Dear Stylist Quo,
Help! I want to go braless, dammit! It’s 2012 and while I don’t plan to free boob it daily, there are occasions when I think the “loose look” enhances the style. I wonder: can visible nips be tasteful statement accessories?
Personally, I find a little texture to be hip, edgy and insanely sexy, particularly for us in the itty bitty camp. (Fair is only fair, it’s not like we ever get to flaunt a hearty décolletage!) It should go without saying, but just in case, I will certainly use discretion in my braless outfits, saving them for evening events … but, am I crazy? Is the South ready for this or should I wait til I vacation in Vegas to leave the bra behind?
– Nervous Nips
Dear Nervous Nips,
Burn your bras, girl. No, I take that back. Burn some of your bras.
You’re right in thinking you should exercise discretion in going braless. There’s just something about seeing a girl at the local michoacana flopping around braless that’s so, what’s the word, misplaced to me? Is that a nice way of putting it?
However, so long as you find a balance in your outlined tit outfit, your style won’t be the only thing standing out. But here’s my question for you: exactly how many puns do you think I can work into this post?
As a fellow member in the “itty bitty” camp, I feel your pain/glory. I personally free-boob it quite a bit, especially with black tops that only lend the subtlest bit of texture. You lose all of the vulgarity of flopping breasts when you’re in my camp, girl, so let your freak flag fly high. When I lived in Paris, this was the norm. When I wore my American padded bras, I felt like a bloated, puffed-up, plasticky monster. I felt I screamed, “HEY! I’m American! Want to take my wallet?” I went without the rest of the time, after that first traumatizing week.
Most importantly, find somewhere to go or something to do fast that necessitates wearing that dress! I personally think it’s less “Hey, I’m going braless, can’t you tell?” and more simple elegance. If you wore a bra with this skater dress, you’d probably actually look quite trashy, unless it were a sweetheart bustier, or something, but that doesn’t really count. Sweetheart bustiers are always OK. Lesson of the day. Hashtag it, everyone.
I’ve styled the skater dress two ways: edgy[/ier] glam and totally classic. The dress is detailed but simple, so the right accessories are key to adding depth and subtle interest here, without detracting from the sheer sexiness (wordplay!) of the dress.
- Edgy glam: highlight your waist with a thick double belt or cincher with gold detailing. Mimic the line you’ve created with the belt with a cropped biker jacket, a nod to this season’s favorite, as well as a slight tint of edge and some good, old-fashioned rock and roll. Always wear this upon entrance anywhere. When you remove it, jaws, they will drop. Follow up on the subtle gold detailing with a gold, or black and gold, double finger ring, and lighten it all up, just the slightest bit, with gold domed pearl earrings–subtle enough to not take away from the femininity coming from the mesh panel. Finish with classic, deep red peep toe pumps, which reek of timeless glamour, striking confidence. They ooze sex kitten, and isn’t that we all want more of in our lives? Finally, keep the handbag simple with either a similarly deep red velvet clutch, for extra oomph, or a highly structured tote that screams “rich” to the world, but whispers “just kidding” in your ear. It’s the perfect shade of gray and balances the warmth of the pump here nicely.
- Totally classic: Let the mesh dip be the focus of the dress and go without a belt, or choose a thin gold metal belt for a bit of bling. Keep the line of your leg going with perfect nude pumps that keep distractions to a minimum and heighten the overall “holy chic” factor of the set. A cape is the perfect outerwear in this instance, covering the entire panel until the moment of reveal, while it sets the stage for vintage glamour. A box clutch with a pop of color reeks of classic style. Keep the jewelry light, adding only a tennis bracelet or otherwise classic and textured bracelet or ring. Forego necklaces altogether; don simple diamond earrings for another push at subtle vintage glam.
About the other pieces you sent me, at left and center:
My favorite here is the slate silk button-down. The pockets over the chest add a second layer of fabric, which will read sexy, yet subtle, so you could pull this off during the day. If you do go braless with the mustard top, make sure you keep the rest of the outfit classic and subtle–read: dark skinny jeans and black pumps–and keep to your original thought about rocking it at night. With the same setup, try the pink peplum top I’ve added in, which is so girly and feminine that it won’t come off as vulgar at all, and peplum does amazing things for the figure.