This week, the Internet was rife with retellings of Sophia Loren’s memorable 1957 interaction with a sensationally dressed Jayne Mansfield. As seen in a photograph (shown above), the generously curved beauties shared a table at a Paramount party, where Loren was captured casting a side eye at Mansfield’s nearly exposed chest. It marked a fantastic moment in the great history of throwing shade (one scandalous enough to make the cover of Kenneth Anger’s celebrity gossip classic Hollywood Babylon, in fact). And over half a century later, the story has found renewed resonance, in part thanks to the recent resurgence of plunging necklines, shirtless suits, and thus, exposed cleavage on red carpets and runways. These days, it’s as if we’re all in Loren’s discerning position.
It’s not that a chest of any size is something to hide or feel embarrassed by—quite the opposite. But, when it comes to celebrating the female form, there is a certain taste level that disappears the moment a woman’s breasts threaten to burst forth from her clothing. Even Marilyn Monroe knew how to expose swaths of décolleté extending from collarbone to belly button with equal parts sex appeal and grace: Let your chest fall naturally, hold it in place with plenty of fabric, and exfoliate and moisturize your skin until it glows impeccably. It’s an infallible formula that has been employed for every glamorous yet unapologetic show of cleavage to follow—whether Bianca Jagger’s braless Ossie Clark suits (worn everywhere from Studio 54 nights to her wedding day) or Beyoncé’s sternum-reaching brocade Marni tank. For those looking to unbutton a white shirt down to there à la Natalia Vodianova or embrace the benefits of a sweetheart neckline like Lara Stone tonight, the key to success lies in displaying your assets with a soft touch and, of course, beautifully toned skin. Forgo the hard-lined contouring, burn the melon-mimicking push-up bras, and visually communicate that everything will stay where it should. For inspiration, take a look at six Vogue-approved moments in cleavage history.
The post 6 Vogue-Approved Moments in Cleavage History, From Sophia Loren to Beyoncé appeared first on Vogue.