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Auntie SparkNotes: Is It Okay To Show My Straps?

Auntie SparkNotes: Is It Okay To Show My Straps?

Hi Auntie!

Mine is perhaps a bit of a frivolous question, but I hope you don't mind answering anyways. It's about... bras.

Okay, actually it's about bra straps, specifically the see-through kind. I'm a bit of a top heavy girl, but I really love strapless dresses. My school's Sadie Hawkins is coming up and I'm pretty sure I want to go strapless. I have a pretty good bra for it, but I always end up awkwardly adjusting anyways. So what's the call on see-through straps? Are they something you could do at a fairly low-key Sadie Hawkins but not at a prom?

Hey, I love a nice, frivolous question! Yay! And oh, how I wish I could answer this one by telling you just what you want to hear. I would so, so love to say that it really doesn't matter, that the rules of fashion are made to be broken, and that if you love the strapless look in spite of your top-heavy constitution, any solution you're comfy with is perfectly all right.

But... I'm sorry, I can't, I just can't go there. Not without violating the Universal Code of Aesthetics, in which it is clearly stated that see-through straps are a felony offense on a par with wearing socks with sandals or letting your thong hang out.

Because alas, "see-through" is not a synonym for "invisible." And it doesn't matter if you're at a casual lunch or a black tie gala: people will still see your bra, and a pair of transparent plastic strips cutting into your shoulders looks tacky and uncomfortable. (Basically, ladies, they give off the rather unsightly impression that you're holding your dress up with two pieces of Scotch tape.)

But hey, how about this: if you can figure out why you like the strapless look, then perhaps there's another way to achieve the same effect without the saggy side effects that can plague the big of boob? For instance, if you have beautiful shoulders, consider a halter or keyhole neckline (which not only shows off your back and shoulders, but will flatter your decolletage). If you love the empire cut of many strapless dresses, consider a one-shoulder gown that drapes similarly but offers more support. You can go the faux route, with an illusion neckline that gives you a straplish silhouette without leaving everything so susceptible to the whims of gravity. Or, if you're absolutely determined to have your neck and shoulders completely unfettered, you can decide to bite the bullet and invest in a really quality large-cup strapless foundation bra that'll stay snugly in place all night long. I did a little research and found this one, which seems to be universally approved-of by people who know about these things (although as a lifelong member of the IBTC, I cannot personally attest to its effectiveness. Commenters?)

Or, y'know, you can tell me to go to hell and do your thing with the see-through straps. Whatever. I suppose I can't stop you. But don't you come crying to me when your blatant disregard for the laws of fashion bring about the zombie apocalypse, which it almost certainly will.

Have fun!

Do you have some strapless style advice for a girl with huge... tracts of land? Help our Sparkler out with a comment! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at

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Topics: Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, fashion, advice, sadie hawkins, boobs, school dances, dos and don'ts, bras

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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