deer trapped in the headlights, blinded by the obvious.

In the article, Margaret Batting, president of Elevé Style Consulting in Barrington, R.I., reminds readers that "Flaunting your cleavage at the office sends a message that you're not serious about your work."

She suggests the following do's and don'ts headlined below:

Do ditch the low-cut tops and push-up bras.
Don't assume your boobs don't bother anyone.
Do protect yourself from accidental overexposure.
Don't take your fashion cues from celebs.

Batting says the main concern is keeping your actual cleavage — that hollow between your breasts — covered up, but I've found that's not always easy in today's fashion world. For anyone who wants to dress chic and modestly, the two often don't pair up.

Nevertheless, through a search on the Internet, I was able to locate writer and television host Colleen Hammond's website that lists well-known designers specializing in classic and tailored clothing.

In addition, she has a number of links to small cottage industries, larger manufacturers such as Coldwater Creek and some seamstresses, all who offer classic or not so flashy apparel.

It's a cover up that won't make the front page, but with cleavage etiquette awareness, at least we won't be the "talk of the town" — or the office.

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